Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, (Anthropology, Berkley Center); Bette Jacobs (Law School, O'Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law)

The Indigenous Studies Working Group of Georgetown University gathers together colleagues and students interested in the field of Indigenous Studies. We promote greater respect, awareness, and collaboration with Indigenous peoples in our region, in the United States, and across the world. All with serious interest in Indigenous peoples are welcome here.

What is Indigeneity?

Indigenous peoples—also known as native or aboriginal peoples—identify themselves as the original inhabitants of their home regions. Indigenous groups today are actively protecting, defining, and transforming their own identities in the context of centuries of colonization, forced assimilation, and genocide. The concept of indigeneity and the suffering, survival, and resilience behind it are in need of debate and exploration. Our network is a growing work in progress, and both faculty and student interest at Georgetown is strong. Our members include faculty from many departments and across Georgetown schools in the main campus and Law School. They also include students from the Native American Student Associations on both campuses.

Why do we need a network?

Today's university- and country-wide soul-searching concerning misunderstandings about race, the fluidity of identity, and the construction of ethnic group solidarities benefits from adding the dimension of indigenous studies to the mix of Georgetown's diversity-oriented events and courses. While our campus is rightfully engaged in heightened awareness concerning race, ethnicity, gender, nationalism, and identity, Indigenous peoples are often marginalized—if not getting lost—once again. We need a better framing for students and faculty in the campus community to benefit more systematically from consciousness-raising concerning issues of Indigenous identity, rights, legacies, and (re)vitalization. We hope that this website can become a forum for discussion of issues that are crucial to Indigenous communities.

News and Events


A Conversation with Playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle

February 7, 2018 at 5:00pm
Davis Performing Arts Center: Gonda Theatre

This discussion features Georgetown alumna Mary Kathryn Nagle (COL ‘05), whose daring play Sovereignty debuts at Arena Stage as part of the company’s Power Plays initiative. 


The Mellon Sawyer Seminar on the Anthropocene

January 31, 2018 at 4:30pm 
Copley Formal Lounge

Please join us as we begin the Spring semester with ‘Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice: Resisting Ecological Colonialism, Decolonizing the Anthropocene.' 




All are welcome to join our mailing list to learn more about new events of interest on the Georgetown campus and in the Washington metro area.