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.

Indigenous Student Spotlight

Photograph of a person wearing a traditional native american dress posed in front of a small stone wall.

“I feel so fortunate to have come to a school with a vibrant Native American Community. In Undergrad, I went to a school with little to no student engagement for Native Students. At Cornell the community is diverse and multifaceted, and I think it holds something for everyone. AISES, NAIMP, and so many more programs foster community through career building connections. AIISP has done so much to foster Native student engagement on multiple fronts. For myself, I do beadwork, ribbonwork, and dance powwow, and through IGSA I have found friends that enjoy those same things. AIISP helps foster trips to powwows and social dances, and those are the sort of things I grew up doing and love to do. It’s an experience that’s hard to find at many other schools.”

Photograph of a young woman wearing a Cornell sweatshirt showing three people a presentation around a meeting table.

“With the support of AIISP, and Professor Troy Richardson, I have been able to explore entirely new realms within my major that have helped connect my studies to my passions and Indigenous communities. I have been given the opportunity to view computer science through a lens that is more familiar to me, and I have found work that I am genuinely excited to pursue for the rest of my career—critical work that will contribute to language preservation.”

Photograph of a young woman with black hair wearing a dress with strawberries talking at a podium with a young man wearing a blue shirt behind her.

“I credit AIISP as my greatest support system while at Cornell. The significant relationships I’ve made at Cornell are those that AIISP helped facilitate; they help make connections through programming, events, and activities that are central to growing the Indigenous community. AIISP’s student support efforts extend beyond academics creating comfort and familiarity; a home away from home that’s important for Native students like me.”

Photograph of a young man looking at a laptop screen while a young woman to the side of him points something out on the screen.

"It can be difficult to adjust to the academic rigors at a prestigious university like Cornell. However, AIISP has offered me the necessary support and sense of community that have helped me to thrive and excel. Specifically, the Akwe:kon Program House has provided an Indigenous space on campus where I feel most comfortable.”

AIISP Events

Film poster. Left side is turquoise with a woman in a bink headband holding a phone and cigarette with the text "Bad Press" above. RIght side of image is bring pink and notes "Free documentary screening Bad Press, Tue, April 23, 7pm, Cornell Cinema. Free Tickets! Reserve your spot here.


Bad Press - Film Screening at Cornell Cinema
Imagine you lived in a world where your only reliable news source became government propaganda overnight. That’s exactly what happened in 2018 to the citizens of the Muscogee Nation, the fourth largest Native American tribe. Out of 574 federally...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
Photo of peaceful protestors holding a colorful banner in the streets that says recognize indigenous peoples rights


Indigenous Resilience, Reclamation & Recognition v. Removal, Dispossession & Erasure Archived Event: Saturday, November 4, 2023 | 12PM – 4PM | Goldwin Smith Hall 132/Zoom Watch the full recording here. Panels feature local and national...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
Robin Wall Kimmerer stands in a field


Distinguished Speaker in Global Development and American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program Seminar Recording Thank you to all of those who joined us at the recent seminars with Robin Wall Kimmerer at Cornell University. Recordings of two of Dr...
  • global development
  • environment
  • Environment & Natural Resources


Two men, in a green and grey jacket, speak with two students.


Indigenous students in STEM are creating community and working to increase representation and visibility – all while bringing valuable cultural insights and a community-focus to their academic work.

  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
A book opening and pages flaring out.


Twenty-five faculty and academic staff from nine Cornell colleges and units are Engaged Faculty Fellows for the 2023-24 academic year, with projects dedicated to advancing community-engaged learning at Cornell and within their respective fields.

  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Department of Communication

Explore the American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program