50K ARIE Grant for “IndigenoUs Northern VA” Project

CHR is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a $50,000 seed grant from Mason’s Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Task Force for our project “IndigenoUs Northern Virginia: Activating Local and Diasporic Native Identities at Mason.” This public humanities project will take place over the next academic year under the direction of the PI, Professor Gabrielle Tayac and co-PI’s Professors Alison Landsberg and Mills Kelly, bringing together the resources of both CHR and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM).



Northern Virginia has long been the destination of migrants from both Central and South America, which has led to the development of robust Latinx communities in the region, and which is reflected in Mason’s diverse student body. But these identities are complicated, shaped both, but not always equally, by a relationship to national homelands (Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru, etc.) and to an indigenous ancestry. “IndigenoUs Northern Virginia” will bring the Mason community into contact with site-specific and community-based indigenous knowledge and history to activate a too-often submerged Native American presence on our campus and in our region. From the Doeg and Piscataway ancient lands on which we live, to the intertribal American Indian population and the dynamic diasporic Latin American indigenous communities that persist in the present, Northern Virginia is a Native place.

Sara Jefferson, photo credit Wayne K. Thomas

To make this deep history visible and meaningful, “IndigenoUs Northern Virginia” will create opportunities for experiential place-based learning through site visits to sacred and historic indigenous sites; inspire deep discussions on campus through native knowledge round table dialogues; and incorporate and foster these objectives through ongoing work at the Public History Lab and a series of existing courses on these topics. Taken together, these activities will enable an exploration of identity for Mason students, faculty, and staff who are interested in indigeneity in the broadest sense. Furthermore, this knowledge has the capacity to foster respect across categories of difference, and in so doing to foster a culture of anti-racism.

Applications are now open on Handshake for the undergraduate IndigenoUs Northern Virginia: Summer Research Institute 2023!  

Stay tuned for more updates, including how you can get involved!