Dr. Martin Reinhardt speaks at NMU 2016 Commencement

Congratulations to Northern Michigan University’s graduates. The December 2016 graduation ceremony took place on Saturday, December 10. Dr. Martin Reinhardt was a featured commencement speaker.

Dr. Martin Reinhardt is an Anishinaabe Ojibway citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians from Michigan. He is a tenured associate professor of Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University and serves as the president of the Michigan Indian Education Council.

Martin’s current research focuses on revitalizing relationships between humans and indigenous plants and animals of the Great Lakes Region. He is a former research associate for the Interwest Equity Assistance Center at Colorado State University and the former vice president for diversity and research for Educational Options, Inc.  He has taught courses in American Indian education, tribal law and government, and sociology.

Martin has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Pennsylvania State University where his doctoral research focused on Indian education and the law with a special focus on treaty educational provisions. He majored in sociology for his undergrad and graduate degrees.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Lake Superior State University and master’s degree from Central Michigan University.

Martin has previously served as the primary investigator for the Decolonizing Diet Project, chair of the American Association for Higher Education American Indian/Alaska Native Caucus, co-primary investigator for the Michigan Rural Systemic Initiative, and as an external advisor for the National Indian School Board Association.

2016 Year in Review

#HappyNewYear from #BPC! Koolamalsi njoos wuk niiallogamaatit ! Wuli wulahkameew wulahlokayaan wuk wulakkuniimeew!

This is my humble attempt in my Original language (Lunaape-Munsee dialect) to say, “Hello Greetings colleagues, relatives, and friends! It is a beautiful and good day to do good work and say good things!”

BPC’s 2016 has been a bountiful year for us and without the help of many we wouldn’t continue to be successful, have such a good time, learned so much, and helped to support/empower the communities, people, projects, and partners we’re so blessed to collaborate with.

Forgive me if I’ve missed anyone in the video. Hopefully we’ve expressed our gratitude many times and in many ways in 2016. It is with happiness we reflect on our 2016 and look forward to the seeds lovingly planted which will grow in 2017.

#BPC #BeTheChange #SocialJusticeInAction

What was Trending at #Eval2016?


The phrase “culturally responsive” was mentioned in the title of 16 AEA sessions while “cultural responsiveness” was mentioned in one other. Unfortunately, I think sometimes that’s where our attention to cultural responsiveness ends in evaluation – in the title or as a catch-phrase used in reports. But I noticed something different at Eval16 as compared to previous conferences; I heard colleagues talking about the intersection of culture and evaluation both inside and outside of conference sessions.

One of the things that really impacted me was when Dr. Nicole Bowman read A Cherokee Prayer during the Opening Plenary. The prayer reminded me of the importance of understanding the origins of our field of evaluation, the diverse backgrounds of our participants, our own backgrounds, as well as the history and culture of the organizations with which we work. As evaluators, we must continue to recognize, discuss, and be responsive to cultural context and the cultural diversity of individuals, communities, and organizations.

Want to learn more about cultural responsiveness in evaluation? Check out Continuing the Journey to Reposition Culture and Cultural Context in Evaluation Theory and Practice or read the AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation.

*Read the entire article, EVALUATION TRENDS: LESSONS FROM EVAL16.

Demilitarize Standing Rock

Indigenous people at Sacred Stone Camp

*Information from ACLU.

As President Obama prepared to pardon his eighth and final turkey, law enforcement deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, percussion grenades, and water cannons – in below-freezing weather – against hundreds protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

News reports confirm more than 300 people have been injured.

Urge the Justice Department to investigate possible constitutional violations and suspend police use of federally supplied military equipment.

Facing heavily militarized crackdowns has not shaken the resolve of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. This indigenous community continues to protect its sacred land and vital access to clean water. We have a short window to pressure the Justice Department before the administration changes hands on Inauguration Day.

The Justice Department can help stop the militarized response. It oversees federal programs that may have supplied much of the equipment being used against protesters – and it can put those oversight measures to use.

Help keep up the pressure while we still have a chance – join the effort and add your name to stop the siege on water protectors at Standing Rock.

Last Tuesday’s #NoDAPL National Day of Action made it clear that the tribe’s supporters aren’t backing down. Thousands gathered outside Army Corps of Engineers and federal government buildings across the country to protest the pipeline construction. Twenty-two members of Congress called on the president to send legal observers to safeguard water protectors and journalists. U.N. officials denounced police and security violence against the nonviolent protesters and the “inhuman and degrading conditions” facing those who have been arrested and detained.

The water protectors’ resilience will not fade. Do your part to protect their rights and liberties.

Thanks for taking action,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team

No More PRANKS-Giving: How the Evaluation Community Can Start Rebuilding Relations with Indigenous Communities

Koolamalsi njoos (Greetings, colleagues and friends):image1

As the newest Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) Affiliate Researcher, I represent the oldest and least known communities on Turtle Island and Mother Earth: Indigenous people.  My Indigenous ancestors and relatives are on nii nooxw waak nii numoxoomus (my father Peter Bowman’s and my grandfather Morris Bowman’s) side of the family. Neekaawa Lunaapeewook waak Mohiikaneewi (they are Lenaape-Munsee and Mohican Indians).  Mohican (not the “last of” thank you very much) and Lenni-Lunaape Munsee (we were “renamed” “Delaware Indians” as we were “relocated” by the Europeans post-contact) are my Indigenous family and community members who arrived on this continent thousands of years prior to European contact in the 1400s, according to our oral traditions. For the reader’s convenience, I will continue the rest of this discussion in the language the colonial people forced upon Indigenous people when they arrived at and conquered Turtle Island (English).

We need to stop Pranksgiving, and this time of year gives us a chance to rethink Columbus and beyond!  So, as we embark on yet another “Thanksgiving” and Native American history “month” I’d like to offer a different, historical Indigenous perspective, “re-writing and re-righting” (Smith, 1999) the western narrative that the American story began when Columbus or Henry Hudson got here, and adding to or correcting the discourse and printed content which often excludes, is ignorant of, or provides a romanticized and incorrect version of Indigenous people’s perspectives, experiences, and contributions.  We were here before European contact, we’re still here surviving and thriving, and we will continue correcting the information regarding our Indigenous communities’ contributions to contemporary contexts.  This includes the wisdom and content that Indigenous people provide to modern-day educational, academic, governance, and other disciplines, topics, and contexts.

I am proud to be part of an evaluation community at CREA that is leading the way to encompass the history, values, perspectives, strengths, and contributions that our collective and strong diversity represents.  Some of these evaluation roots date back decades and some trace back centuries.  Others are unknown and/or are being re-awakened, recovered, and revived as we strive to understand our origin stories and the cultural, historical, and intellectual traditions of our Indigenous relatives and ancestors.  Undoubtedly, our awakening process is as critical to what we create as evaluators: designs, studies, publications, presentations, trainings, and transformative change that are sustained by the communities we humbly serve.  The journey as well as all the people, places, projects, and insights along the way provide a rich context in which we situationally understand more about ourselves, our traditions, our communities, and our broader academic context.

When the historical, contextual, technical, and content knowledge of Indigenous and underrepresented people is not woven into the more contemporary evaluation fabric, we are in conflict and ignoring the very mission, vision, values, and goals that our professional evaluation community (AEA) is supposed to uphold.  If we are to improve, increase, promote, and support activities that make for more effective evaluators and evaluations then as a profession, we must acknowledge, accept, and address the severe lack of equity, inclusion, ethical consideration, and legal protections critically missing from most evaluation activities, curriculum, studies, and discourse.

Current controversy provides a significant example for reflection and consideration.  Within both Indigenous and academic communities, I am often asked about the conflict surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the #NoDAPL counter-movement launched by human, water, and earth rights protectors from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.  #NoDAPL seeks to block a $3.8B, 1,100-mile fracked-oil pipeline currently under construction from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to Peoria, Illinois. DAPL is slated to cross Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where it would be laid underneath the Missouri River, the longest river on the continent, endangering a source of fresh water for the Standing Rock Sioux and 8 million people living downstream. DAPL would also impact many sites that are sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and other Indigenous nations.

As a culturally responsive community, and as competent and skilled evaluators, we all must understand the cultural, contextual, historical, and legal implications of DAPL and similar projects with Indigenous communities and Tribal nations.  This is one reason why the Indigenous origin stories must be part of the broader evaluation narrative so our “intellectual” evaluative foundations are aware, accurate, informed, inclusive, comprehensive, responsive, and responsible for situating our practice within a much longer and mostly unknown, destructive history than our contemporary publications, agencies, and evaluators acknowledge. Claiming expertise, ignorance, or other falsehoods is not acceptable if we profess to be a global evaluation community.

Like many projects – research, evaluation, and otherwise – conducted with Indigenous people, DAPL has deep, destructive, and illegal historical roots.  The project is in violation of treaty rights afforded the Standing Rock Sioux as a sovereign nation, reflecting the lack of recognition of Tribes as sovereign nations that stretches back to the earliest treaties enacted in 1774 between colonists and Indigenous Tribal nations.  How many research and evaluation projects have been enacted with Indigenous communities to “extract” knowledge and data without due consideration for Indigenous ownership of that knowledge and data?  Far too many!  And this must stop, for ethical, moral, legal, and professional reasons.

Reflecting on the DAPL project reminds us that our broader evaluation community is also about power, networks, and resources.  The perspectives and experiences of the “others” or “have nots” is greatly underreported in our evaluation, academic, education, and other contexts.  We only need to look at who gets funded, published, promoted, elected, or represented on key commissions, editorial review boards, or attends “invite only” events to see that while we talk about inclusion, equity, and diversity, there is little evidence of it in our “community” of practice.  What business interests, amount of dedicated resources, and professional practices are most prevalent in our evaluation community?  It depends on whose conference and what context you are in.  But the interests, practices and viewpoints of Indigenous and other marginalized groups are consistently and significantly absent!

DAPL and the #NoDAPL movement also remind us that our broader evaluation community privileges the written word and values certain evaluation voices – largely white and male – more than others.  A content analysis of AEA journals and evaluation published literature from the 1970s to the present (n=3,305 articles) demonstrates racialized and cultural incongruence issues that are consistently seen between program participants and evaluators stemming from white privilege, wealth inequities, and inequitable distribution of wealth along cultural lines in the United States.  Similar inequities appear when we consider whose voices are heard and respected in discussion around the DAPL project.  For example, DAPL was originally routed through Bismarck, ND, but was redirected in response to the voices of the powerful and political concerns of a municipality over drinking water.  However, voices against the inequitable, unethical, and unlawful treatment of a sovereign Tribal nation remain unheard, not covered by mainstream media as human or environmental concerns.  I welcome emerging voices that tell different stories in different ways – voices like those of Carl Sack, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is using critical cartography as a culturally-responsive and scientifically-sound method to provide a counter-narrative to the lack of media coverage of the historic, Indigenous and #NoDAPL perspective.



Figure 1.  Sack, C. (2016). The Black Snake in Sioux country: showing the Dakota Access Pipeline reroute through unceded treaty lands and its consequences.   Retrieved from https://northlandia.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/a-nodapl-map/

Where are the social justice evaluators and researchers?  Who will give voice to the historic and contemporary experiences and stories of the people, land, and destruction based on forced removal and contemporary trauma and violence stemming from DAPL? How is our evaluation community holding up the mission of “generating knowledge about effective human action” when we can’t even make a joint statement about #NoDAPL, let alone send a commissioned group of evaluators to ND?  Surely, the Canadian Evaluation Society and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission give us an example of how that is done!   Inclusion and action are the responsibility of everyone who claims to be a principled evaluator within the larger the evaluation profession.  Yes, YOU are being called to action because knowing better should mean doing better!  Standing Rock is just another contemporary example of centuries of injustices, destruction, trauma, and death dealt out to Indigenous people where most of the world stood by.  I am asking you at #NoDAPL and in other contexts to stand with us as global academic #warriors in solidarity as together as transformative evaluators.  In turn, you too will be transformed.

The bottom line is that I feel at home with CREA.  This is the interdependent place where we engage as family to draw enlightenment, continue to grow, and gather support from all races, ethnicities, contexts, cultures, socio-economic, gender, orientation, different abilities, and other diversity components as strengths to stand with us on the front lines.  Processing our ancient pain or contemporary trauma continues to be largely minimized, ignored, denied, and/or aggressively blocked by most post-contact people, institutions, literature, and systems.  Truly this can be paralyzing at times, and is a problem compounded by the low numbers of Indigenous academics who can add our communities’ voices to the mainstream narrative. So we need support, solidarity, and collegial partnerships.  CREA provides the place for speaking, sharing, and celebrating all that our community brings to evaluation; it is only through the stories, sacrifices, struggles, teachings and strengths of our ancestors/relatives coupled consciously and courageously with our CREA community that many of us Indigenous academics can continue.

In closing, I offer my perspective in the most humble and sacred way.  My words and vulnerabilities are my perspectives alone and are shared within context knowing that some of my Indigenous relatives died on the longest Trail of Tears journeys, were raped and killed by colonists, and continue to be treated as sub-humans suffering, traumatized, and dying on the lands that we were forced to move onto.  Yet we find ways to survive contribute and thrive.  As Waapalaneexkweew (Flying Eagle Woman; Accompanied by the Four Eagles), it is my responsibility to use my life to keep telling our origin and contemporary stories until the day Creator takes me back to the spirit world.  And from my deeply grateful heart, I’m so honored that we’ve created more academic, educational, and community spaces to share the truths of Indigenous perspectives that will continue transform us towards a more equitable and empowered future. I feel your strength, my beautiful CREA family, and I know Indian Country does too.  Anushiik (thank you) for being in it with us for the long haul.  We are one Tribe walking the Red Road, so see you soon.

Sincerely, Critically, and Indigenously Yours,

Waapalaneexkweew and my English name is Nicole Bowman (Mohican/Lunaape), PhD

Evaluator & Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison (www.wcer.wisc.edu/)

President, Bowman Performance Consulting, Shawano WI (www.bpcwi.com)

If you’d like more information to contextualize my comments, I suggest the following:


Bigelow & Peterson (Eds.). (2003). Rethinking Columbus. Milwaukee, WI:  Rethinking Schools.

Deloria, V. (1988). Custer died for your sins: An Indian manifesto; with new preface. Norman: University of Oklahoma.

Deloria, V. (1995). Red earth, white lies: Native Americans and the myth of scientific fact. New York: Scribner.

Hood, S., Hopson, R. K., & Frierson, H. T. (2015). Continuing the journey to reposition culture and cultural context in evaluation theory and practice.  Greenwich CT:  Information Age Publishing.

Tuhiwai Smith, L. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: research and Indigenous peoples. Dunedin, New Zealand: Zed Books Limited.

Job Announcement! MN Dept of Ed

job-openingPlease see the job announcement link below for more information on the Minnesota Department of Education, Office of Indian Education Director position. I encourage you to share this announcement with anyone within your network that you feel may benefit.

Director Office of Indian Education – Job ID 9290

Job Summary

This is a unclassified appointment that reports directly to the Commissioner of Education, which will serve as the Indian Education liaison between the Department of Education and the eleven tribal governments in Minnesota.  This position exists to provide leadership, policy development, program design and implementation of a comprehensive program for educational excellence and accountability for the American Indian students – pre K-graduate school.  This position will work with MDE, Tribal and public schools, Tribal governments, federal and state agencies and elected officials to fulfill the program’s desired outcomes.  The position has fiscal responsibility for and oversight of legislated grant programs and the Indian Education Act of 1988 (124.71 to 124D.82)

Important Announcement: Champions for Change Application Deadline Extended

cnay logo

 The Center for Native American Youth has extended the Champions for Change application deadline to Friday, November 18. Click here to apply. 

Champions for Change (CFC) is a leadership development program designed to shine a national spotlight on Native youth like you who are leading positive change in your communities. The CFC program gives Native youth a national platform to:

  • Educate new stakeholders about the challenges and strengths of Native communities,
  • Lift up youth perspectives on the issues you find most important,
  • Celebrate your innovative ideas and hard work to tackle tough issues, and
  • Receive support and encouragement to help you grow as strong leaders and advocates.

We’re still searching for the five young leaders who will join our fifth class of Champions for Change. We need your energy, leadership, and partnership to ensure that Native youth have meaningful opportunities to impact the issues that matter the most.

Make sure your application and three recommendations are submitted by Friday, November 18 to be considered for the 2017 class of Champions for Change.

REMEMBER: A COMPLETE Champions for Change application includes:

Visit us at www.cnay.org for more information about the CFC program and application. Still have questions? Contact CNAY at (202) 736-2905 or cfcapplication@gmail.com.

Information from:
Center for Native American Youth
Find CNAY on Twitter and Facebook


Dr. Bowman presents “Indigenous by Design”

Dr. Bowman

Dr. Bowman

AEA 2016 TIG Panel Session, Indigenous by Design


  • Stafford Hood (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Donna M Mertens (Independent Consultant – Independent Consultant)
  • Nicole R. Bowman (Mohican/Munsee, Research/Evaluation – Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, President – Bowman Performance Consulting, LLC)
  • Fiona Cram (Director – Katoa Ltd, Aotearoa New Zealand)
  • Carolee Dodge Francis (Associate Professor/Executive Director American Indian Research & Education Center – University of Nevada Las Vegas)

Saturday, October 29, 2016 | 8:00 am – 9:30 am EST | Room: International South 1

Session Information

From the session abstract: “Culturally responsive Indigenous evaluation (CRIE) is evaluation that is by, for and with Indigenous peoples. It is evaluation that recognizes that being Indigenous by design is about program innovation that seeks inspiration from traditional models of practice and ways of being. The teaching of elders and the legal and sovereign status of Indigenous nations legitimate such program designs. CRIE rises to the challenges this presents by engaging with Indigeneity in evaluation design and implementation, evaluation capacity building, and the maintenance of relationships with Indigenous communities that continues beyond one-off evaluations. In this way we seek to make evaluation both relevant and useful to Indigenous initiatives. This panel presents reflections on CRIE, including questions we ask ourselves as well as the answers we have come up with. In this way we seek to broaden conversations on CRIE so that others may think along with us, for the benefit of Indigenous peoples.”

Conference website

Conference agenda

Conference registration

Dr. Bowman goes Deep into the Social Justice Iceberg!

iceberg2AEA 2016 TIG Panel Session, Deep into the Social Justice Iceburg: How Evaluation Helps Design and Drive Whole-Systems Change (a live K-12 example)


    • Thomaz Kauark Chianca (Managing Partner – COMEA Relevant Evaluations)
    • Nicole R. Bowman (Mohican/Munsee, Research/Evaluation – Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, President – Bowman Performance Consulting, LLC)
    • Joanne McEachen (President & Chief Destiny Changer – The Learner First)
    • E Jane Davidson (President / Vice President – Real Evaluation / The Learner First)
    • Rodney K Hopson (George Mason University)
    • Ernest Robert House (Professor Emeritus – University of Colorado)
    • Sonya Horsford
    • Jacqueline Sakho

 Friday, October 28, 2016 | 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm EST | Room: Atrium Ballroom A

Session Information

From the session abstract: “Deep, lasting change for social justice can only happen when it goes right into the depths of the systems culture iceberg. That means changing not just policies, programs, and structures, but also ‘the way we really do things around here’. At the deepest level of all, it requires shattering dysfunctional beliefs and assumptions and embedding new ones. In this session, you will see a compelling live example of deep systemic change that is powered by social justice-driven evaluative thinking, design, methodologies and tools.”

Conference website

Conference agenda

Conference registration

Dr. Bowman to Present Improving Culturally Responsive Evaluation by Recognizing Cultural Values, Indigenous Rights, Evaluation Setting, and the Culture of the Evaluator


Dr. Bowman in Traditional Regalia

AEA 2016 TIG Multipaper Session, Improving Culturally Responsive Evaluation by Recognizing Cultural Values, Indigenous Rights, Evaluation Setting, and the Culture of the Evaluator

  • Chair/Presenters:
    • Nicole R. Bowman (Mohican/Munsee, Research/Evaluation – Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, President – Bowman Performance Consulting, LLC)
    • Laura Luo (China Agriculture University)
    • Linda Edith Lee, CE FCES (Partner – Proactive Information Services Inc)
    • Yelena Hill, M.D. (Manager, Organizational Knowledge)
    • Jenna LaChenaye, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor – University of Alabama Birmingham)
    • Larry K Bremner (Past President Canadian Evaluation Society)

 Friday, October 28, 2016 | 8:00 am – 9:30 am EST | Room: M103

Session Information

From the session abstract: “Improving Culturally Responsive Evaluation by Recognizing Cultural Values, Indigenous Rights, Evaluation Setting, and the Culture of the Evaluator”

Conference website

Conference agenda

Conference registration