Indigenous Caucus

Mission Statement

The Indigenous Caucus of the Oral History Association was created to provide a visible and welcoming space for Indigenous Oral Historians to gather, and support each other’s work. 

The caucus aims to provide a community of support for our practitioners by creating the space and time to network and share knowledge and skills. Through our connection, we strive to amplify Indigenous voices within the field and promote the sustainability of this work for our practitioners. 

The caucus is committed to promoting research and practice which serve Indigenous people, communities, and nations, in and outside of academic spaces, and in and outside of reserv(e)/ation lands and Metis, non-status, or unrecognized Indigenous communities. 


  • The creation of an Indigenous Oral Historian mentorship program.
  • The establishment of a grant to support Indigenous students and community members (affiliates of non-academic Indigenous communities and organizations) attendance at the OHA annual meeting.
  • The launch of a website to share our work and increase our visibility. 

Brief Statement on Caucus History

The Indigenous Caucus gathered for the first time at the OHA 2021 conference. In the spring of 2022 the caucus wrote its mission statement and voted to become an official caucus within the structure of the OHA. The caucus was founded by Midge Dellinger, Benji de la Piedra, Rob Innes, Farina King, Sara Sinclair, Francine Spang-Willis, and Winona Wheeler.

Member Bios

Sara Sinclair

Caucus Chair
Details and Contact

Sara Sinclair is an oral historian of Cree-Ojibwa and mixed settler descent. Sara teaches in the Oral History Master of Arts Program at Columbia University. She is Project Director of the Aryeh Neier Oral History Project at Columbia Center for Oral History Research [CCOHR]. Sara is currently editing the memoir of former Canadian Senator and Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Murray Sinclair (McClelland & Stewart 2024). With Stephanie Sinclair she is co-editing two anthologies of Indigenous letters, for Penguin/Random House Canada. She is the editor of How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America (2020, Voice of Witness/Haymarket Books). She has contributed to the Columbia Center for Oral History Research’s Covid-19 Oral History, Narrative and Memory Archive, Obama Presidency Oral History, and Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project. With Peter Bearman and Mary Marshall Clark, Sinclair edited Robert Rauschenberg: An Oral History (2019, Columbia University Press). Sara’s current and previous clients include the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of the City of New York and New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Sara began attending OHA conferences in 2014. She served as OHA program committee co-chair in 2021. Visit


Midge Dellinger

Details and Contact

Midge Dellinger is of Mvskoke (Muscogee), Mexican, and European descent. She is a Mvskoke citizen and Oral Historian for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Historic and Cultural Preservation Department. In 2019, Midge received a Master of Arts in American Studies with an emphasis on Native American Studies at Northeastern State University.

Protecting and preserving Muscogee culture, tradition, and history is at the core of Midge’s oral history work. As a tribal historic preservationist, Midge also advocates for an authentic remembrance of Indigenous ancestors. Therefore, her research focuses on historical truth-telling and the intersections between Indigenous and U.S. histories. Areas of study are Indigenous boarding school history and the Civil War in Indian Territory. 

      In 2021, Midge received Tulsa University’s Linda J. Lacey Award for Mentoring Excellence for her work with TU’s boarding school project titled “Identifying and Honoring the Students of the Presbyterian School for Indian Girls, the Indigenous Boarding School that became the University of Tulsa.”

     Midge is currently the Native American Representative on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Oral History Association and past Co-Chair for the Oral History Association’s Indigenous Caucus.

Farina King

Details and Contact

Farina King, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, is the Horizon Chair of Native American Ecology and Culture and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, homelands of the Hasinais, or Caddo Nation, and Kirikirʔi:s, or Wichita & Affiliated Tribes. In 2023-2024, she serves as the interim department chair of Native American Studies at OU. She received her Ph.D. at Arizona State University in History. She is the author of various publications, including The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century; co-author with Michael P. Taylor and James R. Swensen of Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School; and author of Gáamalii dóó Diné: Navajo Latter-day Saint Experiences in the Twentieth Century. She is a co-editor of The Lyda Conley Series on Trailblazing Indigenous Futures with the University Press of Kansas. She is the past President of the Southwest Oral History Association (2021-2022). Previously, she was Associate Professor of History and affiliated faculty of Cherokee and Indigenous Studies at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, in the homelands of the Cherokee Nation and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees. She directed and founded the NSU Center for Indigenous Community Engagement. Her research traces the changes in Diné educational experiences through the twentieth century, using a hybrid approach of the Diné Sacred Four Directions. She has facilitated oral histories with Diné boarding school survivors, involving former students of the Intermountain Indian School, Crownpoint Indian Boarding School, Tuba City Boarding School, Leupp Boarding School, and Kayenta Boarding School. King also writes about Native American and Indigenous Latter-day Saint experiences, working with the Latter-day Saint Native American Oral History Project.

Francine D. Spang-Willis

Details and Contact

Francine D. Spang-Willis is of Cheyenne, Pawnee, and settler descent. She is an oral historian, educator, strategist, and researcher based in Bozeman, Montana. As the owner of Appearing Flying Woman Consulting, she collaborates with diverse organizations, communities, and individuals to create and implement community-centered oral history projects. Spang-Willis earned an M.A. in oral history from Columbia University. Her award-winning thesis, Becoming Wild Again in America: The Restoration and Resurgence of the Pablo-Allard Bison Herd, is a website and three-part podcast. She also has an M.A. in Native American Studies from Montana State University and a business management degree from Rocky Mountain College. She was an Obama Presidency Oral History project fellow from 2019 to 2020 and a supervisor of the editorial team from 2021 to 2022.

Winona Wheeler

Details and Contact

Dr. Winona Wheeler is a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation in Treaty 5 territory while her family comes from George Gordon First Nation in Treaty 4 territory. A lifelong student of Indigenous knowledge, oral history, anti-colonial theory and critical Indigenous Studies, Winona has been teaching and publishing in Indigenous Studies since 1988.

Winona has held appointments in Indigenous Studies at First Nations University of Canada (faculty, Department Head and Campus Dean), Athabasca University (faculty), and the University of Saskatchewan (faculty and former Department Head). She is a strong promoter of Indigenous research methodologies, oral history, community-engaged and social action research, and experiential/community service learning in her classes. Over the years she has developed, led, and collaborated on numerous research projects with Indigenous communities and organizations including, among others, specific land claims, the Manitoba Treaties Oral History Project, and as an expert witness on Indigenous oral histories in The Victor Buffalo Case Federal Court case. She is currently working with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner in Saskatchewan providing archival research for five First Nations who are doing oral history and ground penetrating radar research in search for the remains of missing children from five Indian Residential schools. She is also completing a book manuscript on the history of the Fisher River Cree Nation and building their digital archives and museum. She co-authored the second edition of Indigenous Oral History Manual, Canada and the United States (2023) with Barbara Sommers, Mary Kay Quinlan and the late Charles E. Trimble.

Dr. Wheeler earned her PhD in Comparative Ethnic/Native American Studies in 2000 (University of California, Berkeley), an MA in History in 1988 (University of British Columbia), and a BA Honors in history in 1986 (University of Manitoba).

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