“These indigenous peoples were killed for their land,” Alvin Harvey, SM ’20, an Aero / Astro doctoral student and member of the Navajo Nation, said in a presentation at a faculty meeting this spring. “As a land grant university, MIT has an obligation to support Indigenous people and students.”
MIT is creating a tenure position in Native American studies, starting in 2023, and adding two new positions to MLK’s visiting professors and fellows program, at least one of which will be assigned to a Native American studies expert. Over the next two years, the Institute will also support two graduate fellowships at the MIT Indigenous Languages Initiative, a master’s program launched in 2003. MIT will also fund a study on Walker and his role. “MIT has a responsibility to dig up and illuminate this story so we can learn from it,” Reif wrote.
As David S. Lowry ’03, Distinguished Fellow in Native American Studies, who taught 21H.283 this year, told the faculty, facing hard truths “really creates the future of MIT, where everyone, through communities, of disciplines, we can begin to take care of each other ”.