Brenda Child

Brenda Child - Professor
Professor, Department of American Studies
College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities

Affiliate Faculty, Department of American Indian Studies

  • Arts and Humanities
  • American Indian


Brenda J. Child, Ph.D., is Northrop Professor of American Studies and former chair of the Department of American Studies and the Department of American Indian Studies.

Child is the author of award-winning books of American Indian history, including Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940, (1998), which won the North American Indian Prose Award; Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community, (2012); and Indian Subjects: Hemispheric Perspectives on the History of Indigenous Education (with Brian Klopotek), 2014. Her 2014 book My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation won the American Indian Book Award and the Best Book in Midwestern History. Child's book for children, Bowwow Powwow (2018), won the the American Indian Youth Literature Award for best picture book. 

Child served as a member of the board of trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian and was President (2017-2018) of the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association. She was born on the Red Lake Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota, where she served as a member of a committee writing a new constitution for the 12,000-member nation.

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