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Spring 2019

AIIS 2100: Indigenous Ingenuities as Living Networks 

This course explores Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) knowledge and its application across the disciplines and through time. In particular, it offers a glimpse into Cornell’s local indigenous culture through Haudenosaunee understanding of themselves as a unique people, maintaining traditional teachings and fulfilling ancient responsibilities in the world. Students will engage multiple primary sources including: art, archives, material and expressive culture and interact with Haudenosaunee knowledge holders, intellectuals, and elders. This course is under the direction and leadership of Instructor Jolene Rickard, (Ph.D., Associate Professor of History of Art, Art and American Indian Studies) and meets Tuesday/ Thursdays from 2:55- 4:10 PM | 100 Caldwell (Cornell's Ag Quad).


Kurt JordanJAN 29: Kurt Jordan 

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology & AIISP, Cornell University 

Prof. Jordan’s research centers on the archeology of Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) peoples, emphasizing the settlement patterns, housing, and political economy of seventeenth and eighteenth century Senecas. Dr. Jordan’s current project centers on the circa 1688-1715 Seneca White Springs site, also near present-day Geneva, New York. This site was founded in the aftermath of the 1687 French-led Denonville invasion of Seneca territory that resulted in the burning of all the major Seneca settlements in the homeland, including Ganondagan (now Ganondagan State Historic Site).  

FDoug Heorge KanentiioEB 5: Doug George-Kanentiio (Akwesasne Mohawk)

Author, Journalist, & Editor 

Doug George-Kanentiio is a Bear Clan member and Akwesasne Mohawk. He is also a well-traveled lecturer and author. He has written a number of critically acclaimed books including Iroquois on Fire and Skywoman: Legends of Iroquois, co-written with his wife, Joanne Shenandoah. So too he is co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association, and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian. He continues to advocate for the repatriation of the Haudenosaunee remains to their respective nations.

Vince SchiffertFEB 19: Vince Schiffert (Tuscarora)

History Teacher,  Niagara Wheatfield High School and Tuscarora Elementary School

From the Tuscarora Nation, Vince Schiffert is a leader of the Tuscarora Historical Society and on the Board of Director for the Iroquois Nationals, in addition to teaching at Niagara Wheatfield High School and Tuscarora Elementary School. He will speak about the importance of women to the formation of the Haudenosaunee confederacy, including the historical context for the life of Jogonhsase, the Mother of the Nations.

FKanen’tó:kon HemlockEB 21: Kanen’tó:kon Hemlock (Kahnawake)

Teacher,  Kahnawake Survival School

A Mohawk community Bear Clan Chief from Kahnawake, Kanen'to:kon Hemlock is a teacher of language, culture, and history. He is also a Chairperson of the Haudenosaunee External Relations Committee, and renown public speaker.

Louise McDonaldLouise McDonald (Mohawk Bear Clan)

As a Condoled Bear Clan Matron of the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs, Wa’kerakats:te Louise McDonald has worked for more than a decade to continue the historical and traditional strength of the Haudenosaunee through education and empowerment initiatives. One of her most influential societal contributions is her work to revive the Oheró:kon Rites of Passage ceremony, which helps youth make their transition into adulthood. She said renewing the ancient ritual was intended to combat social ills, such as drug abuse and suicide, and reconnect youth with their identity as Indigenous people. Louise also secured grant funding to expand the rites of passage to other Haudenosaunee communities across Ontario, and as a result, the program earned the 2015 Harvard Kennedy School’s prestigious “Honoring Nations” award for exemplary tribal governance. She is also a founding member of the Konon:kwe Council, a grassroots organization that develops and advances policies to end domestic violence. Through this work, she has mentored and empowered young women to use their voice and stand in their rightful place of honor within their communities.

Karl Hill at presidential inauguration at CornellAPRIL 16: Karl Hill (Cayuga Nation)

Karl Hill is a Sub Chief/Faithkeeper of the Cayuga Nation Heron Clan.  He joined the traditional Cayuga Nation Council in 2006.  Since joining the council, he has been asked to represent the confederacy in Geneva, Switzerland in the United Nations work regarding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  In 2007, when the UN adopted the declaration by vote, Karl was one of the Haudenosaunee delegates on hand at the UN plenary floor. Similarly, he has worked on the Organization of American States (OAS) Declaration of the Rights on Indigenous Peoples. In addition to his UN work, he has worked for the confederacy as the head of the Haudenosaunee Documentation Committee.  There, Karl interacts with US Customs and Border Protection and Department of Homeland Security regarding the upgrade of Haudenosaunee identification documents.  In 2009, he helped design the card and secure system using Haudenosaunee symbols and incorporating the global security standards listed in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 9303.