Albuquerque, NM
Oglala Sioux Tribe
BIE – Loan for Service

University of New Mexico


Community Service

I incorporated a nonprofit in January 2021 that will directly benefit our Indigenous communities. The nonprofit is an Indigenous archaeological research and training program for Native American students promoting Indigenous sovereignty over ancestral cultural and natural resources while preserving New Mexico’s vast heritage. Our program will sponsor cultural revitalization efforts and facilitate a rebalancing of power dynamics between Indigenous peoples and mainstream America. We believe that the past can best be studied by archaeological scientists collaborating with descendant groups to empower Indigenous communities leading to a more comprehensive understanding of Indigenous technology and lifeways.

Our primary goal is to be a steward of archaeologically sacred sites for descendant communities. Collaboration and training are essential to help preserve and protect our cultural heritage for future generations. The history of archaeological research in New Mexico has been entangled with colonial agendas and mistrust, where too often Indigenous people were treated as objects to be studied and quantified. As Indigenous archaeologists, we envision a more productive way to study archaeology through collaborative work with tribal entities where research is conducted on their own terms, benefiting their own communities. Native people will decide what aspects of research can be shared with the public and larger scientific community.

Funds from the AIGC Loan for Service have allowed me to make progress to finish my dissertation at the University of New Mexico. Furthermore, AIGC funds have provided me with the inspiration and opportunity to incorporate a nonprofit that will benefit my communities. 

Short Bio

Jacqueline Kocer is a PhD Candidate at the University of New Mexico currently working on her dissertation examining Gallina (AD 1100-1300) ceramics. Her research involves the study of cultural identity through ceramic production practices. Upon graduation, she plans to teach at a tribal college and run her nonprofit company that will include a collaborative research program and archaeological field school for Native American students. Kocer is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Dissertation Improvement Fellowship. Jacque has also received funding from the BIA Loan for Service Grant and the SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship for Native Americans.