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꞉nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' 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꞉nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.

This land acknowledgment has been reviewed and approved by the traditional Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' leadership.

Learn more about land acknowledgments here.

In addition to the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' 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.

Professors Jolene Rickard and Jodi Byrd Recognized on List of Top 35 Influential American Indian Scholars

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month 2021, focuses on 35 scholars from indigenous people groups in North America who have had a profound influence on academia, literature, history, the arts, science, politics, activism, and more: 2021 Influential American Indian Scholars.

Congratulations Professors Jolene Rickard (Ska:rù:rę'/Tuscarora) and Jodi Byrd (Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma)!

AIISP Events


Settler Colonialism, Sovereignty and Apartheid: Palestine and U.S. Settler Colonialism
The fourth installment of The Institute for Comparative Modernities' (ICM) year-long series, "Settler Colonialism, Sovereignty, Apartheid," with Eric Cheyfitz and Eman Ghanayem in discussion about Settler Colonialism and the comparative context...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
The A.D. White statue from behind at sundown.


land acknowledgements are frequently given at official Cornell events, but what do they represent? We will dive into the performative aspects of land acknowledgements and how land-grant universities such as Cornell have a responsibility to move...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
Image of modern dorm building with a bright red background.


Join Jessica Martin (Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ/Cayuga Nation) in a discussion on the importance of “Ganędagǫ:” in the Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ language, the status of the language, and community-based efforts to promote language learning and revitalization. Martin, as...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program


Cayuga Lake in the summer


The Tompkins County Historical Commission will release a short book written by Cornell Professor Kurt Jordan with the help of Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ community members, titled “The Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ People in the Cayuga Lake Region: A Brief History.”
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Land
The kinetic installation of hanging sculptures


Art, sculpture, photos, and prints bring research on climate adaptation and resiliency to life at Cornell Botanic Gardens' Nevin Welcome Center. The exhibits illustrate the value and impact of a collaborative project with faculty and indigenous farmers, fishers, herders, hunters, and orchardists across the globe.
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Cornell Botanic Gardens
  • Environment

Explore the American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program