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Call for Special Issue Manuscripts: “Visibilizing Indigenous Women and Non-binary Relatives Experiences in Higher Education”

Supporting the Profession Center for Women Womxn in Student Affairs AVP or "Number Two" Faculty Mid-Level Senior Level VP for Student Affairs
October 25, 2023

“Visibilizing Indigenous Women and Non-binary Relatives Experiences in Higher Education” Call for Papers

Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education

Native women participate in higher education at higher rates than Native men. On average, Native women represent over 60% of the total Native student enrollment, and a little over 50% of total Native faculty ranks (NCES, 2022). Waterman and Lindley (2013) contributed to some of the first scholarship on understanding lived experiences of Native women in higher education in two distinct tribal communities and bringing in concepts of Nation building, Native capital, and resiliency. Since then, the scholarship on Native women in higher education in a broad context is expanded on through the contributions of Shotton (2017) and (2018a; 2018b) and Keene et. al. (2017) sharing about lived experiences of Native women in their doctoral experiences. There has also been an emergence of sharing about specific Native women experiences through Native American sororities (Minthorn & Youngbull, 2019; Minthorn et al., 2022; Wagnon, et. al, 2023; Youngbull et al., 2023). The narratives and experiences of Native women in the academy are broadened in sisterhood practices (Shotton et.al, 2018), specific experiences of navigating the academy (Minthorn, 2018) and Indigenous motherhood in the academy (Minthorn, 2018; Minthorn et. al, 2022). There is an acknowledgement of gaps in literature where Native women have often been invisibilized or their experiences lumped in with women of color. We acknowledge our lived experiences encompass a vast array of historical trauma and resilience intertwined with our tribal sovereignty and community ties.

Therefore, this special issue theme contributes to the scope of the Journal of Women and Gender (JWG) by highlighting the gender-based experiences of students, faculty, and staff of Indigenous people, who have undoubtedly experienced oppression and subjugation to patriarchy over time. Within the history of US higher education, there was systematic use of westernized education to promote assimilation and to further commit cultural genocide on Tribal Nations and Communities through their initial missions (e.g. Harvard University, Dartmouth College, etc.). These initial experiences, along with the creation of boarding schools, have created a visceral reaction and impact on Native peoples participation in higher education. The ramifications of gender conformity inherently built within educational structures creates disparate higher education access and completion rates. Our special issue visibilizes the experiences of Indigenous women relatives, including Transwomen, Two-Spirit women,  non-binary women, and cisgender women. We welcome contributions from all Indigenous women relatives whether they are in faculty, staff, student, or community roles. We center their experiences and scholarship in ways JWG can specifically create space for the original caretakers of this land and whose people are uniquely impacted in higher education.

The relevance of this theme is needed within higher education scholarship and academic journals to engender a space for Indigenous women and non-binary relatives to share their unique experiences of creating community on campus to how they negotiate and weave spaces between the institution and Tribal/Indigenous communities they are connected to. This broadens the aspects Indigenous women relatives have in honoring Tribal sovereignty, matrilineal responsibilities, and cultural practices that are inherently a part of our lived experiences.

Manuscript Submissions

For consideration, manuscripts should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages written in 12-point Times New Roman font and submitted by January 6. Page length includes tables, figures, and references. All manuscripts must be submitted online through http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/naspa_njawhe.

Please include a cover letter clearly indicating why the submission should be considered for the special issue. For more information, please contact Dr. Natalie Youngbull at [email protected], Dr. Chris Nelson at [email protected], or Dr. Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn at [email protected]

Deadline for submissions: January 6, 2024

Manuscripts out for peer review: January 7, 2024 – February 20, 2024

Selection of manuscripts for issue: February 27, 2024

Finalize all revisions of manuscripts: August 31, 2024


Keene, A., Tachine, A. R., & Nelson, C. A. (2017). Braiding Our (In)visibility: Native women navigating the doctoral process through social media. Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity, 3(1), 39-72. https://doi.org/10.15763/issn.2642- 2387.2017.3.1.42-76.

Minthorn, R. (2018). Being BRAVE in the Ivory Towers as “Zape-tah-hol-ah” (Sticks with Bow). In M.C. Whitaker & E.A. Grollman (Eds.), Counternarratives from women of color academics: bravery, vulnerability, and resistance. Boca Raton, FL: Routledge Publishing.

Minthorn, R.Z. (2021 (2018)). Indigenous motherhood in the academy, building our children to be good relatives. Wicazo Sa Review 33 (2), 62-75.

Minthorn, R.Z. & Youngbull, N.R. (2019).  Reclaiming and asserting our Nation’s through the growth of historically Native American fraternities and sororities (HNAFS). In P. Sasso,

P. Biddix & M. Miranda (Eds.), Fraternities & Sororities in the Contemporary Era. Sterling, VA: Myers Press/Stylus Publishing.

Minthorn, R. Z. S., Nelson, C. A., & Shotton, H. S. (eds.) (2022). Indigenous Motherhood in the Academy. Rutgers University Press. 

Minthorn, R.Z., Silverhorn Wolfe, A., Youngbull, N. & Wagnon, J. (2023). Reconceptualizing Indigeneity within the Fraternity/Sorority Community. Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors.

Shotton, H. (2017). “I Thought You'd Call Her White Feather”: Native Women and Racial Microaggressions in Doctoral Education. Journal of American Indian Education, 56(1), 32-54.

Shotton, H. (2018). Reciprocity and Nation Building in Native Women's Doctoral Education. American Indian Quarterly, 42(4), 488-507.

Shotton, H. (2018). Indigenous Women and Indigenous Scholar Community Building. Wicazo Sa Review, 33(2), 76-92.

Shotton, H. J., Tachine, A. R., Nelson, C. A., Minthorn, R. Z., & Waterman, S. J. (2018).  Living Our Research Through Indigenous Scholar Sisterhood Practices. Qualitative Inquiry, 24(9), 636-645. DOI: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1077800417744578.

Wagnon, J., Silverhorn-Wolfe, A., Youngbull, N., & Minthorn, R.Z. (In Press (2023).Honoring the Cultivation of Gamma Delta Pi, Inc. Native American Sisterhood. In P. Sasso, J. Biddix, & M. Miranda (Eds.), Student Identity & Learning in Sororities & Fraternities. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. 

Waterman, S.J. & Lindley, L.S. (2013) Cultural Strengths to Persevere: Native American Women in Higher Education, NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, 6:2, 139-165, DOI: 10.1515/njawhe-2013-0011

Youngbull, N., Wagnon, J., Minthorn, R., & Silverhorn Wolfe, A. (2023). Inspiring Empowerment, Leadership, and Advocacy of Indigenous Women Through A Native American Sorority. Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education.

Youngbull, N.,  Wagnon, J., Minthorn, R., and Oxendine D. (In Review (Accepted)).  The Emergence of the Historically Native American Fraternity and Sorority Movement. In H. Shotton, S. Waterman & S. Lowe, (Eds.) Beyond the asterisk: New scholarship and frameworks for understanding Native students in higher education. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.