Alumni

Dislorei (Desi) Small-Rodriguez

PhD Student, Sociology/Demography
Dislorei (Desi) Small-Rodriguez
Academic Institution: University of Arizona Location: Tucson, Arizona Cohort Start Year: 2016
Research Topics: Healthcare Access, Healthcare Quality
Population Served: Native/Tribal/Indigenous Peoples

FOCUS
Desi Small-Rodriguez’s ongoing research explores issues of data equity for Indigenous peoples, specifically tribal data sovereignty and the enumeration of Indigenous peoples in official statistics and tribal data systems. She also examines the intersection of race, identity, and tribal citizenship.

MORE ABOUT DESI
Desi Small-Rodriguez is pursuing dual PhDs in sociology at the University of Arizona and demography at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. She received both her MA in Sociology and BA (with honors) in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University. A citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, Desi was raised on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana. She ran for her Tribal Council in 2012, and maintains a strong connection to her people and her homeland. Desi is committed to evidence-based tribal development and has served as a tribal researcher for tribes in the United States and Māori tribes in New Zealand. She also has a policy research background spanning tribal, national, and international governments. Desi is an appointed adviser to the Director of the United States Census Bureau as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations.

DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — FEBRUARY 2020
Remaking Collective Identities: Data Sovereignty, Citizenship, and Indigenous Nations

This dissertation does not seek to answer why blood quantum persists; rather, I examine how the fraught persistence of blood quantum is an example of both a race-making and nationmaking mechanism of statistical statecraft. I use the case of Native nations to study how forces of statistical statecraft, colonial race logics, and epistimicide1 converge to shape a narrative of data dependency in the United States. This study focuses on Native nations because the postcolonial realities of Native nations reflect the ongoing dialectical relationship between the violence of state knowledge production and official statistics systems.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HPRS DISSERTATION AWARDS, CLICK HERE.

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