Christine Grabowski, Ph.D., Principal

Christine Grabowski is an anthropologist and the Principal of Grabowski & Associates, LLC.  She has worked with and for tribes for over 30 years, consulting on such issues as:

• Tribal governance
• Tribal membership
• Federal Acknowledgement
• Land-into-trust and restored land actions
• Cultural preservation
• Historical representation
• Economic development
• Public relations

Many, if not most of the cases on which Dr. Grabowski has worked are negotiated or decided within administrative and/or legal arenas and therefore require the preparation of exhaustively researched and meticulously documented evidentiary analyses and rebuttals.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Grabowski has prepared such reports on behalf of tribal clients in diverse administrative procedures and court actions including: the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Federal Acknowledgment (BIA OFA) [previously called the BIA Branch of Acknowledgment and Research or BAR], the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA), and the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC).

Dr. Grabowski has also written evidentiary reports and whitepapers for legislative initiatives, tribal membership challenges, federal acknowledgment petitions and rebuttals as well as in support of litigation. She has given oral presentations to tribes, local non-Indian communities and government officials with respect to client projects.

In addition, Dr. Grabowski has provided strategic political and media consulting for tribal clients. She served as the consulting anthropologist for a documentary film on the Ramapough Indians of New Jersey, “American Native,” directed by Steven Oritt.

Dr. Grabowski has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives regarding the federal acknowledgment process independently of her work for specific clients. She has given scholarly talks on federal recognition, federal Indian policy and tribal gaming. In addition, she has given presentations at press conferences and been interviewed on radio with respect to her work for tribal clients as well as independently of a specific project.

Dr. Grabowski obtained a Ph.D. in anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1994. Her dissertation is entitled, “Coiled Intent: Federal Acknowledgment Policy and the Gay Head Wampanoags.” The latter examines the way in which federal Indian law constrained and shaped the interpretation of evidence in the federal acknowledgment process.

She lives in New York City and works for tribal clients throughout the U.S.


Dr. Grabowski’s research and analysis has contributed to the federal acknowledgment of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) (MA) (1987), the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council (MA) (2007) and the Shinnecock Tribal Nation (NY) (2010).

Her work was successful in clarifying the bona fide membership of the Mooretown Rancheria (CA) (2005) and the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians (CA) (2011, 2015).

Dr. Grabowski’s research and analysis were the basis of the Mooretown Rancheria’s successful restored land decision (2006) and the Mashpee Wampanoag’s Tribe’s land-into-trust decision (2015).

Dr. Grabowski also provided anthropological consulting for an award-winning documentary, “American Native,” on the Ramapough Indians of New Jersey (2015)

Most recently, Dr. Grabowski has been working with Chairman Valentin Lopez (Amah Mutsun Tribal Band) and others to oppose the canonization of Fr. Junípero Serra, the architect of California’s oppressive missions. She has co-authored letters to Pope Francis and Governor Brown on this issue, participated in press conferences and met with President Miquel Ensenyat of Mallorca (Serra was born in Mallorca) regarding the canonization.