Meet Alexandra Peck: Visiting Scholar of Indigenous Studies


Alexandra Peck
Visiting Scholar of Indigenous Studies
Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative


We are pleased to announce the hire of Alexandra Peck, who will be joining the IAS this August for a two-year appointment as a Visiting Scholar of Indigenous Studies with the Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative.

As an undergraduate, she began working with tribal communities in Washington state. Although her graduate work took her across the country to Brown University, she continued working with the same communities back home and focused her research on the adoption of totem poles as an art form: “Totem Poles, a New Form of Cultural Heritage? The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Efforts to Restore Native Presence, Preserve History, & Combat Settler Colonial Amnesia.

Now that she’s completed her dissertation, Alexandra is undertaking a new digital mapping project with the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, working to locate and provide context for specific places and landmarks of significance. So far, she has identified, researched, and interviewed elders about at least 400 Native sites and is planning to build an interactive, digital map that is freely accessible online.

Upon arriving in Minneapolis, Alexandra is eager to explore the city and all the University has to offer. “One of the things I’m most excited about is the multi-campus component, and how people come together from different campuses to work on [the Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative],” she said. “And then, of course, I’m also excited to be working with community members and not just academics. As someone who’s been in academia, it’s refreshing to work with people who aren’t necessarily also in academia. They bring their own insights and their own knowledge to the table, oftentimes much stronger or much more accurate than what we experience on campus.”

Alexandra is also excited to explore Indigenous restaurants, connect with extended family living in northern Minnesota, and get to know the communities surrounding the Cities here.

“I’m just very honored to be working with all of you, as well as the group of scholars I met throughout the Zoom interview process,” she said. “It was such a non-traditional way of going about getting a job, but it felt just as rewarding and I feel extremely lucky to have landed here.”



Want to learn more about Alexandra’s work? Check out the video below. She recently spoke about her place-based research to a small group of University of Minnesota and Duncan of Jordanstone (Dundee, Scotland) students as part of the Ethics, Advocacy, Art, and Decolonizing Place-Based Research Symposia, supported by the IAS.


Research Interests:

  • Northwest Indigenous art
  • cultural exchange
  • placemaking
  • geography


Academic Background:

  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Brown University
  • M.A., Anthropology, Brown University
  • B.A., Anthropology,  Seattle University
  • Academic Certificate, Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Brown University

Follow Alexandra's Work: