John Norder

  • Associate Professor - Department of Anthropology


340 Baker Hall

Research Interests

    Community-based participatory research methods
    North American Indigenous peoples
    Traditional ecological and cultural knowledge systems
    Historic and ancestral landscape use
    Landscape and applied geospatial methodologies
    Environmental and social justice
    North American archaeology
    Public and applied archaeology
    Heritage policy and law (NAGPRA, NHPA, NEPA)

Biographical Info

John William Norder is an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Tribe of North Dakota and descendant of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. He received his B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. His research and teaching reflect his commitment to community-based research in collaboration with Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States. He has worked with nearly 30 American Indian Tribes and First Nations communities in the central and western Great Lakes region with foci on the construction of Indigenous knowledge, landscape histories, material culture studies, cultural and natural resource management, economic development, community health and wellness, and historical and contemporary relations with state and federal governments. He has published and produced several articles and reports on these issues over the course of his career.

At Michigan State University, in addition to being faculty in the Department of Anthropology, he served as Director of the Native American Institute and has worked and been recognized for his efforts on Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students. On this latter he has served as an advisor for the MSU chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and the Indigenous Students Graduate Collective. Nationally, he has served on several committees for the Society for American Archaeology, including the Committee on Native American Affairs and the Repatriation Committee, which he also chaired. He is currently appointed to the Independent Science Advisory Panel for the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) where he serves to advocate for the Tribal Interests Working Group, which consists of 28 tribes in the greater Missouri River Basin.


  • Fitzgerald, Hiram, Deborah Johnson, Desiree Qin, Francisco Villaruel, and John Norder (2019) Introduction: A Developmental Systems Perspective on Children and Prejudice, in H. Fitzgerald, D. Johnson, D. Qin, F. Villarruel, J. Norder (eds) Handbook of Children and Prejudice. Springer Publishing, New York. Pp. 3-22.
  • Poitra, Christie and John Norder (2019), Implicit Bias and the “In/visible Indian” in the Classroom, in H. Fitzgerald, D. Johnson, D. Qin, F. Villarruel, J. Norder (eds) Handbook of Children and Prejudice. Springer Publishing, New York. Pp. 181-191
  • Norder, John (2018), Listen for the Echo of Drums Across the Water: Rock Art Sites as Engaged Community Research in Ontario, in S. Silliman (ed.) Engaging Archaeology: 25 case studies in research practice. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. Pp. 71-78.
  • Norder, John and Dagmara Zawadzka (2016), What the Places Teach Us: challenges for cultural tourism and indigenous stewardship of rock art sites in the North American Midcontinent, in L. Brady and P. Tacon (eds), Rock Art in the Contemporary World: symbols, meaning and significance. University Press of Colorado. Pp. 59-82.
  • Norder,John  (2012) ‘The invention and endurance of memory and place among First Nations of northwestern Ontario,Canada’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology (special issue), L. Russell and S. Jones (guest eds)
  • Dept. of Anthropology