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The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. It was also a site of trade, travel, gathering and healing for more than a dozen other Native tribes and is still home to over 100,000 tribal members in the state of Illinois. I also recognize Northwestern University’s historical relationship with the Cheyenne and Arapaho. These lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations, their forced removal, and their struggles for survival and recognition. As a scholar, I have a responsibility to acknowledge both the Peoples as well as the histories of dispossession that have allowed for the growth of this institution. By reflecting on these histories, I hope to actively address the role that my university has played in shaping them. 

Image © Justin Barber Photography

Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. She is also affiliated with Northwestern's Environmental Policy and Culture and Indigenous Studies research program. Trained as an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist, Dr. Marion Suiseeya specializes in global environmental politics and political ecology, forging interdisciplinary connections between international relations, comparative politics, anthropology, and human geography. Her research employs an institutional approach to examine the justice dynamics of global forest and global climate governance and its impacts on forest dependent communities, primarily in Laos and mainland Southeast Asia, as well as at sites of global environmental governance like COP21. Dr. Marion Suiseeya holds a PhD in Environment from Duke University, an MA in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a BA in International Relations/Politics and German Studies from Scripps College. Her recent publications have appeared in Conservation and Society, Forests, Global Environmental Politics, Environmental Politics, and Global Environmental Change.

In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Dr. Marion Suiseeya has extensive experience as a practitioner, having first served in the US Peace Corps in Guyana and later working for conservation and development organizations in the United States and in Southeast Asia. She has worked on World Bank-funded projects in Laos and is a member of the IUCN’s expert Commission on Economic, Environmental, and Social Policy, Theme on Governance, Equity, and Rights. She is currently the lead PI for the Presence to Influence (  project that examines the politics and practices of indigenous representation and justice pursuits in global environmental governance.