2021 NASPA Virtual Conference

Power and Place Symposium: Indigenous Worldviews of Higher Education

The Power and Place Symposium is a two-day pre-conference that will explore issues related to orientation, transition, retention, and other topics that impact the participation of Indigenous higher education communities. The symposium will include a keynote presentation, moderated sessions, and community reflection, all centered in the seminal text Power and Place: Indian Education in America, co-authored by the late Vine Deloria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) and current Haskell Indian Nations University faculty member Dr. Daniel Wildcat (Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma).

The Symposium was originally designed as a one-day immersive professional development opportunity at Haskell Indian Nations University (Haskell), one of 37 tribal college and university (TCU) settings in the United States. The Symposium has been reimagined in a virtual format to explore the depths of identities through the education, development, and leadership experiences of Haskell alumni, students, staff, and faculty.

Learning Outcomes

  • Reflect on the role of place in the education and development experiences of Indigenous higher education communities
  • Expand student affairs practitioner-educator knowledge about orientation, transition, and retention experiences of Indigenous students and college culture at a TCU
  • Understand the significance and lessons of TCUs to Indigenous student success at non-Native colleges and universities
  • Gain awareness of and appreciation for Indigenous perspectives of higher education


We are proud to offer this inaugural symposium free of charge with the cost of registering for the NASPA Annual Conference. Registration will be capped at 500 participants.

If you are affiliated with a Tribal College or University (students or employees), please contact Monica Nixon ( before registering to receive a coupon code for additional cost savings.

Registration Steps:

  1. Access the registration link from the NASPA Conference website.
  2. Choose registration type: Attendee
  3. Choose sessions: 
    • 2021 NASPA Annual Conference Registration
    • 2021 NASPA Power & Place: Indigenous Worldviews of Higher Education Symposium
    • Be sure to make a selection for every day
  4. Customize the experience with your personal information.
  5. TCU-affiliated participants should use the coupon code on the final screen when checking out.


If you have any questions regarding the registration process, please don't hesitate to contact us at

Symposium schedule

Thursday, March 18, 2021, 1:30 to 6 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)

1:30 - 1:45 p.m. ET Welcome
1:45 - 3 p.m. ET

What the Profession Needs to Know About Indigenous Peoples in Higher Education: A Conversation with Dr. Daniel Wildcat About Power and Place

Moderator: Dr. Charlotte E. Davidson (Diné/Three Affiliated Tribes - Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara), Independent Scholar

Commemorating the 20th-anniversary of Power and Place: Indian Education in America, this session will feature Haskell faculty member, Dr. Daniel Wildcat, who, in addition to providing new insights about this seminal text, will discuss how Power and Place gives greater salience to and understanding of Indigenous higher education communities.

3 - 3:15 p.m. ET Break
3:15 - 4:30 p.m. ET

Haskell Alumni: Reflections on Persistence and Degree Attainment

Moderator: Dr. Melissa Holder (Winnebago/Sac and Fox), Haskell Indian Nations University

Panelists: Fredina Drye-Romero (Paiute), Nevada Department of Education; Patrick Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo) University of California-Berkeley; and Dr. Toni L. Tsatoke-Mule (Kiowa), University of Oklahoma

In this moderated session, three Haskell Indian Nations University alumni will reflect on factors that shaped their motivations to persist toward degree completion and discuss how their TCU experience influenced their subsequent participation and success at non-Native colleges and universities.

4:30 - 4:45 p.m. ET Break
4:45 - 6 p.m. ET

Next-Gen Haskell Student Success

Moderator: Dr. Freda Gipp (Apache/Comanche), Haskell Indian Nations University

Panelists: Priscilla Ortiz-LaChappa (lipay Nation of Santa Ysabel/Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians), Autumn Powell (Diné/Black), and William Wilkinson (Three Affiliated Tribes - Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara/Diné/Cherokee)

This moderated session will provide a contemporary portrait of three student leaders at Haskell Indian Nations University. Students will discuss how their TCU journey has shaped their definitions for sustaining and achieving student success through first-year experiences, mentoring relationships, and purposeful campus engagement. 

Friday, March 19, 2021, 1:30 - 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)

1:30 - 1:45 p.m. ET Welcome
1:45 to 3 p.m. ET

Developing Tribal College Students: Haskell Student Affairs Administrators

Moderator: Byron Tsabetsaye (Diné/A:shiwi), San Juan College

Panelists: Dr. Melissa Holder (Winnebago/Sac and Fox), Manny King (Northern Cheyenne/Diné), and Laura Rice (Prairie Band Potawatomi/Kickapoo/Sac & Fox/Yurok/Wintun)

This moderated education session will explore the unique roles, competencies, and challenges of three TCU student affairs professionals in designing and administering orientation, transition, and retention experiences for students at Haskell Indian Nations University.

3 to 3:15 p.m. ET Break
3:15 to 4:30 p.m. ET

Becoming Indigenous Student Ready: A Primer for Non-Native Colleges and Universities

Moderator: Dr. Brett Bruner, Arkansas Tech University, and Kimberlie Moock, University of Minnesota

Panelists: Indigenous Contributors, NASPA Leadership Exchange Magazine

This session will feature contributors to the winter 2021 Indigenous-focused issue of the NASPA Leadership Exchange Magazine. Student affairs and higher education experts will guide presenters through broader topics and issues that affect Indigenous higher education communities. This opportunity will provide practitioners at non-Native colleges and universities (NNCU) with further insights and practical strategies to help NNCU professionals become Indigenous student ready.

4:30 to 4:45 p.m. ET Break
4:45 to 6 p.m. ET

Power and Place: A Community Reflection

Drawing upon the collective experiences and expertise of participants, this session will serve as a dialogical space to process Deloria and Wildcat’s (2001) 3P Principle, power and place produce personality. Facilitators will provide guided interaction and introspection among the participants to explore the ways in which the 3P principle functions as a living process that grows from critically understanding our participation in the world, broadly, and in higher education, specifically.


Meet Our Co-Directors

Charlotte E. Davidson is Diné and an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara). With respect to kinship relations, she is of the Tó'aheedlíinii (Water Flows Together People), born for the Waterbuster People. Her maternal grandfather’s (Kee Horseherder Yazzie) clan is Kinłichíi’nii (Red House People) and her paternal grandfather’s (Ernest Wilkinson) clan is the Flint Knife People. In NASPA, Charlotte serves as the association’s Indigenous Relations Advisor, national co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community, the co-principal advisor of Indigenous Engagement for the Kansas City Experience Committee, guest editor of the 2021 winter issue of the NASPA Leadership Exchange Magazine, and is a member of the 2019-2022 NASPA SERVE (Supporting, Expanding, and Recruiting, Volunteer Excellence) Academy cohort. Dr. Davidson is a proud alumna of Haskell Indian Nations University, where she received her B.A. in American Indian Studies. She also earned an Ed.M. and Ph.D., respectively, in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has presented nationally on Indigenous higher education and has written and co-authored chapters in Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education; Indigenous Leadership in Higher Education; Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education; and A Better Future: The Role of Higher Education for Displaced and Marginalised People

Carlos Guillen was raised in Northern New Mexico and earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. As the Associate Director of First Year Programs at the University of Washington in Seattle, Carlos provides leadership to a department charged with the successful transition of over 9,000 first-year students. In his role as NASPA’s Equity Inclusion and Social Justice coordinator for the Orientation, Transition, and Retention Knowledge Community (OTR KC), Carlos works with OTR professionals across the association to promote racial equity resources and professional development opportunities through the KC. In addition to his work with first-year students and racial equity, Carlos’ draws on over 10 years of professional experience in higher education which includes curriculum development, parent and family programs, bias incident response, online/distance learning, and assessment.

Planning Committee

Dr. Brett Bruner, Arkansas Tech University

Dr. Judith Estrada, University of California, Santa Cruz

Dr. Freda Gipp (Apache/Comanche), Haskell Indian Nations University

Shana Harming (Kul Wicasa Oyate), South Dakota State University

Tiffany Kelli (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Colorado State University

Kimberlie Moock, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Dr. Monica Nixon, NASPA

Byron Tsabetsaye (Diné/Zuni Pueblo), San Juan College