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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:
  Read more

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.  Read more

Tsiorasa Barreiro receives NYS Hometown Alumni Award

Oct 29, 2018

Tsiorasa Barreiro ’00, an Akwesasne native and executive director for tribal operations of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in Akwesasne, Franklin County, was recognized as a community leader and presented with the Cornell New York State Hometown Alumni Award Oct. 27. Read more

‘Sioux Chef’ on restoring indigenous foods, bridging cultures

Oct 2, 2018

Sean Sherman, James Beard Award-winning chef and founder and CEO of The Sioux Chef, shared his research and insights on indigenous food cultures at Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Audrey O’Connor Lecture Sept. 5. An Oglala Lakota born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Sherman co-wrote the acclaimed cookbook, “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.” Read more

Akwe:kon Press awarded 2018 digitization grant

Sep 11, 2018

Seasoned documents and artifacts are starting fresh digital lives through the Grants Program for Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences, which is funding seven projects this year. Chosen from 15 applications, the Akwe:kon Press, an online collection of publications run by Cornell’s American Indian Program (now the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program or AIISP) from 1984 to 2002, was selected. Jolene Rickard (history of art, AIISP) leads the project in collaboration with Urszula Piasta-Mansfield (AIISP) to disseminate and promote Native American and indigenous voices and perspectives within and beyond academia.
  Read more

History Made: Alaskan Leader Tara Mac Lean Sweeney Becomes First Female Alaska Native for Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs

Aug 16, 2018

Tara Mac Lean Sweeney, a prominent Alaskan leader and acclaimed businesswoman with the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, was sworn in as the Department’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. Sweeney was nominated by President Donald J. Trump in October 2017. Sweeney, a member of the Native Village of Barrow and the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, is the first Alaska Native and only the second woman in history to hold the position. Read more

Professor Denise Green collaborates with Indigenous peoples and uses body-scan technology to create traditional Nuu-chah-nulth inspired wedding dress.

Professor Denise Green collaborates with Indigenous peoples and uses body-scan technology to create traditional Nuu-chah-nulth inspired wedding dress.

Jul 22, 2018

This wedding gown is a collaborative design by Denise Nicole Green and Haa'yuups (who also holds the names Chuuchkamalthnii and Ki-ke-in, among many other indigenous names, and the English name Ron Hamilton), and was created for Naasquuisaqs (who also holds the names Ha'wilthmachiilth and Chakwasikwilthim, and the English name Shaunee Casavant) to wear during her marriage to Tl'aakwakumlth ("Tony" Michael Anthony Hanson).  The crests were designed by Haa'yuups and represent the wealth of the two families brought together through the marriage: the repeating dorsal fins are a reference to the name Chakwasikwilthim "Dorsal Fin Woman," a name that came from Naasquuisaqs's maternal great-great-grandmother, Puunii-ii (Polly).  Puunii-ii was a Hiikuulthat-h woman of status who had the right to the dorsal fin of any whale caught in her territory.  The copper heraldry at the front of the dress represents the name Tl'aakwakumlth, which translates to "covered in copper wealth."

Laurier-Syracuse exchange program will build Indigenous curriculum across borders

Jun 1, 2018

It will be an exchange program unlike any other. In winter 2019, three Indigenous students from Wilfrid Laurier University and three Indigenous students from Syracuse University in New York will trade places physically but come together to create Indigenous curriculum content. A team developed the vision of a curriculum development project that would see students working with academic and community mentors. Syracuse University became the primary partner and the University of Buffalo (State University of New York), Cornell University, Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford and Skä•noñh - Great Law of Peace Center in Liverpool, New York, also came on board to offer the students resources and mentors. Read more

100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Grant Award

May 30, 2018

Congratulations to the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program at Cornell University on its successful partners with Wilfrid Laurier University, Syracuse University and SUNY, Buffalo and grant application with the 100K Strong in the Americas. The project, Indigenous Mobility and Curriculum Across Borders, seeks not only to increase mobility of Indigenous Students in Canada and the United States, but has a potential to enhance student and faculty opportunities in the field of Indigenous Studies by building instructional support and capacity, and strengthening a community of scholars deeply engaged in teaching and learning about Indigenous knowledge systems.  Read more

Cornell Law Alumna Runs for Congress, Seeks to Be First Female Native American Representative

Mar 8, 2018

Sharice Davids J.D. ’10 is hoping to make history on election night. Running for Congress in Kansas’ third district, if elected, Davids would be the first female Native American representative in Congress and the first openly gay representative from Kansas.
“I didn’t realize that there hadn’t been a Native women in Congress,” Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a Native American tribe in Wisconsin, said. “I was kind of blown away by that, actually.”
“I mean, it’s 2018,” Davids added. “We’re still having firsts?”
While the historic nature of her electoral victory did not factor into Davids’ decision-making, she did acknowledge the historical significance of her campaign. Read more

To dye for: Exhibit showcases naturally tinted textiles

Feb 12, 2018

Six colorful charmeuse silk banners hang from a balcony over the foyer of the Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Nevin Welcome Center. The banners are part of a new exhibit, “Quiet Labor,” featuring naturally dyed textiles, garments and artwork by students and local artists who contribute to the Cornell Natural Dye Studio, organized by Denise Green ’07, assistant professor of fiber science and apparel design in the College of Human Ecology.
“Quiet Labor” opened Feb. 7 and will run until June 25. Read more

Cornell Officially Observes Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Oct 10, 2017

In an empowering shift for indigenous students at Cornell, Monday was officially recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the first time by the University and the City of Ithaca. Cornell approved academic calendar changes over the summer that renamed the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day, coinciding with Fall Break. In addition, Ithaca Common Council passed a resolution to do the same in September. Read more

Student Spotlight Kason Tarbell '18

Oct 9, 2017

For Kason Tarbell ’18, lacrosse is more than just a sport. As a member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe located in the Akwesasne reservation, lacrosse is a way of life. It is part of his rich heritage that considers lacrosse to be a medicine game, played to help cure the ill, as well as the Creator’s game, played for His entertainment. Read more

First Peoples’ Festival Transforms Dewitt Park in Ithaca

Oct 1, 2017

Ithaca’s Dewitt Park, normally a placid area, was transformed on Sunday for the First Peoples’ Festival. Bustling people toured tents of intricate artwork, listened to demonstrations of flute music and enjoyed the scent of herbs. The festival, which has been occurring annually for the past nine years, serves to “build awareness about the indigenous community members". Native American Students at Cornell highlighted the significance of Cornell recently changing what was previously known as Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. “Indigenous Peoples’ day is changing that narrative where they can celebrate the resiliency of their people,” Ana Bordallo ’18 said. “A day, depending on what the name is, [causes] people to have different reactions.” Read More

United Nations Delegates Address Rights of Indigenous Groups

Sep 14, 2017

Though this year marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, two United Nations delegates from the Haudenosaunee confederacy stressed that work to acknowledge and enforce these rights is far from complete.
At a forum on Wednesday, Karl Hill of the Cayuga Nation and Darwin Hill of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation described the history of unwavering efforts to bring the act to fruition, as well as the formal process in the United Nations.
One of the key purposes of the declaration Darwin said, was for “states to honor and respect treaties they have made with indigenous peoples.” Read more

‘One Cornell We Shall Be’: Cornell Inaugurates Martha Pollack as 14th President

Aug 25, 2017

Preceding Pollack’s speech a member of Cayuga Nation, Karl Hill, began the inauguration by reading a thanksgiving speech — “Words Before All Else” — in both Cayuga and English.Centered around the theme of gratitude and unity, the speech focused on the phrase “now our minds are one,” as Hill thanked Pollack for acknowledging the history between Cayuga Nation and Cornell. Read more

University of Leeds Student Receives Fulbright for Research at Cornell

Jul 13, 2017

“I am very much looking forward to working with Rebecca during her Fulbright year at Cornell,” said Cheyfitz. “Our work in Indigenous and (post)colonial studies intersects in ways that will prove fruitful to both of us and the university; and Cornell with its interdisciplinary strengths and its internationally recognized American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program and English department is an ideal place for Rebecca to conduct her research. We welcome her enthusiastically and look forward to an exciting collaboration.” Read more

Researching Urban Native American Communities

Jul 3, 2017

"Hart plans to visit Seattle this summer. She will study the operations of major nonprofits, such as the Daybreak Star Cultural Center, which are focused on Native American communities and issues. “I want to understand their role in the urban Native social network and how the community perceives their effectiveness.” Read more

The Native Archaeology of the Finger Lakes

Jun 15, 2017

"Through his writing, archaeology, and outreach, Jordan works alongside Native partners to better understand the indigenous history of the Finger Lakes region. He strives to share that history and connect it to the realities of Native communities now." Read more

Seeds and Knowledge Shared at Planting Moon Gathering

May 31, 2017

“We are all involved in the process of recuperating our entire culture, so each of us has to know a little bit of what the other person knows. How do we move knowledge in our communities from one generation to the next? How do we set the priorities for the future generations? As indigenous peoples we are a storied people.” [Professor Jolene Rickard] Read more

Cornell Natural Dye Garden

May 3, 2017

'In May 2015, Professor Denise Green, in collaboration with fellow FSAD staff, planted a test garden of natural dye plants within garden beds at the northeast corner of Human Ecology building overlooking Beebe Lake [...] "Our hope is they become conscientious citizens of the world who think about the impact that their design will have on the environment, on human health and on many people that we don't often think about when we consume fashion."' Read more

Eric Cheyfiz & Mark Levine article "Israel, Palestine, and the Poetics of Genocide" published in Jadaliyya

May 2, 2017

"Our approach is to trace the political history of the term 'genocide' in law and jurisprudence, and compare some of the contexts in which the practices to which the term refers have occurred, and where accountability has been pursued. We also consider where and why there are grey areas in its usage, and offer some thoughts about the political utility and detriments that accompany the charge of genocide." Read more

Skye Hart Awarded 2017 Udall Scholarship

Apr 20, 2017

'Hart, who majors in city and regional planning, is a member of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians. As a Hunter R. Rawlings III Presidential Research Scholar, Hart conducts independent research on urban Native communities. She is a co-chair of Native American Students at Cornell and a Cornell representative to the Ivy Native Council, and she tutors students from the Onondaga Nation. She plans to earn a master’s in urban and regional planning, with the goal of eventually working with urban Native communities to help them address homelessness, education and gaining access to culturally-relevant resources through planning and community development work.
“I appreciate that this is a government-funded scholarship that recognizes Native students’ dedication to supporting their communities,” she said.' Read more

NASAC receives Perkins Prize Honorable Mention for Work on Indigenous Peoples' Week

Mar 28, 2017

"Honorable mentions went to the Native American Students at Cornell (NASAC) and Black Students United (BSU). NASAC worked to achieve broader awareness of Indigenous people’s presence in the Cornell community, culminating in a series of campus activities, Indigenous Peoples’ Week, last fall."

Kathy Halbig Receives Barry J. White Memorial Award

Mar 21, 2017

At the Promising Futures dinner on March 17th, Student Services Associate Kathy Halbig received a much deserved award from the Native American Indian Education Association of New York. Congrats, Kathy!

AIISP student activism featured in Cornell Daily Sun

Mar 16, 2017

"This past Friday, Ransom and six other Cornell students left the University at 1 a.m to join thousands of Native Americans and allies streaming in from all corners of the country to march against the government’s actions in Standing Rock." Read more

Chairman Archambault, Global Cornell

Mar 2, 2017

“'In 2007 our tribe said we don’t want pipelines in our ancestral lands,' he said. 'We saw not only the bad in the social ills, but also the environmental ills of unregulated pipelines and fracking water.' In 2013 Standing Rock passed resolutions against the Keystone XL Pipeline.
'Our focus has been on our children,' Archambault said, explaining the emphasis of his chairmanship, which began in 2013. 'We can invest in our kids…and create the brilliant minds that will solve all the things that plague us. If we invest in them, they will have the answers in the future.'” Read more

Chairman Archambault, Cornell Chronicle

Mar 2, 2017

“One of the things I want to do is make sure that we create the hope that is necessary for the future… As long as I put a focus on the future, I can sleep at night,” said David Archambault II, chairman of Standing Rock Sioux Nation. Read more

Kyrie Ransom featured in panel on Mohwak Council of Akwesasne

Mar 2, 2017

"The Mohawk community of Akwesasne straddles the St. Lawrence River at the intersection of the Quebec-Ontario and Canada-United States borders. As such, its residents have had to contend with even greater challenges to their sovereignty than many other Indigenous nations in North America. Until the mid-1990s, judges at the Akwesasne Court were external officials appointed by the federal government under the Indian Act of 1876." Read more

Cornell Sun covers C. Archambault lecture

Feb 20, 2017

The Standing Rock Sioux will lead a march on Washington D.C. on March 10, and Archambault called for activists to organize similar demonstrations in their home cities.
“This movement — it’s an awakening,” he said. “It’s time now. It’s time to do something, and sit back no longer.” Read more

Cornell Chronicle/CALS cover Chairman Archambault lecture

Feb 20, 2017

“It is chairman Archambault’s key obligation to protect and conserve the lands, waters, and culture of his peoples,” Kassam said. “It is our role as students and faculty to directly engage communities by learning about their concerns and sharing our knowledge. This is how we, together, engender hope and wise stewardship.” Read more

"For our tomorrows: Refining facets of sustainability" in Ezra Magazine

Nov 30, 2016

Professor Gerald Torres: "You want lawyers to be conversant with scientists to think through the best policies."
Skye Hart, '18: "That way those earning low incomes will have access to better schools, shorter commutes and public transportation, resulting in a more equitable and eco-friendly lifestyle. PUSH [People United for Sustainable Housing] has shown that environmentally sustainable initiatives are a solution in low-income neighborhoods." Read more

Faculty response to CCA Biennial installation "American Spolia: Crossing the Line"

Oct 7, 2016

In a letter to interim President Rawlings, Dean Kleinman (AAP), and Professor Mergold (Architecture), AIISP faculty request the removal of the American Spolia installation. Additionally, they ask that the university clarify its relationship to the art installation, and renew their call for Cornell University to officially recognize its location on Cayuga territories. Read more

Freedom Interrupted event launches year-long dialogue

Sep 21, 2016

"Carol Warrior, assistant professor of English and faculty member of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, said for Native Americans, “many encounters with police are combined with violent force and racial epithets, mixed with a kind of language that draws from frontier ideas about Indians – that they need taming or that they should be extinct." She described a community initiative after the death of a First Nations man that resulted in advocacy for better training and accountability for police. The collaboration changed things, she said, 'and the community became empowered."  Read more

Ah-Theuh-Nyeh-Hah:The Planting Moon

Sep 14, 2016

From recent article in "As a visual metaphor of the turtle in the Haudenosaunee Creation Story, the “13 moons” planting is an earthwork sculpture composed of 13 mounds representing the 13-moon annual lunar cycle. Designed by Jolene Rickard (Tuscarora), visual artist, associate professor, and director of AIISP, the garden consists of three large interior mounds, planted with sunflowers and tobacco to suggest the turtle’s carapace, surrounded by 10 smaller mounds planted with corn, green beans and squash in the traditional “three-sisters” configuration. Strawberries, also a traditional Haudenosaunee crop, are growing in an adjacent row." Read more

Growing GRASAC Receives Canadian Partnership Development Grant

Sep 12, 2016

Congratulations Professor Jolene Rickard and Professor Kurt Jordan on successfully collaborating with the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures and receiving a two-year Partnership Development Grant through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC). For more information please visit and for the full announcement: Read more

Skye Hart '18, Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholar

Aug 25, 2016

Congratulations Skye Hart (Seneca) '18 on becoming a Rawlings Cornell Presidential Scholar for her project, Understanding Planning for Seattle's Native American Communities: "Native Americans living in urban areas tend to experience higher poverty rates and worse living standards than the overall population, among other issues, yet there is little research regarding present-day urban Native communities. Using Seattle as a case study, I will further the literature on Native Americans living in urban areas by exploring the issued facing Seattle's urban Native population, the resources currently available, and how to address community needs." Read more

Leadership in the World of Stem and Beyond

Jul 8, 2016

Michael Charles (Navajo), a brand-new graduate of Cornell University, has always applied himself. But he hasn't always been sure of his path in life...with a positive undergraduate experience to his credit, including a minor in music, Charles has decided to continue toward his doctorate. Read more

House Proud

Jul 6, 2016

Twenty-five years ago this fall, Cornell became the first university in the U.S. to open a residence hall dedicated to Native American life—a purpose-built, painstakingly designed structure that incorporated myriad symbols into its exterior, interior, and even landscaping. Located at the corner of Triphammer and Jessup roads on North Campus, the house was named Akwe:kon (pronounced "uh-GWAY-go"), which means "all of us" in the Mohawk language. A quarter century later, Akwe:kon is still going strong... Read more