National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Annette Lee

Affiliation: St. Cloud State University

Annette S. Lee is an astrophysicist, artist and the Director of the Native Skywatchers (NSW) research and programming initiative with three decades of experience in education as a teacher, university instructor, teacher educator, program administrator, professional visual artist, and researcher. The overarching goal of NSW is to communicate the knowledge that indigenous people traditionally practiced a sustainable way of living and sustainable engineering through a living and participatory relationship with the above and below, sky and earth. We hope to inspire all people to have a rekindling or deepening sense of awe and personal relationship to the cosmos.

Currently Annette is an Associate Professor of Astronomy & Physics at St. Cloud State University (SCSU), Director of the SCSU Planetarium, and an Indigenous STEM consultant for Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College.  Annette is mixed-race Native American and her communities are Ojibwe and D(L)akota. Particular focus will be on examples, tools, and strategies of this interdisciplinary and intercultural, community based research, the Native Skywatchers initiative.  Professor Lee is the 2018/2019 AIA Webster Lecturer.


All people look up at the night sky with awe, excitement, and curiosity, but few realize that the constellations have many names from different cultures throughout human history. The familiar stars of the Northern Hemisphere night skies have important teachings that embody the crucial relationship between the sky above and the Earth below.

Explore indigenous teachings related to constellations of the Ojibwe, D/Lakota, and Ininew people under the stars on the planetarium dome with speaker Annette S. Lee. She will discuss the Native Skywatchers initiative and share revitalization strategies such as “dual-learning” and “two-eyed seeing” that weave together cultural and scientific knowledge, stories, and hands-on activities where neither is dominant over the other and resonance between the two is easily found.

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