“These Indigenous people were killed for their lands,” said Alvin Harvey, SM ’20, aeronautics/astronautics doctoral student and Navajo Nation member, speaking at a faculty meeting this spring. “As a land-grant institution, MIT has an obligation to support Indigenous peoples and students.”
MIT is creating tenure-track positions in Native American studies beginning in 2023 and adding two new positions to the MLK Visiting Professor and Scholars program, at least one of which will be assigned to a Native American studies specialist. Over the next two years, the institute will also support two graduate fellowships from MIT’s 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 unearth and elucidate this history so that 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 the hard truth “truly created the future of MIT that all of us, across communities, across disciplines, can Start taking care of each other.”