GH2012 at Harvard University - June 16-19, 2012
Harvard University was established in 1636 and is the oldest institution of higher education in the US. Harvard University has one undergraduate school, Harvard College, and 11 graduate level degree-granting Schools: Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Harvard Extension School. The University has an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
History of Indian Education at Harvard:
Harvard’s Charter of 1650, which still governs the university today, includes a specific mission to educating the Indian youth of this country. Holding to this charter, the mission of the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) is to bring together Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students and interested individuals from the Harvard community for the purpose of advancing the well-being of indigenous peoples through self-determination, academic achievement, and community service. To meet this mission, HUNAP focuses on three main areas: Teaching and Research, Community Development and Indigenous Outreach. Currently, there are four Native American faculty at the university, six Native American staff members, and close to 200 Native American/Indigenous students.
Native American Program:
HUNAP serves as the main program of support for Native American/Indigenous graduate students outside of their academic schools. HUNAP provides computers for student use, printing and copying free of charge, a small lounge for studying or socializing, limited student office space, large meeting space and a newly created student listserv. In addition, HUNAP is active on Facebook and Twitter. Research funding support, conference travel funds and dissertation fellowships are available to all students doing research on Indigenous issues.
In addition to HUNAP, the university is also home to the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (HPAIED) who works directly with Native Nations across the US and who also oversees the Honoring Nations Program, a national program to recognize outstanding model programs being run by tribal governments and programs. Together, HPAIED and HUNAP offer two courses on Native Nation Building open to all graduate and upper level undergraduate students. The Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at Harvard plays a leading role in supporting tribal repatriation requests and is a model in this area.
Tribal Nations of MA:
The state of Massachusetts is home to two federally recognized tribes, the Mashpee Wampanoag and the Aquinnah Wampanoag. HUNAP and HPAIED work closely with both tribes on research projects, recruiting events, social events, cultural events on campus, and student-led activities. In addition, local Nipmuc and Abenaki communities continue to be involved in HUNAP’s events and provide an outlet for additional tribal communication and support. The history of Harvard and HUNAP are deeply embedded in the local history of surrounding tribes as well as in the education of Native American leaders across the nation.