Iowa Native Spaces

Iowa Native Spaces Project: First K-12 teacher workshop, April 2017, Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, IA

Since 2015, Professor Jacki Rand has led a collaboration among multiple community- and university-based partners to develop and implement the Iowa Native Spaces project. Iowa Native Spaces is a public humanities project which aims to help transform public understandings of American Indian and U.S. history, by developing online digital mapping technologies to help circulate new narratives that challenge conventional readings of indigenous pasts, presents and futures in the state and region. Key community-based collaborators include staff at the Meskwaki Historical Preservation Department and the Tribal Historic Preservation Office of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. Key university-based collaborators include UI graduate and undergraduate students, especially graduate students involved in History Corps; AINSP faculty; and staff from the Office of the State Archaeologist.

The Iowa Native Spaces project features data collection from archival and oral history sources, website construction, digital mapping using online technologies, planning and implementing workshops for new curricular developments in teaching Iowa history for K-12 teachers, and other components which provide opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students with interests in public history, digital humanities, and/or American Indian & Native Studies to learn and apply skills in public and digital humanities.

Professor Rand successfully procured initial funding for Iowa Native Spaces through an Arts & Humanities Initiative Major Project Grant from UI’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.