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Leo Killsback

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SUM/WTR Faculty Teaching
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4603
Lincoln Center Affiliated Faculty
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4603
Biography

Leo Killsback is an Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. He is a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation of southeastern Montana. Killsback grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and he culturally and spiritually identifies himself as a Cheyenne person.

Killsback earned a doctorate degree in American Indian Studies with emphases on tribal government, tribal law, federal Indian law, and American Indian culture and spirituality. His dissertation entitled, The Chiefs’ Prophecy: the Destruction of Original Cheyenne Leadership During the Critical Era, 1876-1935, is an epic of the history of Northern Cheyenne leaders, governance, and leadership systems. Written from a Cheyenne-centered perspective, his work uses traditional Cheyenne philosophies and oral traditions, as well as decolonizing theories to track the sources of modern tribal leadership and government problems specific, but not isolated, to the Northern Cheyenne.

Research Interests

Dr. Killsback’s academic interests are in tribal sovereignty, government, and Federal Indian Law, traditional customary law, indigenous leadership, American Indian spirituality, and Plains Indian history and culture. Dr. Killsback is interested in the history of the Great Plains and Plains Indian Nations, and also interested in critical theories in race, racism, deconstruction, and decolonization. Other interests include sacred sites, history, social theory, and indigenous theorizing. Dr. Killsback is currently authoring a book that requires the translation, transcription, and interpretation of early 20th century hand-written stories in both the Cheyenne and English languages. Other research projects include articles about (1) customary laws related to peacemaking, (2) customary laws related to religious freedom rights, (3) customary laws related to tribal sovereignty, (4) the current threats and situation of American Indian and Indigenous rights, and (5) language and culture preservation.

Publications

Books

  • Killsback, Leo. A Sacred People. (Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press) (under review).

Articles

Chapters

Reviews

Monuments

Non-refereed International Publications

  • Killsback, Leo. “Written Statement: Truth and Reconciliation,” at the Significance of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Health Education Development): A Conference and Consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, (April 27, 2011) Tucson, AZ. 
  • Killsback, Leo. “Recommendation: Cultural Property and Informed Consent, Indigenous Peoples of the North American Plains, UNPFII-10 Agenda Item 3(c): Free Prior and Informed Consent.” North American Indigenous Caucus, Arcata, CA. (March 20, 2011).
  • Killsback, Leo. “Recommendation: Indigenous Sacred Sites, Indigenous Peoples of the North American Plains, UNPFII-10 Agenda Item 3(b): Environment.” North American Indigenous Caucus, Arcata, CA. (March 20, 2011).
  • Killsback, Leo. “Recommendation: Social Development in Under-represented Indigenous Populations, Indigenous Peoples of the North American Plains, UNPFII-10 Agenda Item 3(a): Economic and Social Development.” North American Indigenous Caucus, Arcata, CA. (March 19, 2011).
  • Killsback, Leo. “An Indigenous Peoples’ Statement to the World Delivered at The Parliament of the World’s Religions Convened at Melbourne, Australia on Traditional Lands of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, December 9, 2009.” 

Non-refereed National Publications

Non-refereed Local Publications

Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 180Intro/American Indian Studies
AIS 394Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 455Cultural Resource Law
AIS 509Amer Indian& Indigenous Rights
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 420Amer Indian Studies Research
AIS 494Special Topics
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 180Intro/American Indian Studies
AIS 420Amer Indian Studies Research
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 394Special Topics
AIS 521AI Leadership and Resistance
AIS 590Reading and Conference
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 180Intro/American Indian Studies
AIS 494Special Topics
AIS 499Individualized Instruction
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 180Intro/American Indian Studies
AIS 494Special Topics
AIS 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 394Special Topics
AIS 517Customary Tribal Law and Gover
AIS 590Reading and Conference
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 420Amer Indian Studies Research
AIS 494Special Topics
AIS 590Reading and Conference
Summer 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 180Intro/American Indian Studies
AIS 394Special Topics
AIS 494Special Topics
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 394Special Topics
AIS 499Individualized Instruction
AIS 502AIS Research Methods
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 494Special Topics
AIS 521AI Leadership and Resistance
Summer 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 180Intro/American Indian Studies
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 394Special Topics
AIS 494Special Topics
Fall 2012
Course NumberCourse Title
AIS 180Intro/American Indian Studies
AIS 502AIS Research Methods
Presentations

International Presentations

National Presentations

  • Leo Killsback, “Decolonizing the Rez: Rebuilding Native Nations through Traditional Principles of Unity, Brotherhood, and Sovereignty,” presented at the 59th Annual Western Social Science Association Conference, San Francisco, CA, April 12, 2017
  • Leo Killsback,  “American Indian Studies, American Indian Sovereignty: Protecting the People and Protecting the Discipline,” presentation at the 18th Annual American Indian Studies Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM, February 3, 2017.
  • Leo Killsback,  ““Ve'ho'o Tells the Best Lies”: The Cheyenne Perspective of Colonization,” Paper presented at 58th Western Social Sciences Association Conference, Reno, NV. April 15, 2016.
  • Leo Killsback, “Colonizing and Decolonizing Native America: Re-claiming the American Indian Political Identity,” invited lecture at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts, sponsored by Decolonizing Indigenous Generations, April 16, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “Indigenous Resurgence: Re-imagining and Reclaiming Tribal Sovereignty,” invited lecture at the “Tribal Sovereignty in a Changing World” Conference at Pomona Community College, Claremont, California, March 6, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “Colonization, Decolonization, and Settler Colonialism: The Native American Experience in the Mountain West,” invited lecture for the Peace Advocacy Coalition 2015 Lecture Series at Salt Lake City Community College, Salt Lake City, February 24, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “Colonization, Decolonization, and Settler Colonialism: The Native American Experience in the Mountain West,” invited lecture for the Peace Advocacy Coalition 2015 Lecture Series at Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, February 24, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback,  “Colonization, Decolonization, and Settler Colonialism: The Native American Experience in the Mountain West,” invited lecture for the Peace Advocacy Coalition 2015 Lecture Series at the Hinckley Institute of Politics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, February 23, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Future of Decolonization in Theory and Reality,” presentation at the 16th Annual American Indian Studies Association Conference: Sustainability of Traditional Language, Culture, and Knowledge, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, February 5, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “Colonizing and Decolonizing Indian Nations: Rewriting and Re-righting Indian History,” invited keynote presentation for American Indian Awareness 2014, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 6, 2014. 
  • Leo Killsback, “My Grandfather, Chief Morningstar,” invited presentation at the Dedication of Little Bighorn National Monument, Crow Agency, MT, June 25, 2014. 
  • Leo Killsback, “Ethnic, Indigenous, Native, or Indian: The Future of American Indian Studies,” Paper presented at 54th Western Social Sciences Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM. April 4, 2014.
  • Leo Killsback, “Rules of Civilizing in 2014,” paper presented at The 15th Annual American Indian Studies Association Conference: Activism: Continuity, Resistance, Obligation, Tempe, Arizona. February 6, 2014.
  • Leo Killsback, “Our Spiritual Relationship With Mother Earth,” Mother Earth, Father Sky 2013: Perspectives on Natural Science and the Environment of the American West, to Honor and Acknowledge the Work of the New Mexico Environment Law Center sponsored by Southwest Seminars. Santa Fe, New Mexico, December 16, 2013.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Legend of Morningstar: Righteousness and Leadership in the face of Colonization,” paper presented at the 135th Anniversary of the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork Symposium and Dedication of the National Historic Place, Battle Canyon. Scott City, Kansas, September 27 – 28, 2013.
  • Leo Killsback, “Rules for ‘Civilizing’ American Indians and their Reverberations into the Modern Era,” roundtable discussant at the 55th Western Social Sciences Association Conference. Denver, CO, April 10, 2013.
  • Leo Killsback, “Research on Cheyennes: From the Academy,” on the panel entitled “Protecting Your Community from Harm & Getting Results: Research Regulation Options for Tribes.” Presented at the National Congress of the American Indian Mid-year Conference and Marketplace, Lincoln, Nebraska. June 17-20, 2012.
  • Leo Killsback, “A Ceremony of Ashes: The Pipe, Customary Law, and Plains Indian Practices of Justice.” paper presented at 54th Western Social Sciences Association Conference, Houston, Texas. April 12, 2012.
  • Leo Killsback, “Indigenous Perceptions of Time and History.” Paper presented at 53rd Western Social Sciences Association Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. April 14, 2011.
  • Leo Killsback, “Indigenous Perceptions of Time and History.” Paper presented at The 12th Annual American Indian Studies Association Conference: Native Planning: Aligning Decision-Making with Our Original Instructions, Tempe, Arizona. February 4, 2011.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Documentary: Converging Research, Reaching New Audiences.” Paper presented at the American Journalism Historians Association 29th Annual Convention, Tucson, Arizona. October 9, 2010.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Battle Where the Girl Saved Her Brother.” Invited speaker at the Rosebud Battlefield National Historic Monument Dedication, Busby, Montana. June 17, 2010.

Regional and Local Presentations

  • Leo Killsback, “Tribal Sovereignty, Tribal Consultation and Coordination,” at the Land Defenders and Water Protectors Teach-In, ASU, Tempe AZ, November 19, 2016.
  • Leo Killsback, “Indigenous Peoples Day,” at the Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration, sponsored by the Indigenous Peoples Day council, Phoenix AZ, October 10, 2016.
  • Leo Killsback, “Morningstar: Four Principles of Leadership,” at the Dedication of the Cheyenne Memorial, Fort Robinson State Park, Fort Robinson, Nebraska. July 15, 2016.
  • Leo Killsback, Keynote Address: “Reclaiming American Indian Leadership,” at the Native Leadership Summit: Leaders Aiming for Change, sponsored by One Native Nation, SFAB & Cooley Funding, and ASU American Indian Support Services, ASU-Polytechnic Campus, April 8, 2016.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Impact of Negative Stereotypes,” at the Native Leadership Summit: Leaders Aiming for Change, sponsored by One Native Nation, SFAB & Cooley Funding, and ASU American Indian Support Services, ASU-Polytechnic Campus, April 8, 2016.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Spiritual Reawakening: Claiming Your Role as an Indigenous Leader of the Next Generation,” invited lecture for American Indian Culture Week sponsored by the ASU American Indian Council, ASU-Tempe Campus, April 13, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “Indigenous Perceptions of Time: Decolonizing Theory, World History, and the Fates of Human Societies,” invited guest lecture for the College of Letters and Science, Native American Studies Department, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, April 6, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “Tribal Sovereignty,” invited guest lecture for NAS 105: “Introduction to Native American Studies,” Dr. Matthew Herman, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, April 6, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Impact of Negative Stereotypes and Mascots,” invited lecture for “Legal Issues and Impacts from the Harmful Use of “Indian Mascots” panel at the Spring Training for Lawyers (formerly the Minority Bar Convention) sponsored by the State Bar Association of Arizona and the Native American Bar Association of Arizona (NABA-AZ), Phoenix AZ, March 20, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback,  “Race and American Indians,” invited guest lecture for PLSC 101: “Introduction to Political Science,” Dr. Leonardo Fiqueroa-Helland, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 23, 2015.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Future of the Northern Cheyenne Language,” invited guest lecture for AIS 508: “Revitalizing Indigenous Languages” Dr. Mary-Eunice Romero-Little, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. November 20, 2014.
  • Leo Killsback,  “Today’s American Indian Activism and Leadership,” invited guest speaker for Native American Heritage Month, Scottsdale Community College, November 12, 2014.
  • Leo Killsback, “Crime in Indian Country, Jurisdiction, Justice, and the Violence Against Women’s Reauthorization Act,” invited guest lecture for JUST 301: “Criminological Theories”, Dr. Giancarlo Panagia, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 6, 2014.
  • Leo Killsback, “Official Report on the Use of the term R*DSK*N in Arizona Media” presented at the “Change the Mascot: R*dsk*ns and the Legacy of Columbus,” panel sponsored by the ASU American Indian Graduate Student Association, Tempe, AZ. October 10, 2014.
  • Leo Killsback, “Colonization and Decolonization in American Indian Film.” Invited guest speaker for ASU ENG 465 Course: Studies in Film, Professor Laura Tohe, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. October 23, 2013.
  • Leo Killsback, “Decolonization Tribal Leadership.” Invited guest speaker for NAIS 335 Course: Decolonizing Tribal Governments, Dr. Cheryl Bennett, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado. October 17, 2013.
  •  Leo Killsback, “Critical Race Theory and American Indians in Film and Media.” Invited guest speaker for multicultural event sponsored by Phi Sigma Nu fraternity, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. March 5, 2013.
  • Leo Killsback, “The History of Federal Indian Law and Policy,” at the Tribal Government Leadership Forum, Tempe, AZ.  Sponsored by Arizona State University Office of Public Affairs. February 21, 2013.
  • Leo Killsback, “Principles of American Indian Leadership,” at the Tribal Government Leadership Forum, Tempe, AZ.  Sponsored by Arizona State University Office of Public Affairs. February 22, 2013.
  • Leo Killsback, “The Challenges and Successes of Achieving Goals as an American Indian.” Invited guest speaker at the 5th Annual Take Charge! – Native American Leadership Today Conference, Phoenix, Arizona. September 23, 2011.
  • Leo Killsback, “Keynote Address: The Future of American Indian Research, Ethics, and Values.” Invited paper presentation at the American Indian Graduate Research Symposium, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. April 25, 2011.
  • Leo Killsback,  “Indian Rights and Movements Among the Northern Cheyenne.” Invited guest lecture for ASU AIS 494 Course: Indian Rights and Movements, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. March 22, 2011.
  • Leo Killsback,  “Traditional Governance and Leadership Systems.” Invited dissertation subtopic presented at the Tribal Government Leadership Forum, Phoenix, Arizona. April 6, 2011. (100% contribution)
  • Leo Killsback,  “Alcohol, Drinking, and Sobriety on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.” Invited guest lecture for ASU AIS 394 Course: American Indian Philosophical Worldviews, Tempe, Arizona. November 15, 2010 (100% contribution)
  • Leo Killsback,  “Indigenous Perceptions of Time and History.” Invited paper presented at ASU AI/AN Programs Gathering, Tempe, Arizona. November 22, 2010.

Panel Presentations

National Panels

Local/Regional Panels

  •  “Global Cafe - One word "Indian," Two Communities,” sponsored by the Indian Student Association (ISA) and American Indian Council (AIC), ASU Memorial Union, Tempe, AZ, November 19, 2014.
  •  “2nd NDN Tube Film Festival.” Invited judge for an event sponsored by the ASU American Indian Council, Tempe, AZ, November 22, 2013.
  • “The Monsters of the Cheyenne Oral Tradition.” Invited speaker for the event “Creatures of One World,” sponsored by Theta Nu Xi, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, October 30, 2013.
  • “NDN Tube Film Festival.” Invited judge for an event sponsored by the ASU American Indian Council, Tempe, AZ, April 18, 2013.
  •  “Professional American Indian Experience.” Invited discussant for an event sponsored by American Indian Student Support Services Canon Scholars, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, November 16, 2011.
  • “American Indian Culture Week Educational Forum.” Invited discussant sponsored by Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, April 18, 2011.
Editorships
  • (2014-2016) Co-editor of the Indigenous Policy Journal.
Professional Associations
(2004-Present) Western Social Science Association (2005-Present) American Indian Studies Association (2012-2014) Western Social Science Association Conference, American Indian Studies Section Coordinator
Service
  • (2016-present) ASU American Indian Studies Curriculum Committee, Chair
  • (2016-present) ASU American Indian Studies Academic Program Review Committee, Chair
  • (2016-present) ASU American Indian Studies Director Search Committee, Member
  • (2012-2013) ASU Office of the Special Advisor to the President, American Indian Initiatives, Faculty Consultant.
  • (2011-2014) ASU American Indian Studies Master of Science Admissions Committee, Member
  • (2011-2013) ASU American Indian Studies Curriculum Committee, Member
Consulting
  • Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Lame Deer, Montana
  • Northern Cheyenne Tribal School, Busby, Montana
  • Chief Dull Knife College, Lame Deer, Montana
  • Northern Cheyenne Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Lame Deer, Montana
Board
  • (2015-present) Board of Directors for Red Ink: International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Humanities.
  • (2011-2014) American Indian Studies Association, Board Member
Industry Positions
  • (2005-present) Rosebud Battle and Wolf Mountains Preservation Committee of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Lame Deer, MT.
  • (2005-present) Fort Robinson Breakout Committee of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Lame Deer, MT.
Pro Bono
  • (2004-present) Northern Cheyenne War Dancers Society, Northern Cheyenne Nation.
  • (2004-present) White River Northern Cheyenne Christmas Powwow, Busby, MT.
  • (2004-present) White River Northern Cheyenne Indian Days Celebrations, Busby, MT.