Linfield history professor receives top honors

History professor Lissa Wadewitz receives honors from Western History AssociationLissa K. Wadewitz, professor and chair of the Linfield University Department of History, received top honors by the Western History Association for her article, “Rethinking the ‘Indian War’: Northern Indians and Intra-Native Politics in the Western Canada-U.S. Borderlands.” The article was named the 2020 recipient of the WHA’s Oscar O. Winther Award, which recognizes the best article to appear in “Western Historical Quarterly” each academic year. Recipients are selected by the publication’s Board of Editors.

Wadewitz’s article gives an in-depth perspective into the Indian War and offers insight into the transformative decade of the 1850s.

“When placed in this larger context, the ‘Indian War’ of 1855–56 in western Washington must be seen as part of a longer continuum of disputes involving distant Native groups, intra-Indian negotiations, and forms of Indigenous diplomacy,” Wadewitz wrote. Her article provides a closer look at how the event’s key players attempted to manipulate these connections for their own purposes.

The prize-winning article was published in the Winter 2019 edition of “Western Historical Quarterly.”

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as the winner of the Winther Prize for 2019,” Wadewitz said. “To be recognized by my colleagues in U.S. Western history is a true honor and a wonderful affirmation of my work. I am especially grateful to the people who generously provided valuable insights and feedback on the piece at various stages of the writing process. I couldn’t have written the article without their help and willingness to collaborate!”

Wadewitz received her Bachelor of Arts in Asian studies from Pomona College and her master’s degree and doctorate in U.S history from UCLA. Her research focuses on U.S. environmental history, history of the U.S. West, and Native American history. Her book “The Nature of Borders: Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea” received multiple awards from the Western History Association and the North American Society for Oceanic History.