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Professor Jeffrey Palmer headshot

PMA Assistant Professor Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa) 72nd Emmy nomination

Jul 29, 2020

We are proud to announce that the PBS American Masters season has been nominated for "Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series" at the 72nd Emmy Awards. Among the films nominated in this American Masters season is Cornell PMA Assistant Professor and AIISP affiliate, Jeffrey Palmer's documentary, N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear.
Film synopsis: A formative voice of the Native American Renaissance in art and literature, author and poet N. Scott Momaday was the first Native American to win the Pulitzer Prize. Interviews with Momaday, Jeff Bridges, US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Robert Redford and others tell the story of the National Medal of Arts-winner. Produced and directed by Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa).
The film can be viewed at PBS.
Congratulations Professor Jeffrey Palmer!

Black Lives Matter protest photo from Cornell Daily Sun's Michael Suguitan

Cornell Students for Black Lives quickly amasses support, launches fundraiser

Jun 10, 2020

In under a week, a group of students hoping to expand the Black Lives Matter movement in Ithaca organized a coalition, Cornell Students for Black Lives, that now includes over 175 member organizations including AIISP's affiliated, Native American and Indigenous Students at Cornell (NAISAC) undergraduate student organization. Cornell Students for Black Lives’ first initiative is a massive campus fundraiser (namely a GoFundMe), launching Friday evening. They hope to ultimately “amplify Black voices in the Cornell community and promote education and activism to end explicit and implicit racism,” said Ashley Bishop ’22, one of the group’s leaders. Sherell Farmer '21, further discusses the goals of the initiative in an op-ed published by the Cornell Daily Sun.

Professor Eric Cheyfitz

Op-ed: Cornell University: The erasure of memory

Jun 7, 2020

Eric Cheyfitz, Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters in the American Indian and Indigenous Studies at Cornell University, addresses Cornell University president Martha Pollack's recent statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Pollack's failure to include mention of the university's land-grab history in an op-ed published by LA Progressive.

Professor Kay WalkingStick

Art professor Kay WalkingStick elected to AAAS

May 29, 2020

Celebrated artist and Professor Emeritus Kay WalkingStick, who taught undergraduate and graduate fine arts students at Cornell from 1988 to 2005, was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Eric Cheyfitz

Op-ed: Covid-19 in Native America: The erasure of memory

May 22, 2020

Eric Cheyfitz, Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters in the American Indian and Indigenous Studies at Cornell University, states that in matter of Covid-19, “Native nations are not receiving the aid they need to effectively combat the virus so that their infection and death rate is disproportionately higher than that of the general population.” He connects this failure to bureaucratic invisibility, Indigenous-federal trust relationships and the overall “selective memory of erasure” and genocide.

Morrill hall from source Cornell Daily Sun

Cornell's land grant heritage: A sinister tradition?

May 15, 2020

As a land-grant institution, Cornell is “charged with advancing the lives and livelihoods of the state’s citizens through teaching, research and public service,” according to its website.  This was aided by almost 1 million acres of dispossessed American Indian land granted by the federal government, sold to form the basis of Cornell’s endowment — a sum of almost $6 million by 1914, equivalent to $150 million today. See more about land-grab universities.

Johnson museum from Cornell Chronicle

Indigenous art and a virtual shift

May 15, 2020

Every year, Dr. Karim-Aly Kassam collaborates with the Johnson Museum and curator Andrew Weislogel on the course “Indigenous Issues in Global Perspectives” (AIIS 1110). This year, they cocurated a group of works from the Museum’s collection for a class installation, “Personhood, Pluralism, and Hope,” to present indigenous art from around the world. Despite the circumstances of COVID-19, the class still had the opportunity to engage with the artworks virtually rather than in person as planned in the Museum’s study gallery. 

Professor Jolene Rickard

Smithsonian gallery hosting work by Cornell’s Jolene Rickard

Mar 11, 2020

Jolene Rickard, associate professor in the Department of Art (Architecture, Art and Planning), the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies (College of Arts and Sciences), and former Director of The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, has artwork currently on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.

David Strip

David Strip '77, PhD '78 establishes fund filling in the gaps for indigenous students

Feb 13, 2020

David Strip '77, PhD '78 gives gift to help establish a fund which fills in the gaps that traditional financial aid does not cover enabling indigenous students to mix with their peers on more equal footing. Strip had a unique purpose in mind for his gift: “to provide an opportunity for Native American students to develop assets to survive, and hopefully thrive, in the world they have been forced into.” 

Haudenosaunee Confederacy stands in Solidarity with Wet'suwet'en

Feb 7, 2020

The Haudenosaunee External Relations Committee of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy releases an official statement condemning the recent actions of the RCMP on the Unist'ot'ten camp and call upon the Government of Canada to end any further RCMP actions.

teepee with Richard Oakes in front

Thinking Indigenous: Richard Oakes and The Red Power Movement

Nov 20, 2019

Thursday, 12/5/19 Ithaca College, Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, Klingenstein Lounge, 6:00
Thinking Indigenous: Richard Oakes and The Red Power Movement, Keynote: Kent Blansett, U of Nebraska, followed by roundtable with Mohawk Elder, Tom Porter, and Journalist, Doug George (Mohawk). (Co-sponsored by AIISP and Ithaca College).

New Cayuga language class

Oct 11, 2019

For the first time in Cornell’s 154-year history, students this year can take a class to learn the language of the Cayuga Nation, whose traditional territory is now home to Cornell’s Ithaca campus. The launch of the class coincides with the United Nations’ declaration that 2019 is the Year of Indigenous Languages. Stephen Henhawk, a Cayuga speaker and historian, will teach the hands-on class.

flier for rural humanities meeting

First Rural Humanities Showcase Spotlights Cornell

Sep 23, 2019

Poetry and performance -- as well as more traditional presentations -- comprised the first Rural Humanities Showcase, held in the A.D. White House.  Kurt Jordan, associate professor of anthropology and Director of the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Materials Studies, described his decades-long archaeology work on Haudenosaunee sites on which he collaborates with Indigenous communities and institutions. 

Steven Henhawk, Cayuga standing at Pounder Garden, Cornell.

Inaugural Course on Cayuga Language and Culture Starts This Fall

Sep 10, 2019

This fall, Cornell introduced a new course in which students can learn the traditional language Gayogo̱hó:nǫ and culture of the Cayuga Nation, the Indigenous community whose land Cornell’s Ithaca campus was founded on. “Indigenous peoples and cultures have a deep knowledge about the land that we have been caretakers for for thousands of years,” course instructor Prof. Jolene Rickard, history of art and visual studies, told The Sun. “And here at Cornell, that knowledge is expressed through the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ or Cayuga language and culture.”

Bailee Hopkins preparing an exhibit at Nevin Welcome Center, Cornell Botanic Gardens

Bailee Hopkins-Hensley ’18, MPS ’19: Connecting people to plants

Jul 1, 2019

Bailee Hopkins-Hensley is passionate about exploring the connections that humans have to plants—especially the connections that indigenous communities have to the species that sustain them. She earned a BS in plant science in 2018 and an MPS in public garden leadership in 2019. Hopkins-Hensley first learned about Cornell at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s college fair, where she met Kathy Halbig, the student development specialist at Cornell’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program. “Her description of the diverse and welcoming community at Akwe:kon and in the student clubs, Native American and Indigenous Students at Cornell and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, are what convinced to me apply,” she says.

Dr. Shaawano Chad Uran

Congratulations to Shaawano Chad Uran!

Mar 19, 2019

Shaawano Chad Uran, Visiting Professor, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, Department of Anthropology, & Department of English
On March 12, 2019, Shaawano Chad Uran, Ph.D., was announced as a recipient of the 2018 Beatrice Medicine Award for Scholarship in American Indian Studies, sponsored by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, for his article, “Policing Resource Extraction and Human Rights in The Land of the Dead,” which was published in Transmotion, Vol. 4, No.1 (2018). This prestigious award is given for an outstanding book or essay that has been published in Native American Studies. Dr. Uran is an enrolled White Earth Anishinaabe.

Artistic interpretation of historic Cayuga route marker

Prof. Jolene Rickard - "International Year of Indigenous Languages" Podcast

Feb 5, 2019

The director of the Language Resource Center, Dr. Angelika Kraemer interviewed AIISP Director and Associate Professor Jolene Rickard on United Nation’s declaration of 2019 as the “International Year of Indigenous Languages.” The Language Resource Center at Cornell produces a weekly podcast, Speaking of Language. 
The speaker who provided the Opening Address, Kanen'tó:kon Hemlock, Kahnaw'a:ke Mohawk Nation (Quebec, Canada), will also be speaking in AIIS 2100 Indigenous Ingenuities, on Thursday, Feb. 21. More details about this opening address can be found here. The official website for IYIL2019 is here:

Doug George-Kanentiio

We Should be Giving Sanctuary to Indigenous Natives from the South

Jan 24, 2019

by Doug George-Kanentiio
When I watch the reports of the thousands of people coming north from their homelands in Central America I do not see Hondurans, Guatemalans, El Salvadorians; I see indigenous people, our southern kin, fleeing countries which have become overwhelmed by vicious gangs whose drug money comes directly from sales made in the United States.