Crossing Homelands: Native Nations and the US-Canadian Border on the Columbia Plateau


ACLS Fellowship Program


Native American Studies


“Crossing Homelands” advances a critical re-examination of the historical scholarship on Indigenous nationhood and the impacts of nation-state borders on Indigenous communities. My project demonstrates how, in the interior Pacific Northwest, Native nations maintained kinship relations and connections to homelands across the imposed Canada-United States border. These communities endured the US and Canadian governments’ efforts to compel Indigenous peoples along national peripheries to recognize and adhere to the border’s separation of jurisdiction. In these incongruous spaces, Indigenous communities and families reoriented tribal sovereignty to shape their peoples’ political incorporation into the United States or Canada. Tracing these tensions and continuities over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries exposes the legal fictions and consequences of nation-state boundary lines in Native North America.