News Release

Professor Brenda Child Awarded 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship

Professor Brenda Child

Brenda Child, Northrop Professor of American Studies in the College of Liberal Arts on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus, has been awarded a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 

Child’s selection comes after a rigorous application process, one in which just 180 individuals were selected from almost 2,500 applicants on the basis of outstanding achievement and exceptional promise.

“I am truly honored to have received the Guggenheim Fellowship. Not just for myself, but because it acknowledges the significance of my field, which is American Indian history,” said Child. “I have always felt supported in this work at the University of Minnesota. As we say in Ojibwe, "Chi-Miigwech," thank you — it is so much!”

Child is a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa in northern Minnesota where she served as a member of a committee writing a new constitution for the 15,000-member nation. She also previously served as a member of the board of trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian and was president of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. 

“Dr. Child's scholarship and service has contributed significantly to American Studies and American Indian Studies, to her College, to the University, to her profession and to the world since joining the University of Minnesota in 1996,” said U of M Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel T.A. Croson. “This Fellowship is a hard-earned and well-deserved recognition of her expertise and impact. We are honored to have her in our academic community.”

Child is the author of several award-winning books, including “Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940,” which won the North American Indian Prose Award, and “My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation,” which won the American Indian Book Award and the Best Book in Midwestern History. Her best-selling book for children, “Bowwow Powwow,” won the American Indian Youth Literature Award for best picture book.

“I will use my time to complete my book on the history of American Indian marriage, “The Marriage Blanket: Love, Violence, and the Law in Indian Country,” said Child. “It looks at the history of domestic violence, disenrollment and citizenship, and changes in family life under the reservation system, an era of continuing dispossession.”

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About the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Since its establishment in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted nearly $400 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals, among whom are more than 125 Nobel laureates, members of all the national academies, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, Turing Award, Bancroft Prize, National Book Award, and other internationally recognized honors. For more information on the 2022 Fellows and their projects, visit the Foundation’s website at

Media Contacts

Savannah Erdman

University Public Relations

Christopher Kelly

University Public Relations