Christopher Comer, Dean
Professor of Native American Studies
NASX 260 Indigenous Community Development in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
NASX 304/RELS American Indian Beliefs and Philosophy
NASX 354/ANTH/HIST Indians of Montana Since the Reservation Era
NASX 430 American Indian Education
NASX 475/PSCI 475 Tribal Sovereignty
NASX 494 Capstone Reading Course
NAS 594 Graduate Seminars in history and community development
One of the focal points of my work is to identify and analyze American Indian agency in the course of tribal history. I am a historian with research interests in federal Indian policy, twentieth century American Indian history, tribal sovereignty, and urban Indian history. I have studied these fields in relation to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the southwest Oregon coast, and the Chicago American Indian community. In my teaching I attempt to provide students with the analytical tools and knowledge base to promote tribal community development.
Ph.D., History, University of Illinois at Chicago
M.A., History, University of Illinois at Chicago
B.A., American Studies, Northwestern University
With Rosalyn R. LaPier: City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015. Winner, 2016 Robert G. Athearn Award for best book on the 20th century American west.
Seeking Recognition: The Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, 1855-1984. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009.
The Struggle for Self-Determination: History of the Menominee Indians since 1854.Lincoln University of Nebraska Press, 2005. Paperback edition, 2007. Winner, Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award.
Siege and Survival: History of the Menominee Indians, 1634-1856. Lincoln: Nebraska Press, 2002. Winner, Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award of Merit.
The Chicago American Indian Community, 1893-1988, Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Sources in Chicago.Chicago College Press, 1988.
"Fair Representation? American Indians and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition." World History Connected 13:3 (October 2016)
“Reinterpreting Historical Evidence: The Existence of Numerous Menominee Bands at the Time of Earliest European Contact.” In Wendy Everham, ed., Probing the Past: Festschrift in Honor of Leo Schelbert. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2015 . Pp. 3-14
With Rosalyn R. LaPier. “American Indians Moving to Cities.” In Susan Sleeper-Smith, Juliana Barr, Jean M. O’Brien, Nancy Shoemaker, and Scott Stevens, eds., Why You Can’t Teach United States History without American Indians. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015. Pp. 210-26.
With Bjørg Evjen: “Growing Indigenous Influence on Research: Extended Perspectives and a New Methodology? An Historical Approach.” In Kathryn Shanley and Bjørg Evjen, eds., Mapping Indigenous Presence: North Scandinavian and North American Perspectives. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2015. Pp. 27-56.
With Rosalyn R. LaPier. "'A one-man-relocation team': Scott Henry Peters and American Indian Urban Migration in the 1930s." Western Historical Quarterly 45:1 (Spring 2014): 17-36. Please contact me if you do not have access to JSTOR and would like a copy of this article.
"'Collecting among the Menomini': Cultural Assault in Twentieth-Century Wisconsin," American Indian Quarterly 34:2 (Spring 2010): 157-93. Please contact me if you do not have access to Project Muse and would like a copy of this article.
"'Standing out here in the surf:' The Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw of Western Oregon in Historical Perspective," Oregon Historical Quarterly 110:1 (2009): 6-37. Honorable Mention, 2010 Joel Palmer Award, Oregon Historical Society
“Developing a Voice: The Evolution of Self-Determination in an Urban Indian Community,” Wicazo Sa Review 17:2 (2002): 117-41.
"The Myth of the Vanishing Race,” Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian website, Northwestern University Library & Library of Congress.
“Protecting the Menominee: The Urban Setting as a Platform to Advocate for Justice,” in Susan Lobo and Kurt Peters, ed., American Indian Urban Experiences. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2001. Pp. 155-62.
“From Colonization to Self-Determination: American Indian Higher Education Before 1974,” Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 27:2 (1999): 12-23. Originally pp. 16-24 in Joanna Brown, ed., Critical Issues in Indian Higher Education. Chicago: American Indian Press, 1995. ERIC number ED 388 478.
“The Chicago American Indian Community, An ‘Invisible’ Minority,” in Maxine S. Seller and Lois Weis, eds., Beyond Black and White: New Voices, New Faces in United States Schools. Albany State University of New York Press: 1997. Pp. 45-60. Reprinted in Terry Straus and Grant P. Arndt, Native Chicago. Chicago: McNaughton & Gunn, 1998: 167-181; reprinted in Terry Straus, ed., Native Chicago, 2nd Edition, Chicago: Albatross Press, 2002: 293-307.
“Return to Namä'o Uskíwämît, The Importance of Sturgeon in Menominee Indian History,” Wisconsin Magazine of History 79:1 (Autumn, 1995): 32-48. Reprinted in Menominee Tribal News, April 12, 1996, pp. 16-19.
Featured in the Media
"Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Stories: City Indian," talk at the American Indian Center of Chicago, with Rosalyn LaPier, 23 May 2015. Recorded on Chicago Access Network Television.
Cultural Survival story on World's Fair Research, 12 February 2105
Robert G. Athearn Award for best history of the twentieth-century American West, Western History Association, for City Indian, 2016
Humanities Montana Fellowship, Spring 2015
Honored by Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians Education Department, July 2012
Short Term Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, June 2010
Honorable Mention, 2010 Joel Palmer Award, Oregon Historical Society, for “’Standing out here in the surf:’”
Short-Term Visiting Scholar, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, June 2009
Short Term Fellowship for Individual Research, The Newberry Library, Chicago, December 2008 – January 2009
Short-Term Visiting Scholar, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, June 2008
Visiting Faculty, Department of Anthropology, University of Hawaii, March 2008
Short-Term Visiting Scientist, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, July-August 2007
Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award of Merit, for The Struggle for Self-Determination, June 2006
Donald J. Sterling, Jr., Research Fellowship, Oregon Historical Society, Summer 2006
Native American Studies
Area of Expertise
Urban Indians from 1900 to Present; Federal Indian Policy from 18th Century to Present; Tribal Governance from 18th Century to Present
Professor, Department of Native American Studies, University of Montana, since 2006
Department Chair, Native American Studies, University of Montana, 2010-2014
Chair, Faculty Senate, University of Montana, 2011-2012
Associate Professor, Department of Native American Studies, University of Montana, 2000-2006
Dean and Senior Resident Faculty, NAES College, Chicago, 1997-2000
Director, Tribal Research Center and Professor of History, NAES College, 1992-1997
Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassador Program faculty, travel to visit indigenous communities and people, and government officials in Peru (2011), Venezuela (1999), Guatemala (1998), Mexico (1993, 1997), Bolivia (1994)
Field School, British Columbia and Northwest Coast, May 2012
Faculty Exchange Visit, University of Tromsø, Norway, May 2011
Field School, Mexico City, Hidalgo and Colima, Mexico, May 2010
Visiting Faculty, Universidad de Colima, Mexico, January 2010
Visiting Faculty, Universidad Tecnológica del Valle de Mezquital, Ixmiquilpan, Mexico, January 2010
NEH Summer Institute to study ancient Maya, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (1997)
Associated Faculty, Department of History, University of Montana
Consultant, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Historic Preservation Department, Keshena, Wisconsin
Advisor, Saokio Heritage, East Glacier, Montana
Advisor, Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassador Program, Albuquerque, New Mexico