D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies
The D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies was created in 1972 to promote the usage of the books, manuscripts, maps and from the collections at the Newberry library. This includes the extensive collection of items acquired by Edward Ayer including commission portraits by Elbridge Ayer Burbank. Other goals of the center include improving the quality of written work about American Indians and Indigenous peoples, providing programs to introduce teachers to American Indian histories, literature and culture and creating a meeting ground for researchers, tribal historians and teachers to meet discuss their work. The center coordinates annual seminars, workshops and conferences and provides fellowships for continuing research.
For four decades, the McNickle Center’s staff, fellows, and affiliated research projects, have played a major role in shaping modern scholarship in American Indian and indigenous studies. Scholars on various fellowships have produced nearly fifty books and over 100 scholarly articles. The Center’s current activities include academic seminars in American Indian Studies, fellowships for scholars, public programs, and the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies (NCAIS) and its related programs.
An advisory council helped guide the Center at its inception. Composed of prominent scholars and intellectual leaders from across the country, the council had a majority-Indian membership. They chose D’Arcy McNickle (a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and prominent scholar and literary author) to serve as the first director and help formulate the Center’s above-stated mission. Among the directors who succeeded McNickle are Francis Jennings, Frederick Hoxie, Craig Howe (Oglala Lakota), and Brian Hosmer. The current Director is Dr. Scott Manning Stevens, citizen of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, who began his tenure in January 2009.
The Newberry Consortium
The McNickle Center was home, from 2003 to 2008, to the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) American Indian Studies (AIS) Consortium, a faculty- and student-driven initiative supported by Liberal Arts and Sciences Deans from the thirteen CIC institutions from the Midwest. The CIC was dedicated to nurturing quality scholarship in the associated fields of American Indian studies by awarding graduate student and faculty fellowships, hosting graduate student workshops and seminars, sponsoring public programs, and organizing an annual graduate student conference as well as an annual research conference.
In June 2008, the Newberry inaugurated the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies, (NCAIS). NCAIS began accepting members in the summer of 2008 and launched its first programs in July 2009. The Consortium draws on the Newberry’s world-renowned collection in American Indian and indigenous studies and the resources of the McNickle Center to offer annual workshops, institutes, conferences, and fellowships to graduate students and faculty at member institutions.
Current Consortium members include: Cornell University, Harvard University, Michigan State University, Princeton University, University of British Columbia, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Manitoba, University of Minnesota, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Oklahoma, University of Winnipeg, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, University of Wyoming, Vanderbilt University, Yale University
- The Newberry Library, D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies Self-Study, 1 April 2013.