American Indian Policy Institute Announces Inaugural Cohort of Thought Leader Fellows

PHOENIX, AZ – After a competitive application process, the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) has announced the 2021-2022 inaugural cohort of the Thought Leaders Fellowship Program (TLFP). This year’s cohort includes three faculty affiliates: Angela Gonzales Ph.D.; Stacy Leeds J.D.; and Denise Bates Ph.D. This highly competitive program has brought together some of the best and brightest Native American academics with the shared goal of furthering Indigenous scholarship and research. 

The TLFP will provide fellows with a rigorous curriculum and ample opportunities to engage and network with tribal leaders, industry experts, and university professionals. In conducting their research, fellows will produce publishable-quality research with the option to present at conferences, seminars, and lecture series.

“I am very impressed with the high-caliber cohort AIPI has created for our first Thought Leaders Fellowship Program,” said Traci Morris, AIPI Executive Director. “In keeping with Indigenous values, we look forward to developing a collaborative learning environment where our research and knowledge is shared with and informed by Native communities.”

“The work of AIPI is critical to helping advance and support tribally-driven research to address issues and concerns of tribal communities and their members,” said Angela Gonzales, a citizen of the Hopi Tribe and ASU faculty, who was invited to participate. “The program creates a unique space to support contributions to Indigenous knowledges within and beyond the academy.” Gonzales went on to say that the Thought Leaders Program provides an opportunity to apply her training as a sociologist and community-engaged researcher, “engaging with AIPI staff, tribal leaders, and other fellows to… inspire innovative ideas to collaborate on respectful, relevant, Indigenous-formed and led research that promises positive and critically needed change to policy, practice, community, and cultural life.”

“The Thought Leaders Fellowship Program builds on AIPI’s national reputation as a gathering place for Indigenous professionals,” said recipient Stacey Leeds. “TLFP offers a space where we can both support and challenge each other as we seek Indigenous solutions for pressing societal needs.”

“I’m honored to be among the inaugural cohort of Fellows in AIPI’s Thought Leaders Program where tribally-driven scholarship and community-based projects are valued,” said Denise Bates. “This program not only reflects ASU’s stated commitment to supporting tribal nations in achieving futures of their own making, but centralizes Indigenous knowledge systems and practices in a meaningful way. As a community-engaged historian, this program provides a tremendous opportunity for learning, innovating, and contributing.”