Cornell’s Relationship to Indigenous Dispossession: Geneva and Beyond

On March 10, 2021, Cornell University Associate Professor Kurt A. Jordan, who also directs the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) and chairs AIISP’s Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession Committee, spoke to faculty, staff, and students at Cornell AgriTech (in Geneva, New York) and Cornell’s School of Integrated Plant Science (SIPS).  His presentation focused on the necessity for land issues to be locally-focused, noting that Cornell AgriTech sits on the exact location as the Onöndowa’ga:’ (Seneca Iroquois) town of Kanadesaga. Kanadesaga was destroyed by the American Sullivan-Clinton Expedition in September 1779, a campaign that Haudenosaunee communities and many scholars consider to have been genocidal in intent and outcome.  To address this history and Cornell’s continuing benefit from the Geneva campus, AgriTech needs to develop communications and relations with present-day Onöndowa’ga:’ communities in New York State, Ontario, and Oklahoma.  Jordan also briefly discusses the current state of research, community outreach, and plans for restitution surrounding Cornell’s entanglements with Indigenous dispossession, both locally and continent-wide due to its engagement with the Morrill Land Grant College Act of 1862.

Video here.