University of Buffalo Receives $3 Million Mellon Grant in Support of Indigenous Studies

Monday, January 13, 2020

University of Buffalo Receives $3 Million Mellon Grant in Support of Indigenous Studies

The University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences has received a $3.174 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of a new department of indigenous studies.

To be launched over the next four years, the proposed department of indigenous studies will focus on humanities-centered research, educational programs and community outreach aimed at addressing key issues central to indigenous life in the region, as identified by faculty, students, alumni and community stakeholders from the surrounding Haudenosaunee territories, on which the UB campus is located.

The Mellon Foundation grant recognizes the more than two years of conversations, workshops and meetings among UB’s indigenous faculty, students, staff, alumni and community members to uphold and expand their commitment to indigenous studies at UB. These discussions were central to UB’s grant proposal to the Mellon Foundation.

“UB is committed to becoming much more accessible to indigenous students and scholars, and more supportive of the indigenous nations,” said Robin Schulze, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “With the Mellon Foundation’s generous support, and with the collaboration of our community partners, we can realize this vision.”

Topics and issues to be addressed by a new department will include: the maintenance of indigenous languages; the environmental health of indigenous lands, particularly in relation to fresh water; the well-being of indigenous peoples and the end to health disparities; and the unique governmental and policy status of indigenous nations.

Building Upon a 50-Year Tradition at UB

The intended new department builds upon a 50-year tradition of indigenous scholarship at UB and represents a transformative new development in an ongoing story of perseverance among indigenous faculty, students and community members; a story that has valued and preserved the dedicated contributions of the founding members of UB’s Native American studies program, who worked diligently over the decades to maintain indigenous studies at UB.

“As a result of enduring and heartfelt efforts by our indigenous faculty and students, and with support from the university and the Mellon Foundation, UB is poised to return to its status as a powerhouse of indigenous studies,” said Despina Stratigakos, vice provost for inclusive excellence...

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