The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) provides a unique combination of American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) courses, student leadership opportunities and an undergraduate residential experience at Akwe:kon, the first Native student residence hall in North America.

Land Acknowledgment

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ people, past and present, to these lands and waters.

This land acknowledgment has been reviewed and approved by the traditional Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ leadership.

Learn more about land acknowledgments.

In addition to the Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ land acknowledgment but separate from it, the AIISP faculty would like to emphasize: Cornell's founding was enabled in the course of a national genocide by the sale of almost one million acres of stolen Indian land under the Morrill Act of 1862. To date the university has neither officially acknowledged its complicity in this theft nor has it offered any form of restitution to the hundreds of Native communities impacted. For additional information, see the Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession website here.

AIISP Events

Robin Wall Kimmerer stands in a field


Land Justice: Engaging Indigenous Knowledge For Land Care
Distinguished Speaker in Global Development and American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program Seminar Abstract What might Land Justice look like? Dr. Kimmerer will explore Indigenous perspectives on land conservation, from biocultural restoration...
  • global development
  • environment
  • Environment & Natural Resources
Graphic including a purple tinted headshot of a man with bushy mustache and feathered cap on the left side and the words Deskaheh Levi General panel on the right side.


In 1923, Deskaheh Levi General traveled to Geneva, Switzerland as a spokesman of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy also known as the Six Nations and Iroquois Confederacy. Deskaheh sought to address the League of Nations (replaced by the United...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
Black and orange graphic with a man in the center and text saying Doug George Kanentiio.


Doug George -Kanentiio (Akwesasne Mohawk) is the chairperson of the Akwesasronon Shonataten:ron, the Residential School Survivors of Akwesasne. He was taken from his home and assigned to the Mohawk Institute, one of Canada's most notorious...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program


Michael Charles headshot


Academic focus: Computational and community-based sustainable solutions. Research summary: Broadly, I explore how computational models can help communities achieve their envisioned futures. My research is centered on designing sustainable...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Computational Biology
Steven Mana'oakamai Johnson wearing a yellow and white shirt standing with arms folded.


Academic focus: Ocean conservation and social-ecological systems. Research summary: I study the relationship between people and the ocean, ranging from Indigenous Pacific Islander communities traditionally managing coral reefs to geopolitical...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Development Sociology

Explore the American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program