OSWEGO — Fulbright Canada, part of the prestigious global Fulbright program, has awarded Kevin White of SUNY Oswego’s anthropology faculty a spring 2017 visiting research chair in trans-border studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.
In addition to teaching classes in his areas of expertise, White said he plans to conduct research at the Six Nations of the Grand River, a reserve in Oshweken, Ontario, near Brantford.
“I was greatly excited,” said White, director of the interdisciplinary American studies major and Native American studies minor at Oswego. “This was a research chair, which surprised me because I didn’t think I was quite at that point in my career.”
White, a Mohawk citizen and scholar whose doctorate in American studies is from University at Buffalo, said he welcomes the opportunity, among other areas of interest, to update research on Haudenosaunee and other Native American stories of creation.
His Fulbright Canada experience should be of great value to SUNY Oswego students of American and Native American studies, White said.
“At UB, we had a Canadian studies component. I will be looking to build that kind of relationship for Oswego with Brock and McMaster universities,” he said. “This would give students the opportunity to see how other institutions incorporate Native American and indigenous studies in their curriculums and to see how we can do that on a larger scale here.”
The idea for applying to Fulbright Canada came from a talk over lunch with friend and colleague Rick Hill, senior project coordinator at the Indigenous Knowledge Centre of Six Nations Polytechnic in Oshweken.
White hopes to work with Hill and other prominent Native American researchers when he arrives for his Jan. 6 to Aug. 11 Fulbright Canada term. “I am excited to have this opportunity as an indigenous scholar,” he said.
Since accepting a full-time faculty position at Oswego in 2008, White has taught many courses, including “Introduction to Native American Studies,” “History and Culture of the Iroquois,” “American Indian Religion and Philosophy” and “Contemporary Native American Issues.”
A member of the college’s Faculty of Color Core Mentoring Group, White is a consultant to the Iroquois White Corn Project, a member of the Indigenous Women’s Initiative Advisory Panel, a SUNY Oswego representative to the Central New York Consortium of Native American Programs and past chair of the Native American Indian Education Association of New York.
Among White’s projects this fall, he is co-chair of planning for the Native American Indian Education of New York annual conference Sept. 15 to 17 at SUNY Oswego — the first time it will have met here in 20 years. Onondaga Nation native Stephanie Waterman, an expert in Native American and indigenous college student experiences and associate professor at University of Toronto, will speak about recruitment and retention of Native American students.