Date: October 12, 2023
To:  The NYU Community
From: Interim Provost Georgina Dopico

Dear Members of the NYU Community,

I am delighted to share with you the news that the University is establishing a much anticipated new provostial center: the Center for Indigenous Studies. This new center will draw strength from our location — New York City has a greater number of Native Americans and Alaska Natives than any other US city — and will greatly expand the University’s existing commitment to collaborative Indigenous studies.

The launch of the center is meant to maximize the impact of the research of Indigenous Studies scholars across NYU’s schools; facilitate collaboration on research, exhibitions, public events and lectures, and other scholarly activities and projects; lead to the creation of an Indigenous Studies major for students at NYU (currently, there is a minor); help integrate Indigenous ways of knowing into the curriculum; and support Native American and Indigenous faculty, students, and staff. In short, its role is to make NYU — which launched the Native Studies Forum in 2006 and has numerous scholars of Indigenous studies across its schools and departments — one of the foremost centers of scholarship in the field of Indigenous Studies.

To lead this effort, we have recruited Eve Tuck — a prominent Indigenous Studies scholar at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the founding director of the Tkaronto CIRCLE lab, and Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Methodologies with Youth and Communities — to serve as its founding director. Beginning January 1, 2024, she will hold a joint appointment at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and will be a James Weldon Johnson Professor.

Professor Tuck will consult with NYU faculty members engaged in the area of Native American and Indigenous Studies, including those who form part of the Native Studies Forum (NSF), and with the Native American and Indigenous Student Group (NAISG) at NYU, in conceptualizing and building this new provostial center, and in setting its mission and priorities. She has said that she is looking forward to learning as much as she can about efforts to grow Indigenous Studies and ethical research with Indigenous communities already underway at NYU, to bringing what she has learned at the University of Toronto to NYU, and to returning to New York City, where she learned to be a scholar. She is Unangax̂ and an enrolled member of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, Alaska. She grew up outside of her community, living in Pennsylvania as a child, and New York City as a young adult. She earned a PhD in Urban Education from The CUNY Graduate Center.

Georgina Dopico
Interim Provost, NYU