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Jennifer Weston

University of Massachusetts Boston

Associate Lecturer of Women's and Gender Studies

Jennifer Weston is a researcher, writer, and producer who has worked for the past two decades with tribal community programs focused on cultural resiliency, environmental justice, addictions research, education, and language revitalization. Currently she serves as project director for the Wôpanâak language nest, Mukayuhsak Weekuw: The Children's House, and as Language Department Director for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Since 2014 she has co-taught the Civic Engagement Scholarship Initiative (CESI) course at UMass Boston WGS 270 Native American Women in North America: Indigenous Mother Tongues, Leadership and Self-Determination.

From 2008-2012 Weston managed the Endangered Languages Program for Cultural Survival, Inc., in Cambridge, MA, building a network of contacts among 350+ tribal language programs, and helping to raise nearly $2 million for 6 grassroots tribal language programs. She also served as researcher and assistant producer for the 2011 documentary WE STILL LIVE HERE: Âs Nutayuneân, and wrote and co-produced the Âs Nutayuneân interactive companion website, OurMotherTongues.org

Weston previously worked as an associate/web producer for the PBS documentary series WE SHALL REMAIN, and as a correspondent for Lakota Nation Journal. As both a student and staffer at Brown University, she developed Native studies curricula and community programs to support Native student retention, and worked as a research assistant on drug court, prison recidivism, and Native youth projects. She also trained as a journalist with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters in Providence, RI, the founding editor of Indian Country Today, and through a Native American Public Telecommunications / PBS research and production apprenticeship at WGBH. 

Weston is Hunkpapa Lakota and grew up on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas, where she has served her tribal government as environmental outreach coordinator, grant writer, and executive assistant to the chairman. She is also a novice Lakotiyapi and Wôpanâôt8âôk learner.​