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Nick Estes

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Nick Estes (Kul Wicasa Sicangu Tintonwan) holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in history from the University of South Dakota. Born and raised along the Mni Sose (Missouri River), much of Estes’ previous research focused on the river’s environmental history and politics of the Pick-Sloan dams, federal Indian policy, South Dakota political history, and the Oceti Sakowin (The Seven Council Fires or “The Great Sioux Nation”). Historian by training, he also incorporates critical Indigenous studies, oral history, decolonization methodologies, settler colonial theory, affect theory, and new materialism into his current research. Estes’ work interrogates the political economy of the northern Great Plains, the politics of property, land tenure, resource extraction, border town violence, Indigenous internationalism, Lakota treaties and history, and human rights.

Before coming to the UNM American Studies Department, Estes worked with the South Dakota Office of Indian Education and the American Indian Institute for Innovation on STEM education and postsecondary matriculation initiatives in Indian Country. He developed and implemented a four-year high school curriculum on Oceti Sakowin Oyate Studies, which has been used to teach hundreds of Native students at the SD GEARUP summer residential program on the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus. Estes is also currently an educational consultant for an SD Board of Regents laboratory school initiative.

Estes is also a part-time photographer and writer and a full-time relative. Follow his blog: