Shekoli swakwe·ku. Kanyʌhtake·lu̲ ni yúkyats ukwehuwene·ha. Dr. Rebecca M. Webster ni yúkyats oʔsluniʔké·ha. Wakkwáho ni wakiʔtaló·tʌ. Onʌyoteʔa·ka niwakyuhúntsyo·tʌ. Talukowa·né nitwake·nú·. In English, a loose translation is: Greetings my friends. My Oneida name is Kanyʌhtake·lu̲, which means snow scattered here and there, trying to protect the land. My English name is Dr. Rebecca M. Webster. I am wolf clan. People of the standing stone is the land/earth I am made of. This is how we say that we are Oneida, People of the Standing Stone. I come from the place of the duck. This is how we distinguish which Oneida Community we are from. I am from Oneida, Wisconsin.
I joined the Department of American Indian Studies in 2016, became the Director of Graduate Studies for our Department in 2022, and was tenured in 2023. I primarily teach in the online undergraduate and graduate programs related to tribal administration and governance. Online courses and virtual meeting spaces allow me to continue to live and work on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin. Prior to joining the faculty at UMD, I served my tribe as an attorney for 13 years, focusing on government relations, jurisdiction concerns, and a wide variety of tribal land issues. I also served 7 years on the Oneida Land Commission, an elected body that makes land acquisition and land use decisions on behalf of the Oneida Nation. I received my B.A., M.P.A., and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and my Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.
In my personal and professional life, I strive to bring awareness to the issues we face on the Oneida Reservation as well as throughout Indian Country. Colonization, assimilation, and removal forced our ancestors to lay down their knowledge of our traditional governing structures, our language, our history, and our agriculture. Indigenous people have to constantly struggle to pick that knowledge back up all while participating in systems designed to see us fail. My publication record is a roadmap of those efforts spanning from intergovernmental relationships to food sovereignty to tribal administration and governance.
In addition to my work with the Department of American Indian Studies, I grow heirloom traditional foods with my family on our 10 acre farmstead Ukwakhwa: Tsinu Niyukwayayʌthoslu (Our foods: Where we plant things) and with Ohe·láku (among the cornstalks), a co-op of Oneida families that grow Iroquois white corn together. Ukwakhwa and Ohe·láku are located on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin. Based on our family farming practices, we started a YouTube Channel called Ukwakhwa (Our Foods) where we share what we learn about planting, growing, harvesting, seed keeping, food preparation, food storage, as well as making traditional tools and crafts. In 2021, we formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Ukwakhwa Inc., to help advance our goals of helping share knowledge with the community. Check out our adventures on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Undergraduate Courses Taught
Fundamentals of Tribal Strategic Management (AMIN 3810 & TAG 3810)
Fundamentals of Tribal Project Management (AMIN 3820 & TAG 3820)
Fundamentals of Tribal Operations (AMIN 3830) - developed by candidate
Introduction to Federal Indian Law (AMIN 4230 & TAG 4230)
American Indian Diplomacy: Treaties, Compacts, and Agreements (AMIN 4250 & TAG 4250)
Advanced Tribal Administration & Governance I: Human Resources (MTAG 5230)
Masters Directed Project (MTAG 5997)
2023. Book. Webster, R. M. (2023). Our Precious Corn: Yukwanénste. Michigan State University Press.
2023. Book. Webster, R. M. (2023). In Defense of Sovereignty: Protecting the Oneida Nation's Inherent Right to Self-Determination, University of Wisconsin Press.
2023. Article. House, T. M. & Webster, R. M. (2023). Traditional Governance and Indigenous Corn: Picking Back Up Our Yukwanuhsyu·ní Roles and Responsibilities. 1-18.
2022. Chapter. Webster, R. M., Ninham, P. & Poitra, M. (2022). Tribal Human Resources. In Webster, R. M. & Bauerkemper, J. (Eds.), Tribal Administration Handbook: A Guide for Native Nations in the United States. Michigan State University Press.
2022. Chapter. Webster, R. M. & Clark, J. (2022). Strategic Planning: Implementing Culturally Appropriate Planning Methods in a Contemporary World. In Webster, R. M. & Bauerkemper, J. (Eds.), Tribal Administration Handbook: A Guide for Native Nations in the United States. Michigan State University Press.
2022. Book. Webster, R. M. & Bauerkemper, J. (Eds.) (2022), Tribal Administration Handbook: A Guide for Native Nations in the United States. Michigan State University Press.
2021. Article. Webster, R. M. (2021). The Wisconsin Oneida and the WPA: Stories of Corn, Colonialism and Revitalization, Ethnohistory. 68(3), 407–427.
2021. Article. House, T. M. & Webster, R. M. (2021). Original Indigenous Instructions as the Basis for Curriculum, Journal of American Indian Education. 60(1&2).
2020. Article. Webster, R. M. (2020). Tribal and Local Government Agreements: Negotiating Mutually Beneficial Terms for Consideration of Services. American Indian Quarterly. 44(3), 302-328.
2018. Chapter. Webster, R. M. (2018). Food Reservations at the Reservation. In B. Fiedler (Ed.), Translating National Policy to Improve Environmental Conditions Impacting Public Health Through Community Planning. Springer.
2017. Chapter. Webster, R. M. (2017). Reconsidering blood quantum criteria for the expansion of tribal jurisdiction. In N. Hill & K. Rattertree (Eds.), The Great Vanishing Act: Blood Quantum and the Future of Native Nations. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing.
2016. Article. Webster, R. M. (2016). This land can sustain us: Cooperative land use planning on the Oneida Reservation. Planning Theory and Practice, 17(1), pp. 9-34. doi: 10.1080/14649357.2015.1135250.
2015. Article. Webster, R. M. (2015). Service Agreements: Exploring payment formulas for tribal trust land on the Oneida Reservation. American Indian Quarterly, 39(4), pp. 347-363.