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

This replica of the Hiawatha belt


Perry Ground ’91 travels around the world performing traditional Haudenosaunee stories, adapting them to the present while keeping their traditional spirit alive.
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
A group of people having a discussion.


In rural and Indigenous communities with limited access to weather data, generations of farmers, fishers, herders, hunters and orchardists have relied on indicators such as the first snowfall, emergence of a certain plant or arrival of a bird species to guide when to plant, harvest or perform other tasks. But because of climate change, many of these ecological patterns have shifted.
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Cornell Botanic Gardens
  • Natural Resources and the Environment
Heritage Buffalo Creek squash in a garden


Cornell Botanic Gardens and faculty of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP), in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, have joined with the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’ to help ensure that the nation’s language and cultural...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Cornell Botanic Gardens
  • Agriculture
Anna Ulmann ’21 working in an agricultural field


“Many of the prospects laid out in the report are bleak,” said Madeline Keep ’21, an engineering master’s student and global virtual intern at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. “But while some of the damage we have caused is...
  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Natural Resources and the Environment

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.