Our Mission

As Cornell University's American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP), our mission is to aid the development of new generations of educated Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who will contemplate, study and contribute to the building of Indigenous nations and communities on a global scale.

We are extradisciplinary.

AIISP boasts a unique multidisciplinary minor available to undergraduate and graduate students in all programs at Cornell. Developed by a diverse array of faculty across subjects from anthropology to fiber science to natural resources, the American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) minor allows you to explore the complex histories and contemporary situations of North American and other Indigenous communities. Further, AIISP courses incorporate community-approved dimensions of Indigenous knowledge, which typically are more holistic than Western disciplinary models for research. Beyond being interdisciplinary, AIIS coursework is extradisciplinary.

We support Indigenous students.

As a student support unit, AIISP continues to develop recruitment and retention practices to enable North American and other Indigenous students to complete their academic programs at Cornell and reach their educational goals. Along with a full-time student support specialist, our diverse faculty and staff provide unique opportunities for research, engagement and social connection throughout students' academic careers and beyond. Our program house, Akwe:kon, serves not only as a residence but also as a cultural and community center.

We provide student leadership opportunities.

As a cross-college program, we have experience and access to prestigious opportunities like the McNair Scholars Program, the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship and the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies. Along with the rich resources that come with the world-renowned Cornell network, we offer a peer mentoring program, community tutoring program, Leadership Development Spotlight Series, enrichment and experiential funding, student employment opportunities and encourage involvement with the many AIISP-affiliated student organizations.

We aid the autonomy and sustainability of Indigenous communities.

We continually work to build the intellectual foundation for the resurgence of Indigenous Nations and communities through scholarship and research. Our community outreach programs facilitate learning through community partnerships and a dialogue grounded in Indigenous culture.

Let's connect

American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program

450 Caldwell Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Email: aiisp [at] cornell.edu
Phone: (607) 255-6587
Fax: (607) 255-6246

Latest news

(L-R), Steven Mana’oakamai Johnson, Natalie Cápiro ’00, Hale Ann Tufan, Chuan Liao, Shaila Musharoff, Michael Charles ’16.

Spotlight

CALS hires faculty cohort to address grand DEI challenges
This is the fifth in a series of stories detailing actions CALS students, faculty and staff have taken over the past several years to make our community a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place for everyone. In fall 2021, CALS announced it's first-ever faculty cohort initiative focused on hiring a group of scientists whose work explicitly addresses systemic challenges facing marginalized communities through transdisciplinary collaboration. The first search was received with great enthusiasm and 381 people applied for the six positions.
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Computational Biology
Three boys from the short film ghosts.

News

“This is a story that’s been told from generation to generation, but every family has their embellishments,” said Palmer, associate professor of performing and media arts in the College of Arts and Sciences and a Kiowa filmmaker and media artist...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
Lynda Xepoleas in an archival room holds up a historical photo of a group of people from her research.

News

What Xepoleas saw as one example of cultural appropriation inspired her to begin researching how Indigenous women themselves contributed to the design and production of North American fashion in the early 20th century. "That's what led me to...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
photo of Cornell clock tower

News

Cornell’s Society for the Humanities will kick off its 2022-23 theme of “Repair” with a community read of “The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫɁ People in the Cayuga Lake Region. A Brief History” by Kurt Jordan, associate professor of anthropology in the College of...

  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
Footprints discovered on an archaeological site are marked with a pin flag on the Utah Test and Training Range.

News

Human footprints believed to date from the end of the last ice age have been discovered on the salt flats of the Air Force’s Utah Testing and Training Range by Cornell researcher Thomas Urban.
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program

Support AIISP

To support AIISP, please submit the gift form following these instructions:

  1. Fill-in required information.
  2. On "gift designation," select College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
  3. On "other gift designation," type American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program.