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.
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.
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.
Akwe:kon Full Circle Healing & Honoring Garden
The Indigenous students at Cornell will work and nurture the medicinal plants and have an opportunity to learn about agricultural practices, medicinal plants, and expand their knowledge and practice of indigenous values. A QR code at the site of the garden will educate non-Native Cornell students and the public about medicinal plants, Indigenous values and the Full Circle approach. YOUR GIFT will give Native students an opportunity to realize the garden project, and help educate other students and the public about medicinal plants, their uses, and traditional Indigenous values.
Cornell University & Indigenous Dispossession Project
AIISP launched the Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession Project in June 2020 to research Cornell's ties to the violent displacement of Indigenous peoples and advocate for redress. The project was prompted by a March 2020 study published in High Country News that exposed the ties between Indigenous dispossession and the United States Land-Grant College system, and Cornell's prominent role in that process. AIISP has produced a blog that contains informative articles, videos, and audio podcasts about these issues. AIISP plans diplomatic outreach to the almost 250 Indigenous Nations affected by Cornell's actions to discuss this history and possible remedies.
LectureAIIS Speaker Series: Victims or Solutions? The Fight for Indigenous Stewardship and Leadership in Climate Action
Explore the American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program