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Jennifer O'Neal

Assistant Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies for IRES
IRES, Native American Studies
Phone: 541-346-8830
Office: 203 Alder Bldg
Office Hours: Wed. 12PM-3PM By Appointment (via Zoom)
Research Interests: Native American and Indigenous history; American West history; International Relations; Indigenous Data Sovereignty; Cultural Heritage Archives; Indigenous Knowledge Systems; Digital Humanities


Jennifer R. O'Neal is an Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon, and affiliated faculty with the History department and Robert D. Clark Honors College. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching focus on Native American, United States, and international relations history in the twentieth century to the present, with an emphasis on sovereignty, self-determination, cultural heritage, global Indigenous rights, activism, and legal issues. Her scholarship has appeared in various research journals and book chapters. She’s currently working on a book manuscript on international Native American activism in the 1970s. 

O’Neal’s work is dedicated to centering Indigenous traditional knowledge, applying decolonizing methodologies and Indigenous research methods, developing place-based education, and implementing guidelines for the ethical research of Native American communities and management of cultural heritage collections. Over the past fifteen years she has led the implementation of best practices, frameworks, and protocols for Native American archival materials in non-tribal repositories in the United States through the collective development of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials (2006). She also serves on various international and national committees and boards for various organizations, including the American Philosophical Society, the National Native American Boarding School Coalition, the Association for Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, and the Indigenous Archive Collective. Alongside colleagues from UO Libraries and Washington State University, she recently completed a multi-year grant titled, "Mukurtu Hubs and Spokes: A Sustainable National Hub for Digital Community Archiving," that provided training and implementation of the platform to UO and Oregon tribal communities. She is currently working on research focused on developing an Indigenous Research Center at UO to bridge connections between tribal communities and faculty, staff and students engaged in research with tribal communities. She also serves as a faculty co-director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Academic Residential Community. 

Prior to joining the UO, she held previous positions at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. She is an enrolled member of The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon.


PhD, History, Georgetown University
Master of Arts, Library and Information Science, University of Arizona
Master of Arts, History, Utah State University


My interdisciplinary research and teaching examine the social, political, and historial intersections of Native American, United States, and international relations history in the twentieth centrury to the present, with an emphasis on sovereignty, self-determination, nationhood, cultural heritage, and global Indigenous rights, across a variety of fields, mediums, and forms. My work is dedicated to centering Indigenous traditional knowledge, applying decolonizing methodologies and Indigenous research methods, and implementing place-based education. Within the Honors College, History, and Ethnic Studies departments, I've developed undergraduate courses engaging students in decolonizing pedagogy and community based-research with Indigenous communities to ethcially document and disseminate Native American history. More broadly, my work is dedicated to developing frameworks and guidelines for the ethical and collaborative stewardship of cultural heritage collections in partnership with source community members and repositories. 


“Transforming Collecting,” In Indigenous Languages and the Promise of Archives. eds. Link, Adrianna, Abigail Shelton, and Patrick Spero, 425-429. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2021.

“The Northern Paiute History Project: Engaging Undergraduates in Decolonizing Research with Tribal Communities,” with Kevin Hatfield, Western Humanities Review, vol. 74, no. 3 (2020): 193-214.

"From Time Immemorial: Centering Indigenous Traditional Knowledge in the Archival Paradigm," Afterlives of Indigenous Archives, eds. Ivy Scweitzer and Gordon Henry, University of Chicago Press, 2019.

Michelle M. Jacob, Emily West Hartlerode, Joanna Jensen, Kelly M. LaChance, and Jennifer R. O'Neal. "Placing Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledges at the Center of Our Research and Teaching," Journal of Folklore and Education, vol. 5, no. 2 (2018). 

Mark Carey, Kathy Lynn, Kevin Hatfield, and Jennifer R. O'Neal. "Teaching about Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: Decolonizing Research and Broadening Knowledge," Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities, eds. Stephen Siperstein, Shane Hall, and Stephanie LeMenager. New York: Routledge, 2016. 

"'The Right to Know: Decolonizing Native American Archives," Journal of Western Archives 6, no. 1 (2015).

"Respect, Recognition, and Reciprocity: The Protocols for Native American Archival Materials," in Identity Palimpsests: Archiving Ethnicity in the US and Canada, eds. Dominique Daniel and Amalia Levi, 125-142. Sacramento: Litwin Press, 2014.

“Going Home: The Digital Return of Films at the National Museum of the American Indian,” Museum Anthropology Review 7, no. 1 (2013): 166-184.

“Cultural Stewardship at the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center,” Calicut University Folkloristics Journal, 2010.

Honors and Awards

Wayne Morse Center Resident Scholar (2023-24)

Katrin H. Lamon Research Fellowship, School for Advanced Research (2022-23)

Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation Faculty Research Award, University of Oregon (2020-21)

Center for the Study of Women in Society, Faculty Research Award, University of Oregon (2020)

Sustainability Award, University of Oregon (2020)

Rippey Innovative Teaching Award, University of Oregon (2018-2019)

Henry Roe Cloud Dissertation Fellowship, Yale University (2018-2019)

Outstanding Faculty Award, Center for Multicultural and Academic Excellence, University of Oregon (2015)

Diversity Excellence Award, Society of American Archivists (2014)