A $3.2 million grant will jump-start a Department of Indigenous Studies at the University at Buffalo.
The grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the university's College of Arts and Studies will launch the department over the next four years. The new department will focus on humanities-based research, educational programs and community outreach aimed at addressing key issues of indigenous life in the region.
That includes: maintaining indigenous languages; the health of indigenous peoples, as well as indigenous lands; and the governmental and policy status of indigenous nations.
The announcement comes after more than two years of discussions and meetings among indigenous faculty, students and alumni to expand the university's commitment to indigenous studies.
“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.”