Making Canoes Making Kin Making Waves: The Native Canoe Program with Ȟaȟáwakpa (Dakota) / Misi-Ziibi (Anishinaabe) / The Mississippi River - Vicente Diaz, University of Minnesota

Vicente Diaz, Department Chair and Distinguished University Teaching Professor in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota

AbstractThis talk presents an overview of The Native Canoe Program's engaged research, learning/teaching, and community building through Indigenous watercraft and the "craftwork" of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge about water/land/sky.  Central to the program's activities, which include building and use of Native canoes from Oceania and Turtle Island, and virtual, augmented, and mixed reality simulations in partnership with the University of Minnesota's I/V Immersive Lab, is the imperative to rebuild relations of kinship and reciprocal care with the Mississippi River and other bodies of water and their own kinship and reciprocal relations with land, sky, humans, and other-than-human life forms.

Vince Diaz

AboutVicente M. Diaz (Pohnpeian Carolinian and Filipino from Guam in the Micronesian region of the Pacific) is Distinguished University Teaching Professor, Chair of the Department of American Indian Studies, and Founder and Director of The Native Canoe Program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  Diaz works at the intersection of American Indian and Pacific Islander canoe culture revitalization, work that involves hands-on canoe building, traditional voyaging practice and ecological knowledge, Indigenous critical theory and digital media production in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality platforms. 

Beyond the Lab Seminars

At SAFL, we value learning from experts in environmental science and fluid mechanics during SAFL Seminars, as well as examining issues, ideas, and areas of study from a multitude of perspectives beyond these disciplines during Beyond the Lab Seminars. Through Beyond the Lab Seminars, we learn from experts in other fields and the community, enriching our understanding of environmental science and fluid mechanics while situating research and other concepts in a holistic context. 

Past Beyond the Lab Seminars include

Do you have an idea for a Beyond the Lab Seminar? Email Clare at

Start date
Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 3 p.m.

This is a hybrid event.

Attend in-person: St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, 2 Third Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414


Watch the Recording