2023 NAAS Steering Committee Elections Voting will Begin Soon!

Thank you to all of our excellent candidates for standing in the 2023 Native American Archives Section election. Please take some time to review their candidate statements and get to know them so you can make an informed choice.

You will be voting for:

  • One Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, for a two-year term; and
  • Four Steering Committee members (two-year terms). 

Ballots will be managed by SAA staff through Survey Monkey; keep an eye on your inbox for when the ballot opens! 

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect Candidates

The following candidate is running for the Vice Chair/Chair-Elect position:

Vina Begay

Vina Begay, MLIS, MBA

Assistant Librarian, Arizona State University

Biographical Information:

Vina Begay is a member from the Dine Nation and is the Assistant Librarian for Arizona State University (ASU). Her position has numerous responsibilities, but not limited, to the acquisition, processing, care, and management of Indigenous Archival Materials, additionally, her responsibilities is to review, develop, and ensure the Protocols are applied to ASU’s entire archival workflow and library circulated materials. Aside from her archival collection responsibilities, Vina works with numerous tribal communities in collaboration with ASU’s Community Driven Archives department in assisting and providing professional archival training. Before her employment with ASU, she has served as a Tribal Archive Consultant for several tribal communities, by providing professional archival training and help establish cultural archives tailored to the Tribe’s cultural practices, community, and governance structure. She has also served as a Tribal Liaison for many Universities and cultural institutions. Vina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater, Master in Business Administration, and a Master in Library Science with an emphasis of Archival Studies and Digital Information Management.

Candidate Statement:

I been a member of the Society of American Archivist for 2014, which I am currently serving as a committee member for the new Archival Repatriation Committee and NAAS steering committee for NAAS. As Vice Chair, I intend to continue to bring awareness and generate transparency for Indigenous communities regarding their cultural and historical information found in western institutions. As an Indigenous person raised with Dine traditional cultural practices and beliefs, these Protocols hold a huge place in my heart. Before I become an Archivist/Librarian, I have seen the mismanagement of our Indigenous cultural information in both archival and library materials, which driven me to pursue an MLIS in archives and digital archives, to help change how our Traditional Knowledge should be managed, even repatriated back to tribal communities. I have dedicated my career in providing professional archival training to tribal communities, in addition, provide tribal cultural competencies to Professional Archivists employed in westernized institutions, including how to adapt the Protocols in their institutions. As Vice Chair, I plan to continue advocating for Indigenous archives strategies within Western institutions in relations to the Protocol of Native American Archival Materials, also, connect western institutions and Tribal communities for collaborative archive initiatives. Additionally, provide support and awareness for Tribal Communities in archival autonomy and continue providing professional archival training to fit their cultural and archival needs. Furthermore, I continue to promote and communicate NAAS in effort to recruit and mentor high school and undergraduate students from tribal communities as future archivists.

Steering Committee Member Candidates

The following candidates are running for the section steering committee:

Ruth Cody

Ruth Cody

Digital Access Manager, NC State Archives

Biographical Information:

Ruth Cody acknowledges her role as a white, cis-gender female who works for a government institution that has historically perpetuated the harmful legacy of colonization through its records management and archival practices. Ruth Cody is the Digital Access Manager and Chair of the Community Building Committee of the State Archives of North Carolina. She received her BA in History from NC State University in 2009 and MA in Public History and Archives from NC State University in 2011. After working for two years at Duke University Rubenstein Library on Special Collections, she has spent most of her career at the State Archives of North Carolina where she has worked in reference, arrangement and description, preservation imaging and digital services. In her current role, she supervises a staff of five and manages the social media, online digital collections and website of the State Archives of North Carolina. As Chair of the Community Building Committee, she guides the Committee in defining its long-term role and its annual goals. The purpose of this committee is to build better relationships with communities that have been traditionally underserved. This involves finding and creating opportunities for staff education, developing programs and outreach to identify community needs, and providing support and services. In this role, her focus is on developing sincere, long-term and authentic relationships with prioritized communities including the American Indian, African American and Latin American Communities across North Carolina. She also serves on the Conscious Description Committee, where she helps to develop ethical language and description guidelines and the Management Team Committee, where she helps to develop the Archives’ Mission and Strategic Plan.

Candidate Statement:

I would like to self-nominate myself to become a member of the Native American Archives Section Steering Committee. In my role as Digital Access Manager, I am working to develop an online Native American Collection that would be jointly curated with the Tribal communities in North Carolina and which attempts, through design and description, to decolonize our institutional records and restore Native American voices to our institutional history. I have spent the last two years as Chair of the Community Building Committee working to develop relationships with NC Native American Tribes, individuals and organizations by reaching out and finding how the Archives can best provide support. I am working to provide research and reference services, to develop an understanding of archival needs for Native American Education and to learn how to restore the voice and narrative of Native Americans to the history represented by our institutional records. It has been an emotional and humbling experience. I believe that my involvement in this committee would be invaluable to me in this very important work. I also believe that sharing this experience may be beneficial to a future understanding of how government institutions can work with and serve Native American Communities by doing our best to decolonize our records through digital access and description with a focus on the needs and input of Native American Communities, organizations and guidelines including The Protocols for Native American Materials.


Steph HartfordSteph Hartford

MLIS Student, Simmons University

Biographical Information:

I’m halfway through my MLIS with an Archives Management Concentration at Simmons University. I hail from the Seattle area and make my home here while pursuing the online degree and working for a local public library. Tribal archives have become my passion and I feel lucky to have wonderful Tribal archival and cultural organizations here in Washington State.

Candidate Statement:

This semester in my Archival Access and Use class I was able to shape an ethics discussion centered around Native burial grounds—by encouraging my classmates to always consider the needs of Tribal archival professionals. This summer I’ll be visiting as many Tribal archival and cultural institutions as I can in Washington State to find out what their needs are and what non-Tribal archivists can do to support them. As a Steering Committee member I would blend active listening with speaking on behalf of fellow students as well as those local Tribal archival professionals I’m currently establishing connections with. With my leadership, I would encourage the Section to prioritize the creation of resources that could help non-Tribal archivists improve their connections with Tribal archivists in their communities, like written guides, videos, panel discussions, and events. Thank you for considering my candidacy!

Mary Katherine Kearns 

Assistant Archivist

Biographical Information:

I am Mary Katherine Kearns, the assistant archivist for Nicholls State University Archives and Special Collections in Thibodaux Lousiana. I earned my provisional certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists and have been actively working to develop experience and knowledge in the profession to receive my full archival certification. I received my Master's in Library and Information Science with a certificate in Archival Studies and a dual emphasis in Cultural Heritage from Lousiana State University. Nicholls State University is where I earned my Bachelor's in Fine Arts with an emphasis in art history. I have a great love and appreciation for exploring the arts and history. The opportunity to discover more about the First Nations holdings in archives and provide accurate, detailed information is my goal for our repository and any future potential archival holdings.

Candidate Statement:

As a new archivist, I am pleased to learn more about the profession and the ways we can improve our profession. I deeply love and appreciate the arts and the history of various cultures and people. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more and develop my knowledge of the various First Nations and their stories.


Kelley Klor HeadshotKelley Klor

MLIS Graduate Student, University of Missouri

Biographical Information:

Kelley Klor (she/her/hers) is a MLIS student concentrating in Archival Studies at the University of Missouri, an Active-duty military spouse, and a citizen of Cherokee Nation. Previously, Kelley worked in the nonprofit sector in program management and as a food insecurity advocate, educating and connecting military families and leaders to resources and information. Kelley is currently a graduate research assistant focusing on investigating extensible provenance methods, and is dedicated to learning about Indigenous archival issues including repatriation, description, and cooperation based on Protocols recommendations. Kelley is a co-presenter at the 2023 Archival Education & Research Institute and the 2023 Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting. Kelley was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2023 Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums conference; the 2022-2023 American Indian Library Association’s Virginia Mathews scholarship; the 2022-23 Ralph H. Parker Scholarship from University of Missouri; and participated in the 2022 Digital Library Federation DLF Forum as a Forum Fellow. She is a member of the Society of American Archivists, American Indian Library Association, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums. She volunteers at the Fort Belvoir MWR Army Library. Kelley currently lives in Northern Virginia and enjoys running and spending time with her family. She hopes to pursue her Ph.D. following graduation from the MLIS program.

Candidate Statement:

I struggled growing up as a Cherokee person experiencing disconnection from my culture. Inaccurate and incomplete historical narratives affected my identity as a Native American person. Now as I connect culturally, I clearly recognize the importance of the relationship between Native American collections, non-Native institutions, and cultural identity and memory. As a graduate research assistant, I learned much about how incomplete provenance description of patrimonial Indigenous objects and remains in repositories affects repatriation efforts, slowing - or even preventing - spiritual and psychological healing for affected communities. As a member of the Steering Committee, I would like to participate in NAAS efforts to identify and strengthen archival provenance research skills that can result in reducing identified gaps and archival silences.


Stephanie Rogers

Aamijwnaang Anishinabaug
Intern Archivist
Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, London, ON 

Biographical Information:

Stephanie Rogers earned her BA in Indigenous Studies from First Nations University of Canada in Saskattchewan, and then a law degree from the University of Ottowa. She has many years of experience in the field of cultural property protection, and the repatriation of Ancestors and their belongings from archaeological sites and museums.

Candidate Statement:

Stephanie Rogers has worked for her home community of Aamjiwnang and with the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation in Ontario, Canada. Ms. Rogers has participated in two international repatriations; the first was in conjunciton with the Siibiwing Center of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe and the second was a cooperative effort between the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe in Michigan, the Batchewana First Nation and the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Ms. Rogers brings to this position her knowledge and experience from the Anishinabaug peoples of the Great Lakes.