Darren Ranco


Chair, Native American Programs and Director of Native American Research, University of Maine

Dr. Ranco has a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology, the George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research and in Native American Programs, where he serves as Chair of Native American Programs and Coordinator of Native American Research. His research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States resist environmental destruction by using indigenous diplomacies and critiques of liberalism to protect cultural resources, and how state knowledge systems, rooted in colonial contexts, continue to expose indigenous peoples to an inordinate amount of environmental risk. He teaches classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance. A member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, he is particularly interested in how better research relationships can be made between universities, Native and non-Native researchers, and indigenous communities.


  • Native American Rights
  • Wabanaki Climate Justice & Adaptation

Dr. Ranco will examine current and future climate change impacts to the Wabanaki Tribal Nations and their climate adaptation priorities and activism. Emphasis will be on how climate change is threatening indigenous livelihoods such as agriculture, hunting and gathering, fishing, forestry, energy, recreation, and tourism, and in turn how these threats are already impacting the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of Wabanaki and other indigenous people.

  • Native Americans, the 14th Amendment, and Voting in Maine