Perspectives: “Portals that Remap Indigenous Futures” with Dr. Mary Tuti Baker and Dr. James Miller

A smiling person with glasses and blue patterned shirt. Inset is a small photo of a woman in sunglasses.

Date and Time

Thu, Feb 15, 2024 - 12:00pm

Part of the Exhibition

Join Dr. Mary Tuti Baker (Kanaka Maoli) and Dr. James Miller (Kanaka Maoli) in the Western Gallery for a conversation bridging their expertise, research, and themes presented in the joint exhibitions What Was Always Yours and Never Lost with films by Children of the Setting Sun Productions.

About Perspectives

The Perspectives series invites WWU scholars from a range of backgrounds and interests to lead informal 45-minute discussions inspired by the current exhibition. The series emphasizes the unique ability of the arts to stimulate interdisciplinary connections and conversations. Perspectives are free and open to the public.

Mary Tuti Baker (Kanaka Maoli)

Mary Tuti Baker (Kanaka Maoli) is an Assistant Professor in comparative Indigenous studies at Western Washington University with a joint appointment in Canadian-American Studies, Salish Seas Studies and Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

She earned her PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with specializations in Indigenous Politics and Futures Studies. From 2018-2020, she held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Political Science at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University, where she taught Indigenous Political Theory.

Her work examines the relationship between Kanaka Maoli values and practice and the politics of decolonization. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “The Land Is in Us: Embodied Aloha ‘Āina Enacting Indigenous Futures” which is a critical examination of aloha ʻāina as an Indigenous ideology. Aloha ʻāina - "love of the land" - is a central tenet of Native Hawaiian thought, cosmology and culture. She is also interested in articulations between and within Indigenous communities and non-indigenous social justice movements which is reflected in her most recent work “A Garden of Political Transformation: Indigenism, Anarchism and Feminism Embodied” that was published in a special issue of Anarchist Development in Cultural Studies edited by J. Kēhaulani Kauanui. She also received her MFA in film production from Columbia University School of the Arts.

James Miller (Kanaka Maoli)

James Miller (Kanaka Maoli) is an Associate Professor in comparative Indigenous studies at Western Washington University with an appointment in Urban & Environmental Planning and Policy and affiliation with Canadian-American Studies.

He earned is PhD in Sustainable Architecture from the University of Oregon focusing on the Indigenous production of the Built Environment. Prior to joining WWU, James was an assistant professor in environmental design at the Ontario College of Art & Design, where his focus was Indigenous design and decolonial studies. His work examines Indigenous placemaking in the built environment at the intersection of Indigenous futures, (de)colonial theory and politics, and environmental justice.

A recent book chapter, “Placemaking as Indigenous Resurgence,” in Michelle Daigle and Heather Dorries Land Back Relational Landscapes of Indigenous Resistance across the Americas explores the relationality among diasporic Indigenous placemaking practices within the US and Oceania.

Events and exhibitions are free and open to the public unless stated otherwise. Visitor information