2021 Advancing Research Grant for Indigenous Politics Recipients

In December 2021, APSA awarded eight projects for the APSA Diversity and Inclusion Advancing Research Grants for Indigenous Politics for a combined award amount of $20,000. Read about the funded research projects below. (Return to the Advancing Research Grant application information page). 


Project Title: Building Indigenous Citizens: The Effects of Prior Consultations in Peru

Researcher Bio:


Mariana Teresa Alvarado Chavez, New York University

Mariana Alvarado is a PhD candidate in the Politics Department at New York University and Visiting Researcher at the University of Geneva, where she is affiliated with the Unequal Democracies research project. Her research studies how different forms of inequality affect citizens' expectations and behaviors towards the state. With a regional focus on Latin America, she explores questions ranging from tax fairness to institutional design in weak democracies to the effects of recognizing indigenous citizens using both survey and natural experiments.

Project Title: Indigenous Litigation facing Corporate Influence at the Court in Guatemala: An Indigenized Network

Researcher Bio:

Braconnier De Leon

Ana Braconnier De Leon, CIESAS Mexico City

Dr. Ana Braconnier De León is a 2021-2023 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social in Mexico City. Her research focuses on judicial politics, Indigenous litigation, and elite countermobilization in Latin America, specifically in Guatemala. She is currently working on her book project where she examines the process of backlash against the high courts when these courts challenge the entrenched “extractive” interests of the political and economic elites. Through an in-depth qualitative study of the judicialization of natural resource extraction in Indigenous territories and corruption-related cases, she unveils the colonial foundations of the conservative status quo prevailing in the country.

Additionally, Ana is working on two comparative research projects: one on land rights claiming in plural legal regimes; the other on truth commissions and conflict-related sexual violence. As a non-Indigenous scholar, she draws from activist scholarship to collaborate with grassroots in the struggle for justice in Guatemala. Ana received her PhD in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2021 and completed a Master’s in Latin American Politics at Sciences Po Paris in 2009. In between, she worked as a lecturer in Guatemalan universities and as a consultant for non-profits.

Project Title: Harmonizing Voices for Collective Action: The American Indian Chicago Conference

Researcher Bios:


Sonja Castaneda Dower, University of Chicago

Sonja Castañeda Dower is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Chicago and Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska - Anchorage. In her research, she uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to explore how individuals and groups come to incorporate – or not incorporate – into political units, such as parties and states. Sonja is especially interested in strategies states use when trying to manage and assimilate diverse populations that can be resistant to incorporation. Her work thus concerns coordination and collective action problems and considers how phenomena surrounding these, such as social movements, can influence and interact with the design and function of formal institutions. Her research, for example, looks at Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination claims and movements, and the relationship between these and institutional arrangements, in Greenland, Sápmi (a region that traverses Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia), and the United States. Sonja holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago as well as a master’s in Politics and Education from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Scott Cooley, University of Chicago

Scott Cooley is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2021. Scott’s dissertation focused on the link between public opinion, national party platforms, and economic inequality. As part of this research, he built large datasets that include public opinion data, party platform positions, and federal policy outcomes. Scott has a particular interest in how historically disadvantaged groups - including lower-income citizens, racial and ethnic minorities, and indigenous people - influence public policy. His most recent work includes the construction and analysis of multiple datasets using a variety of archival sources related to the Indian Termination Era in the Unites States. Scott teaches courses in the Social Science Inquiry Sequence at the University of Chicago, in which students are exposed to a variety of social scientific techniques and gain an understanding of how empirical methods can be responsibly used to derive important policy implications.

Project Title: The Experience of Urban Indians in Arizona with Voting by Mail 

Researcher Bios:


Joseph Dietrich, Claremont Graduate University

Dr. Joseph Dietrich has over twenty years of experience in both academic and professional capacities collecting survey and interview data. He works closely on political engagement in the Native American community, voter disenfranchisement, and voting by mail and has published extensively in these areas. His research specialties include voting and political behavior, race and ethnic politics, and the intersection of politics, policy, and education. Currently, he is conducting several studies on voting efficacy among minority populations including the co-development of a voting efficacy score and another on the efficacy of voting by mail in increasing minority voter turnout. He holds a BA, MPIA, and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an additional Ph.D. in American politics and public law from Claremont Graduate University.


Jean Reith Schroedel, Claremont Graduate University

Jean Reith Schroedel is the emeritus Thornton Bradshaw professor of politics and policy at Claremont Graduate University. She has written or co-edited six books, including Is the Fetus Person? A Comparison of Policies Across the Fifty States that was given the APSA’s Victoria Schuck Book Award, as well as more than 50 scholarly articles. In 2017, she was awarded the Claremont Colleges Diversity in Teaching Award. Her recent research has focused on voting rights issues affecting Native Americans. Schroedel was an expert witness in the Wandering Medicine v. McCulloch and Yazzie v. Hobbs cases and did research that was used in the Poor Bear v. Jackson County and Sanchez v. Cegavske cases. Her most recent book, Voting in Indian Country: The View from the Trenches, which was published in fall 2020, is an outgrowth of this research.


Melissa Ziegler Rogers, Claremont Graduate University

Dr. Melissa Ziegler Rogers is Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of the School of Social Science, Policy, and Evaluation at Claremont Graduate University. She is also Co-Director of the Inequality and Policy Research Center at CGU. Dr. Rogers has published numerous scholarly articles in venues such as the Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, Political Research Quarterly, Regional Studies, and the Journal of Public Policy. Her second book, Geography, Capacity, and Inequality, will be published by Cambridge University Press in January 2021. Dr. Rogers’ research focuses on the connection between unequal geographic distribution of income and resources and political outcomes.

Project Title: Indigeneity in Brazilian Electoral Politics

Researcher Bio:


Andrew Janusz, University of Florida

Andrew Janusz is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Florida. His research focuses on racial identity, political behavior, and representation in Latin America’s emerging
democracies. His work examines how political institutions and social forces reinforce ethno-racial hierarchies and perpetuate inequality. Dr. Janusz has published peer-reviewed articles in a variety of journals, including Electoral Studies, Political Research Quarterly, and Politics, Groups, and Identities.


Project Title: Nā Makana Ea: Settler Colonial Capitalism and the Gifts of Sovereignty in Hawai'i

Researcher Bio:


Uahikea Maile, University of Toronto

Dr. Uahikea Maile is a Kanaka Maoli scholar, activist, and practitioner from Maunawili, Oʻahu. He is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, and an Affiliate Faculty in the Centre for Indigenous Studies and Centre for the Study of the United States. Maile’s research interests include: history, law, and social movements on Hawaiian sovereignty; Indigenous critical theory; settler colonialism; political economy; feminist and queer theories; and decolonization. He has published in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being, Cultural Studies <-> Critical Methodologies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. He also has published essays in the edited collections Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawaiʻi (Duke University Press, 2019) and Standing With Standing Rock: Voices From the #NoDAPL Movement (University of Minnesota Press, 2019). His book manuscript, Nā Makana Ea: Settler Colonial Capitalism and the Gifts of Sovereignty in Hawai‘i, examines the historical development and contemporary relations of settler colonial capitalism in Hawai‘i and gifts of sovereignty that seek to overturn it by issuing responsibilities for balancing relationships with ‘āina, the land and that who feeds.

Project Title: A Comparison of Inadequate Doctrines: The Canadian Honour of the Crown v. the Fiduciary Trust

Researcher Bio:


Jennifer Pahre, University of Illinois

Jennifer Pahre is an Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. She was awarded her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University with dual majors in international relations and German studies and was inducted into the Pi Sigma Alpha International Relations Honors Society. She earned her JD degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, where she was the chief note and comment editor of the Loyola International and Comparative Law Review.

Professor Pahre is admitted to the state bars of California, Michigan, and Illinois and has practiced law in all three states. At the University of Illinois, she has taught Remedies, Insurance Law, Evidence, and Constitutional Law. In addition to a law textbook, she has published a collection of articles on topics ranging from the attorney-client privilege to developments in biotechnology medicine. She has participated in panel discussions and in live broadcasts on public television, and is a regular contributor on public radio.


Project Title: A Policy Surveillance Study of State Tribal Consultation Laws

Researcher Bios:


Lorinda Riley, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Lorinda Riley is an Assistant Professor of Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa. Her research focuses on the impact of the Western criminal justice system on Indingeous people and the incorporation of Indigenous restorative justice to improve Indigenous wellbeing. Her current projects include a policy surveillance study of tribal consultation laws and a qualitative study on how Native Hawaiian youth experience historical trauma. Dr. Riley teaches courses in Indigenous Applied Methods, Health Ethics, Law, and Politics, and Indigenous Governance.

Dr. Riley holds an S.J.D. in Indigneous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona where her dissertation focused on the federal government’s use of politics in implementing the federal recognition regulations, which determine whether an Indian community is an Indian nation with powers of self-dermination. She received a J.D. and M.A. in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in American Indian Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Ian Tapu, Independent Researcher

Ian Tapu was born and raised in Hauula, Hawaii and is grateful to have been brought up in a tight-knit community filled with family and friends who are like family. He is a proud graduate of Kahuku High School and later went on to receive his degree from Dartmouth College, majoring in Native American Studies and minoring in Public Policy and Education. Following college, Tapu worked for almost 10 years in the non-profit sector. His work primarily entailed supporting Pasifika youth and their families. Tapu then attended the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and graduated with his law degree in 2020. He published extensively on topics ranging from LGBTQ rights, constitutional law, and Indigenous rights.