Niiyokamigaabaw Deondre Smiles is an Indigenous geographer with multifaceted research interests including Indigenous geographies and epistemologies, science and technology studies, and tribal cultural resource preservation and protection. Smiles is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.
Smiles received a bachelor’s degree in geography from St. Cloud State University (2013), a master’s degree in global Indigenous studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth (2016), and a Ph.D. in geography from The Ohio State University (2020), where Smiles also spent a year as a President’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of History.
Smiles holds a number of leadership roles for the American Association of Geographers and is a member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and the Canadian Association of Geographers. Smiles also serves as the principal investigator of the Geographic Indigenous Futures Collaboratory (GIF Lab), which focuses on Indigenous geographic methods and collaborations with Indigenous communities, in addition to holding an affiliation with the University of Victoria’s Health, Environments, and Communities Research Lab (HEC Lab) and the University of British Columbia’s Egesta Lab. Smiles also serves on the editorial board of the journal Native American and Indigenous Studies and on the Leech Lake Tribal College board of trustees.
Smiles is of Ojibwe, Black, and Swedish descent and is a citizen of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.