Joshua L. Reid 

Joshua L. Reid is a registered member of the Snohomish Indian Nation and Associate Professor in the Departments of History and American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. Reid currently holds the John Calhoun Smith Memorial Endowed Chair in History and is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest at the University of Washington. His research interests include American Indians, identity formation, cultural meanings of space and place, the American and Canadian Wests, the environment, and the Indigenous Pacific.

Reid is the author of award-winning book The Sea Is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs (2015), which the first study to explore the history and identity of the Makahs from the arrival of maritime fur-traders in the eighteenth century through the intervening centuries and to the present day. A full-scale history of the Makah people of the Pacific Northwest, this book examines the way Makahs and other Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast engaged settler colonialism through non-Native trade, settlement, treaty-making, law, bureaucracy, and property.  You can learn about his work on customary fishing laws and the legacy of colonisation here:

Reid is currently researching a new book, tentatively titled Indigenous Explorers: Making Indigenous Futures and Pacific Worlds, for which he has received fellowships and grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, and the University of Washington. He is also co-editing a volume about Indigenous borderlands. He continues to serve as an expert witness for the Makah Nation on their current efforts to secure a waiver to the Marine Mammal Protection Act so that they can exercise their reserved treaty whaling rights.

Reid edits the Emil and Kathleen Sick Series on Western History and Biography with the University of Washington Press and the Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity with Yale University Press. He serves on the board of editors for the American Historical Review, on the editorial advisory board of the Pacific Northwest Quarterly, and on the board of the National Council for History Education.  

Contact Information:

• • 206-616-3661

Select History Publications:

“God Gave Us the Seals”: Makah Relational Modernity and the Consequences of Settler Conservation,” in Routledge Handbook of North American Indigenous Modernisms, eds. Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers (New York: Routledge, 2023), 44-61. 

“Whale Peoples and Pacific Worlds,” in Across Species and Cultures: New Histories of Pacific Whaling, eds. Ryan Tucker Jones and Angela Wanhalla (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2022), 275-82. 

“Replacing Rights with Indigenous Relationality to Reclaim Homelands,” in Bridging Cultural Concepts of Nature: Indigenous Places and Protected Spaces of Nature, eds. Rani-Henrik Andersson, Boyd Cothran, and Saara Kekki (Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 2021), 261-306. 

Edited volume with Susan Sleeper-Smith and Jeffrey Ostler, Violence and Indigenous Communities: Confronting the Past and Engaging the Present (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2021). 

““From Fishing Together to “To Fish in Common With”: Makah Marine Waters and the Making of the Settler Commons in Washington Territory,” at the Customary Laws of the Sea and Legacy of Colonialism event (part of UN World Oceans Day), 11 June 2020, available at:

“What Is at Stake for Washington’s Native Nations Today?” co-authored with Jean Dennison (UW), Melvinjohn Ashue (Hoh Indian Nation), and Lisa Wilson (Lummi Indian Nation), Pacific Northwest Quarterly 111.1 (Winter 2019/2020): 35-47.

“Indigenous Activism in the Era of Standing Rock,” 2018 University of Washington Alumni Association Lecture Series, available at:

“Indigenous-Anglo Interactions over Pacific Marine Space: Makahs, Maori, and the British Empire in the Pacific,” in Facing Empire: Indigenous Experiences of Empire in a Revolutionary Age, eds. Kate Fullagar and Michael A. McDonnell (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), 256-280. 

“From ‘Fishing Together’ to ‘To Fish in Common With’: Makah Marine Waters and the Making of the Settler Commons in Washington Territory,” Journal of the West 56.4 (Fall 2017): 48-56.

Reid, Joshua L. The Sea Is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs. New Haven, Yale University Press, 2015.

Reid, Joshua L. “Indigenous Power in The Comanche Empire.” History and Theory 52, no. 1 (February 2013): 54-59.

Reid, Joshua L. “Professor Igloo Jimmie and Dr. Boombang Meet the Heathens: Indigenous Representations and the Geography of Empire at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 101, no. 3/4 (Summer/Fall 2010): 109-125.