Conducting Research

Research Protocol for working with IndigenousTribes and Communities

Land and Water Acknowledgment 

Marquette University acknowledges that our campus and Milwaukee are the homelands and waters of the Menominee, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Fox, Mascouten, Sauk and Ojibwe nations, who have known this land and water as a relative for millennia and who remain our hosts on the land today. We also acknowledge that Milwaukee is located along the southwest shores of Michigami (meaning “big water” in Anishinaabemowin), where the Milwaukee River, Menomonee River and Kinnickinnic River meet. We remember that Milwaukee is covered by the 1833 Treaty of Chicago signed by the United States and Potawatomi and acknowledge it cleaved and dispersed this tribal nation through removal. We also acknowledge the presence of tribal members from Wisconsin sovereign nations in Milwaukee, including the Oneida Nation, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohicans, Brothertown Nation and Ojibwe Nations – namely, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sokaogon Chippewa Community and St. Croix Chippewa Indians. We further understand and honor that the greater Milwaukee area is home to a large, resurging urban Indian community that includes diasporic Indigenous peoples from around North America, as well as from the Global South, the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Marquette University further acknowledges and pays respect to the elders and ancestors past, present and emerging whose histories, knowledge and cultural traditions have shaped the land and water of the greater Milwaukee area and can enrich practices around its stewardship. We affirm our commitment to practice ongoing good relations with the land and water and with sovereign Indigenous nations that caretake them. In acknowledging the long-held relationships fostered by these lands and waters, we seek to strengthen and recommit ourselves to ongoing and future kinship responsibilities with each other and the Earth. In the spirit of reconciliation, we can authentically attend to and create the conditions of hospitality for current Indigenous students and community members and all yet to walk with us.


As a research institution, Marquette University has a responsibility to practice ongoing, good relations, with the tribal communities in Milwaukee and the greater Wisconsin area including, The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Forest County Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Mole Lake (Sokaogon Chippewa Community) Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Saint Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians, Brothertown Indian Nation, and any other tribal nation with whom research may occur. The Indigeneity Lab recognizes its position as a research-focused lab and strives to maintain ethical and reciprocal relations with the Indigenous communities with which they may interact. These protocols will hope to ensure the praxis and research of the lab be conducted ethically and while actively striving to cause no harm. 


Settler-Colonialism: The displacement of Indigenous Peoples by settlers who form permanent stays in that land.

Non-Native: Peoples, plants, and inanimate objects that do not originate or are not indigenous to a particular location

Tribal Sovereignty/Rhetorical Sovereignty (according to Scott Richard Lyons): “The inherent right and ability of peoples to determine their own communicative needs and desires” (Lyons, 2000). In other words, the 574 federally recognized tribes in the US are able to govern themselves separate from the United States government. However, historically, sovereignty among Native American tribes was eroded as treaty after treaty was broken by the United States government, land was stolen, and Indigenous Peoples were systematically killed. 

Museum/Archives: How do museums and archives obtain their collections and items? Who has historically been in charge of institutions like museums? Who has a say in how museum displays are curated and arranged? Who has access to museums and archives?

Marquette’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives in Raynor Memorial Libraries houses extensive records from a wide range of topics including Marquette’s history to the Catholic Church’s contact with Indigenous Peoples. 

Decolonization: The undoing or removing of oppressive systems associated with colonial actions.

Boarding Schools/Mission Schools/Residential Schools: School institutions were run by the United States government and religious entities such as the Catholic Church. Their goal was to westernize, forcefully assimilate, and “civilize” Indigenous Peoples. These tactics often entailed traumatic abuses such as forcing students to cut their hair, forbidding students to speak their Native languages, and forcibly removing children from their families. Canada’s boarding school system, called residential schools, were modeled off of the United States boarding school system.

Reservation: Indigenous Peoples were forcibly removed from their land onto reservations by the US government in order to force assimilation, create space for settler-colonizers, and ultimately, make Indigenous Peoples disappear. Issues around alcoholism, drug use, and poverty on reservations should be examined with the knowledge of those histories, if not as a root cause of those issues. Today, 78% of Native Americans do not live on reservations and 72% live in urban and suburban areas (Whittle, 2017).

Lyons, Scott Richard. “Rhetorical Sovereignty: What Do American Indians Want from Writing?” College Composition and Communication, vol. 51, no. 3, 2000, pp. 447–68. JSTOR, Accessed 3 Aug. 2022.

Whittle, Joe. “Most Native Americans Live in Cities, Not Reservations. Here Are Their Stories.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 4 Sept. 2017,,became%20isolated%20from%20their%20communities.

Guiding Principles

The Indigeneity Lab’s work is informed and guided by Native-centered principles that will allow for good relations and ethical research with Tribal Nations. 

  1. Respect
  2. Reciprocity 
  3. Responsibility
  4. Relevance

Our archival work is informed and guided by the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials

Kirkness, Verna J., and Ray Barnhardt. “FIRST NATIONS AND HIGHER EDUCATION: The Four R’s — Respect, Relevance, Reciprocity, Responsibility.” Journal of American Indian Education, vol. 30, no. 3, 1991, pp. 1–15. JSTOR, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Code of Ethics

For those who begin to plan and envision events to bring to the Marquette community, conduct research, and engage with Indigenous communities in Milwaukee and at Marquette, it is imperative to be as thoughtful and inclusive as possible in order to both share and receive reactions from campus Indigenous stake holders.

Indigeneity Lab Faculty and Staff

  • Jacqueline Fontaine Schram, Director of Public Affairs and Special Assistant for Native American Affairs Office of Public Affairs
  • Dr. Bryan Rindfleisch, Associate Professor of History
    • Indigenize Milwaukee Map Initiative
  • Dr. Samantha Majhor, Assistant Professor of English
    • Native American Boarding and Mission Schools Research
  • Dr. Michael Schläppi, Professor of Biological Sciences
    • Wild Rice Initiative

Marquette Native American Student Association (NASA)

  • Danielle Barrett, President
  • Madison Black, Vice President

Center for Race, Ethnic, and Indigenous Studies at Marquette (REIS)

Office of institutional Diversity and Inclusion

  • Dr. Joya Crear, Acting Vice President for Inclusive Excellence
  • Ms. Jacqueline Black, Associate Director for Hispanic Initiatives
  • Ms. Kristen Kreple, Title IX Coordinator
  • Ms. Jacqueline Schram, Director of Public Affairs & Special Assistant for Native American Affairs
  • Ms. Samira Payne, Director of Black Student Initiatives

Office of Public Affairs

  • Rana Altenburg, Vice President
  • Aubree Sachen, Executive Assistant
  • Mary Czech-Mrochinski, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs
  • Dr. Karen Hoffman, Associate Director – Milwaukee, Les Aspin Center for Government
  • Jacqueline Schram, Director of Public Affairs and Special Assistant for Native American Affairs