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Indigenous Peoples' Day

Webinar: Indigenous student activism at Cornell, 1970s - present banner

Webinar: Indigenous Student Activism at Cornell, 1970s - Present

Indigenous student activism has played a critical role in forging Indigenous space on Cornell campus. In 1983, the American Indian Program emerged in response to student organizing to increase, among other things, Indigenous recruitment and support. The struggle for a greater inclusion of Indigenous community and recognition of Indigenous student needs was far from over, however. It was not until 2017, when Indigenous and allied students were able to reframe Cornell’s sense of inclusion and successfully pass a resolution to celebrate Indigenous People's Day on the second Monday of October. Today, as we celebrate this landmark action, the awareness building continues as Indigenous student leaders coalesce yet again to demand a renewed commitment to Cornell’s Indigenous community through an Indigenous major, land acknowledgment or renaming of Morrill Hall. During this webinar, Indigenous alumni and current student leaders will discuss these three moments in the history of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program at Cornell University. 


  • Sachem Sam George, Wolf Clan, Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' Nation
  • Professor Kurt Jordan, AIISP Director
  • Colin Benedict (Mohawk) '21, ILR
  • Ben Oster (Mohawk) B.S. '17 M.Eng. '18 
  • Theresa Rocha Beardall (Oneida/Sault Ste Marie/Mexican) Ph.D. '19
  • Ana Bordallo (Chamorro) B.S. '19
  • Native American and Indigenous Students at Cornell (NAISAC) Leaders

October 12 - 4:30pm - 6:30pm

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Panel on the Cornell University and Indigenous dispossession project banner

Panel on the Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession Project

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program recently formed the Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession Project to examine the University’s entanglement with Indigenous lands in New York State, and elsewhere across the continent due to federal awards to Cornell as a land-grant institution. This panel reviews and discusses the aims of the project and spotlights Professor Jon Parmenter’s recent research on Ezra Cornell’s actions in Wisconsin, Kansas, and Minnesota. 


  • Moderator: Professor Kurt Jordan, AIISP Director, Department of Anthropology
  • Presenter: Professor Jon Parmenter, Department of History & AIISP
  • Respondent: Dr. Shaawano Chad Uran, Lecturer, Department of English & AIISP

October 12 - 7:00 - 8:00PM

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Kuntanawa nation: The guardians of the Amazonian rainforest banner

Kuntanawa Nation: The Guardians of the Amazonian Rainforest

The Leaders of the Kuntanawa Nation will depict the reality of Indigenous peoples living in the Amazonian Rainforest. They will discuss the Kuntanawa history, and their resilience in the face of genocide and environmental destruction, as well we their continued insistence on organizing round food security, agroforestry and the recovery of cultural traditions; while raising the importance of building global alliance for the protection of life of our planet. The continued survival of the planet will be further addressed by a panel composed of the present and future generations of Kuntanawa Leadership.


  • Introduction by Professor Troy Richardson, AIISP
  • Haru Kuntanawa- Leader of the Kuntanawa Nation (pictured left)
  • Dr. Hayra Kuntanawa- Co-Leader of the Kuntanawa Nation (pictured center)
  • Hayru Kuntanawa- Future Generations, Son of the Kuntanawa Leader (pictured right)
  • Translator: Rudá Ribeiro, ASCAK Communications Advisor, Associação Socio Cultural e Ambiental Kuntamana, Alto Juruá Extractive Reserve, Marechal Thaumaturgo, Acre, Brazil
  • Moderator: Simon Velasquez, Ph.D. Candidate, Government, Coordinator and Advisor, McNair Scholars Program, Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives, Cornell University

October 13 - 4:30 - 6:00PM

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Appropriation vs appreciation: Dreamcatcher workshop

Appropriation vs. Appreciation: Dreamcatcher Workshop

Cornell MPA student Kimberly Fuqua (Lumbee Tribe) and Akwe:kon RHD Jordan Buffalo will lead a discussion surrounding Appropriation vs. Appreciation and will provide ways to recognize and combat the issue. Participants can also participate in a discussion of the Native cultural origin of the Dreamcatcher as well as make one of their own.  Students interested in participating (living in or out of Akwe:kon) will need to fill out the Google Form using the QR code or link provided. Students need to register for this event by Tuesday, October 13. Materials will be available for pick-up at Akwe:kon during certain hours leading up to the event, but participants must sign up for a pick-up time due to Covid-19 restrictions.   If you want to participate but cannot pick up materials packet, you will need the following: craft rings- 4 or 6 inch, yarn, feathers, beads, thick string, hot glue gun

October 15 - 6:00 - 8:00PM

Register in advance