Grace Chaillier

Grace Chaillier is a Contingent Associate Professor who has taught for the Center for Native American Studies (CNAS) at NMU for more than ten years.  She earned three degrees from NMU’s English Department, a Bachelor of Science in English (magna cum laude), a Master of Arts in English Literature and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She taught NAS 414: First Nations Women for the CNAS in the fall of 2012 and will teach it again in fall of 2015. With NMU editor Rebecca Tavernini, Grace edited and coordinated the publication of NMU Press’s Voice on the Water: Great Lakes Native America Now, a literature and art anthology that includes over sixty submissions by women. In June of 2010 her book article titled “Indian Female Characterization in Larry Watson’s Montana 1948” was published in Images, Imaginations, and Beyond: Proceedings of the Eighth Native American Symposium. A couple of her particular areas of interest are American Indian ecofeminism, Native female water ceremonies, and gendered power relationships among tribal members. Grace has an abiding interest in the experiences and lives of First Nations Women throughout North America. She reads and studies the writings of numerous Native females including: Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, LeAnne Howe, Winona LaDuke, Joy Harjo, Linda Hogan, Evelina Zuni Lucero, and Luci Tapahonso, to name just a few. She has worked with committees across campus, always keeping women’s issues in mind and under discussion. She also mentors students inside and outside of the classroom to uplift the ongoing experiences of women because she believes, as does Cheyenne/Muscogee activist and Medal of Freedom recipient Suzan Shown Harjo, that “When we [Native women] support each other it is so powerful—we are so powerful. When we don’t support each other, we are literally our own worst enemies.” Grace favors the Native tradition-based mindset that advocates honor for all living entities and respect for our relationships with them.