Theresa McCarthy


Theresa McCarthy.

Theresa McCarthy


Theresa McCarthy


Fields of Interest

Native American Studies, especially Haudenosaunee traditionalism and languages in contemporary contexts; Haudenosaunee citizenship/clans; Haudenosaunee women; Historiography of anthropological research on the Iroquois; Iroquois factionalism; Linguistic research methodologies; Community-based/applied research initiatives


  • PhD, Cultural Anthropology, McMaster University
  • MA, Symbolic Anthropology, University of Western Ontario
  • BA (hons), Anthropology with Linguistics specialization, University of Western Ontario


Theresa McCarthy is an Onondaga nation, Beaver clan citizen of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario. She is the author of In Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River which won the 2017 Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s Best First Book Prize. Theresa’s research and teaching interests reside in the areas of Haudenosaunee citizenship/clans, Haudenosaunee/Six Nations land rights and sovereignty, Haudenosaunee languages and intellectual traditions, Haudenosaunee women, the historiography of anthropological research on the Iroquois, Haudenosaunee temporalities, queer Haudenosaunee studies, linguistic research methodologies, and community-based/applied research. Theresa has published articles in American Indian Culture and Research Journal and Histories of Anthropology Annual. She recently worked on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council- funded archival project that digitized and repatriated an extensive collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century ethnographic material collected from Six Nations community members. She also worked as a co-producer on an educational documentary about the 2006 Haudenosaunee land reclamation near Caledonia, Ontario. For these, and other contributions, Theresa is recognized as Associate Professor /Iakorihonnién:ni of Indigenous Research at Six Nations. 

Theresa is currently a UB Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow and she is Co-Chair of the Indigenous Inclusion Sub-Committee of the UB Inclusive Excellence Leadership Council. She is also the Principal Coordinator for the UB Haudenosaunee-Native American Studies Research Group, which she co-founded with the late Barry White (Seneca), and the late Bob Antone (Oneida) in 2008. A longtime advocate for the revitalization of Indigenous languages, Theresa has worked on reinstating Haudenosaunee language courses at UB, and on building relationships with nearby Haudenosaunee communities in support of Indigenous language learning. She is both grateful and proud to be living and working here on Seneca Nation territory.  

Current Research

Professor McCarthy is currently working on a co-edited volume titled, Ohahase:ˀ Nęswehdahk neˀ Ǫgwehǫ:weh Ęyagodrihwi̲hsago hǫ:gyeˀ (New Paths to go Down for Research about/by Indigenous People): Haudenosaunee Intellectual Traditions. Contributors to this volume discuss how their work reclaims Haudenosaunee intellectual traditions by focusing on the community-based contexts of Haudenosaunee cosmology, resistance, diplomacy, and land tenure.

Professor McCarthy is also conducting research for her second major book project on Haudenosaunee women’s leadership in contemporary times. This new work examines Haudenosaunee women’s political theorizing and action in three areas: land and environmental protection, antiviolence work, and youth advocacy. Her book explores how Haudenosaunee women uphold our responsibilities to creation, to each other, and to future generations, and how these actions maintain and further Haudenosaunee sovereignty in the present.

Professor McCarthy is also completing new publications on Haudenosaunee temporalities, on queer readings of Haudenosaunee material culture, and on contemporary conflicts involving the Gaya’shra’gowa and Canadian law. 

Selected Publications

  • Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. Forthcoming Spring 2016.
  • “Iroquoian and Iroquoianist: Anthropologists and the Haudenosaunee at Grand River.” Histories of Anthropology Annual, Volume 4, 2008.
  • Db🇳🇮s nisahsgaodvj?: Haudenosaunee Clans and the Reconstruction of Traditional Haudenosaunee Identity and Nationhood” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 2010.

Awards and Grants

  • UB Gender Institute, Gender Week Grant, 2007
  • Fulbright Scholar at SUNY-Buffalo, Center for the Americas
  • United Nations Bursary Award

Courses Taught

  • Indigenous Knowledges and Sustainable Futures
  • Six Nations People in Contemporary Times
  • Honoring Indigenous Women
  • Critical Readings in Indigenous Scholarship
  • Indigenous Human Rights
  • Globalization, Development and Indigenous Peoples
  • Native American Literature
  • First Nations Literature in Canada

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Studies Graduate Committee at UB
  • Member, The Buffalo Seminar on Racial Justice
  • Member, American Anthropological Association
  • Member, Society for the Anthropology of North America
  • Member, The President’s Committee on Indigenous Issues, McMaster University