Espousing the view that the U.S. is a “settler colonial power,” independent scholar Steven Salaita said Native Americans and Palestinians have both, historically, been targets of U.S. imperialism in a lecture Wednesday.
“Palestinians need to have basic human rights,” Salaita said. “They need a social, economic and political transformation that allows them to breathe, that allows them to exist.”
A longtime Alaska Native corporate leader is being nominated by President Trump to oversee Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of Interior.
Tara Sweeney is executive vice president of external affairs for Arctic Slope Regional Corp. — the largest Alaska-owned business — and is a previous co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives, which is holding its annual convention in Anchorage this week. She's from Utqiaġvik, previously known as Barrow, and is Inupiaq.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.”
“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]
"A newly acquired 18th-century map of what is now New York state, showing Seneca and Cayuga villages and native footpaths in addition to natural features, offers insights into colonial life that will enhance learning and research at Cornell."
"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."
'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.'
Congrats Sam Bosco (PhD student in Horticulture and AIIS Minor) for receiving an Engaged Graduate Student Grant for the project "Restoring the Place of Nut Trees in Haudenosaunee Foodscapes" aip
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!
"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."
“'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.'”
“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.
"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."
“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.”
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.”