Margaret Jacobs, Director for the Center for Great Plains Studies

Margaret Jacobs became the Director of the Center in 2020. She has been at UNL since 2004 and is the Charles Mach Professor of History. She is the author of four books and over three dozen articles, most of which focus on the history of Indigenous child removal by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Australia, from the late nineteenth century up to the present.

Since 2015, Jacobs has been researching how these three nations and everyday citizens in them are reckoning with and making redress for human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples. She held an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship from the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 2018-2020 for her project, Does the United States Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission? She published After One Hundred Winters: In Search of Reconciliation on America’s Stolen Lands in 2021, and has co-founded a multimedia project with journalist Kevin Abourezk called Reconciliation Rising.

Jacobs also is co-director with Liz Lorang of the Libraries of the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project at UNL. She was the 2015-16 Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University in England. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in October 2019.

"I relish the interdisciplinary nature of the Center for Great Plains Studies and I love working with fellows and affiliates from all four NU campuses," Jacobs said. "I'm enthusiastic about continuing and expanding the Center’s long history of community engagement and outreach."

Margaret Jacobs