Jay Hansford C. Vest, Ph.D. is an enrolled member in the Monacan Indian Nation and a direct descendent of the famous chief Opechancanough of the Pamunkey Nation, who took Captain John Smith captive as a murder suspect in 1607. In addition, he was honored with a traditional Pikuni (Blackfeet) name and ceremonially adopted by elder Joe Crowshoe of Brocket, Alberta in June 1989.
He holds these degrees, B.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle; and M. A., M. I. S., Ph.D., University of Montana.
Dr. Vest is Professor of American Indian Studies at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Born in the Blue Ridge and valley region of Virginia, he was raised in Buena Vista, which retained a thriving Indian community. His Native ancestry has been traced the Saponi, Pochick Nansemond and Nottoway peoples as devolved from Fort Christanna into Rockbridge and Amherst Counties, Virginia.
A 1992-1993 Fulbright professor in Bamberg, Germany, he has taught American Indian Studies at universities in Montana, Washington, Arizona, Alberta, Minnesota, New York and North Carolina. During 1995, he was a fellow with the D’Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library in Chicago. In 2005-2006 he enjoyed a senior Fulbright award as the inaugural Research Chair of Indigenous Studies at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Selected as a 2008 Oxford Round Table fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University, England, he participated in a program devoted religion and peace.
Dr. Vest’s interests include American Indian Religious Traditions, Folklore and Oral Traditions; American Indians and Cinema; American Indian History and Contemporary Issues; Tribal ethnohistory and ethnography: Saponi-Monacan-Tutelo, Powhatan, Meherrin- Nottoway, Pikuni-Blackfeet, Salish, Iroquois, Walapai and Lumbee, among others. His published works account for nearly one hundred twenty publications including books and monographs, as well as one hundred peer refereed journal articles or book selections; in addition he has delivered nearly one hundred fifty formal presentations and sponsored lectures, including several plenary lectures at international conferences and seminars as well as consultations with several tribal nations and scholarly journals. He has also served as book review editor for the American Indian Quarterly from 2004-2009. He is author of Will-of-the-Land: A Philosophy of Wilderness Praxis and Environmental Ethics (2011), The Bobtail Stories: Growing Up Monacan (forthcoming), Native American Sacred Geography and Environmental Ethics (in press review) and Native American Oralcy: Interpretations of Indigenous Thought (in press review).
Dr. Jay Hansford C. Vest,
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013
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