While earning an graduate minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) you'll explore the complex histories and contemporary situations of Indigenous communities in North America and across the globe. Our faculty teach AIIS courses in diverse range of topics, including art, art history, anthropology, archaeology, education, fiber science and apparel design, law, linguistics, literature, natural resources, performing and media arts, and more. 

With a graduate minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies, you are uniquely competitive as a multidisciplinary and extradisciplinary thinker. Graduate students in any discipline are encouraged to connect with our Indigenous Graduate Student Association (IGSA) chapter for community and resources. AIISP also offers a limited number of multi-year graduate student desks in Graduate Study Room located on the fourth floor of Caldwell Hall. Explore Our Alumni page to learn more about past students who integrated AIIS coursework into their graduate studies.

Complete the AIIS Graduate Minor Application to get started! You can complete the AIIS Minor Application form at any point while enrolled as a student, even if you haven't taken your first AIIS class yet!

Graduate Minors in AIIS - Student Spotlight

Explore Our Alumni page to learn more about past students who integrated AIIS coursework into their graduate studies.

Phoebe Wagner has a background in conservation, transnational migration, Indigenous education, and organic farming. Phoebe is graduating this year with a MPS in Global Development and a Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Phoebe seeks to address land sovereignty through a social-ecological systems approach. Phoebe was also a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow in Hindi.

MPS

Leah Shenandoah M.F.A, B.S., is a Wolf Clan Member of the Onyo’ta:aká: – Oneida Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is an Indigenous scholar, artist, activist and musician currently enrolled as an Apparel Design Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Human Ecology, and a Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences..

PhD

Graduate Minor Requirements

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) graduate minor is available to graduate students in any field of graduate or professional study at Cornell. The minor is earned upon completion of the following:

Connect with an AIIS staff member with any questions about the minor or application process. 

Required Graduate Courses

AIIS 6000 - Critical Approaches to American Indian and Indigenous Studies: Intellectual History

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the literature in Native American Studies. Readings engage themes of indigeneity, coloniality, power, and “resistance”. The syllabus includes some “classical” works in Native American Studies, but also engages with theoretical and historical contributions from scholars in other disciplines.

The course seeks to meet several specific objectives: 1) to situate contemporary theoretical, philosophical, methodological positions in Indigenous Scholarship in relation to both the 20th century development of Indigenous Studies and Western intellectual histories and practices (in Sociology, Anthropology, Literature, Law, etc.); 2) to critically evaluate the geo-political dimensions of Indigenous (academic) knowledge production, specifically in relation to Indigenous Studies in North American with implications and lessons from South America, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and elsewhere; 3) to interpret the primary lineages of Indigenous Studies within the frameworks of decolonization and coloniality; 4) to critically evaluate and reflect on scholarly positionality within Indigenous Studies and academia more generally.

AIIS 6010 - American Indian and Indigenous Studies Speaker Series

This colloquium brings together Cornell and non-Cornell scholars and leaders who engage issues and topics critical to the field of Indigeneity within their own disciplinary categories, such as law, literature, art, architecture, and gender studies, as well as natural and social sciences. The speakers include faculty, graduate students, Indigenous scholars, and community leaders who present their work for review and critique in a public forum. The Speaker Series is a bi-weekly seminar, which welcomes the larger public to attend and partake in the conversation. The Colloquium is offered as a 1-credit graduate-level course (AIIS 6010).

AIIS Faculty Spotlight

Headshot photograph of man in a dark blazer wearing glasses.
Troy Richardson

Program Director

American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program

Associate Professor, Philosophy of Education

American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program

Troy Richardson
Jolene Rickard
Jolene Rickard

Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Studies, American Studies Program, American Indian and Indigenous Studies

Jolene Rickard
  • jkr33 [at] cornell.edu
Kurt Jordan
Kurt Jordan

Associate Professor, Anthropology,

American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program

Kurt Jordan
Explore recent alumni with the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Graduate Minor - Explore Our Alumni page for all alumni of AIISP
  • Leah Shenandoah (Onya’ta:aká:/Oneida) PhD Candidate in Apparel Design; minors in American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Neurobiology - expected 2024
  • Phoebe Wagner M.P.S. Global Development, Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies 2024
  • Bruno Seraphin PhD. Sociocultural Anthropology, Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies 2023
  • Aishwarya Shankar Masters of Landscape Architecture Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies 2023
  • Frances Sobolak PhD. Linguistics, Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies 2023
  • Samantha Bosco M.S. Soil Sciences, Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies 2022
  • Samiha Hamdi M.P.S. Global Development, Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies 2022
  • Andrew Leon Melissas 2022
  • Pierre-Elliot (Peter) Caswell PhD. Humanities Scholar, Graduate Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies 2021