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AIISP News in 2016

News Archive 2016

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Skye Hart and Gerald Torres

"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."


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.

Decorative image of raised fists in solidarity

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." 

cobs of white flint corn

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."

Great lakes and GRASAC Website image

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:

Skye Hart

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."

Michael Charles

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.

back side of akwe:kon with people attending the event

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.

Marcos A. Moreno and Victor Lopez-Carmen

It Takes a Village to Raise a Doctor; 2 Yaqui Students Win Udall Scholarships

Jun 2, 2016

For Marcos A. Moreno, Yaqui, and Victor A. Lopez-Carmen, Yaqui/Crow Creek Sioux, both 21, winning 2016 Udall Scholarships in Native health care is less a personal honor and more the recognition of a community’s achievements.

Sarah Murray

Top Faculty Advisers, TAs Honored at Dinner

Jun 1, 2016

Sarah Murray, assistant professor of linguistics, joined the Cornell faculty in 2010. Her primary interests are the semantics and pragmatics of natural language, as well as fieldwork and semantic fieldwork methodology. She works with the Cheyenne in Southeastern Montana during the summers. Her book, “The Semantics of Evidentials,” is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Laura Lagunez and Camila Martinez examining plants in Belize

Student Exploration: Healing starts with Everyday Plants

May 19, 2016

AIISP student Laura Lagunez '16, left, and Camila Martinez, a graduate student in the field of plant biology, examine plants in Belize during their spring break to learn how common plant life helps alleviate ailments.

Marcos Moreno

Marcos Moreno '17 is named a 2016 Udall scholar

May 5, 2016

Marcos Moreno ’17 has received a 2016 Udall scholarship, which supports undergraduates with excellent academic records and who show potential for careers in environmental public policy, health care and tribal public policy.

NASAC students holding Hiawatha flag and singing

Student Assembly Supports Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Mar 17, 2016

Many Cornellians attended the S.A. meeting to support the passage of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, after a student-run Facebook page urged community members to support the resolution. The resolution calls for the University to recognize the second Monday of October — currently Columbus Day — as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Hautahi Kingi

Māori Economics Whiz-kid Scores Big Scholarship

Jan 14, 2016

Hautahi Kingi (Nga Rauru, Te Atihaunui a Paparangi), a PhD candidate in economics at Cornell University in the United States, is the winner of this year’s $10,000 Motu Thesis Scholarship. Kingi has two elements to his research: one around immigration and the other looking into tax and consumption.