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HUNAP Statement


In Response to the Harvard Peabody Museum's Recent Announcement


Last Thursday, November 10, the Harvard Peabody Museum released new information about its possession of a recently recovered collection of hair samples from over 900 Native American individuals, many obtained from American Indian industrial/boarding school students. The tawdry history of these assimilative boarding schools remains an affront to Native American communities. A regular routine in these schools was the involuntary cutting of new students’ hair. Indigenous cultural perspectives about hair often emphasize its place in the full (and sacred) integrity of the person. In consequence, many in the Indigenous community at Harvard and throughout the country are feeling shocked, pained, outraged, disappointed, and disoriented by this revelation. This collection is another palpable reminder of the systematic racism and dehumanizing practices that Indigenous people have suffered. HUNAP is committed to supporting our members, educating the broader Harvard community and, of course, navigating our own reactions. Students in particular are grappling with the implications of this collection for their life at Harvard. As an ally, you can support the Harvard Native community by giving affected students the time and space they need to process this disturbing revelation. To all Native students: please lean on HUNAP as an available resource and community for support during this trying time. While the acquisition and possession of this collection is inexcusable, we can use this occurrence as an opportunity to collectively celebrate our strengths, exercise our sovereignty, and anticipate the imminent return of these samples to descendant families and tribal communities.


Featured Courses, Fall 2022

HIST 15H / ENGLISH 90LN: Harvard and Native Lands





Professors: Philip J. Deloria and Alan Niles

T - 9:45 am to 11:45 pm

Harvard’s beginnings included a promise to educate both “English and Indian youth,” but from its outset Harvard’s endowment included Native lands expropriated through war, theft, and coercion. This class will conduct original research on these histories, seeking to contribute a new understanding of Harvard’s institutional development and its historic and continuing impact on Native American peoples. We will work hands-on with Harvard’s archives, developing research skills in navigating...

Read more about HIST 15H / ENGLISH 90LN: Harvard and Native Lands

HIST 1006: Native American and Indigenous Studies: An Introduction





Professors: Philip J. Deloria and Laura Johnson

M, W - 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Though American Indian people make up 1.7% of the U.S. population, their importance outweighs the census numbers.  Native American history and politics define critical issues in law, energy, land management, and government, while the culture industries inevitably confront the curious hold that indigenous people have on American culture.  American conquest and colonialism invite connection and comparison across a global scale, particularly in settler states such as Canada, Australia...

Read more about HIST 1006: Native American and Indigenous Studies: An Introduction

HIST 1945: Slavery and Public History





Professor: Tiya Miles

T - 12:45 pm to 2:45 pm

Confronting vexed historical meanings and present-day uses of the past is the special charge of public historians. This course explores the theme of slavery through the lenses and methods of public history, a field of historical inquiry and applied knowledge production that stresses past-present connections, community engagement, collaborative work, and audiences beyond the academy. As a foundational element in the structure of U.S. society, slavery has made a lasting imprint on social, cultural, political, and...

Read more about HIST 1945: Slavery and Public History
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Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants

HUNAP Indigenous Health Seminar Series

The HUNAP Indigenous Health & Well-Being Colloquium is a series of lectures and discussions highlighting the latest research and policies related to Native and Indigenous health issues. This seminar was established by HUNAP Faculty Director Joseph P. Gone and is co-sponsored by the Harvard Medical School Department of Global Health & Social Medicine. See recordings of all past events from this series here


Most Recent Event:

Dr. Daniel Dickerson, D.O., M.P.H. - Substance Use Treatment and Prevention Porgrams Among American Indians/Alaska Natives

Recorded September 14, 2022