“These indigenous people were killed for their country,” 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 college that allocates land, MIT has a commitment to support Indigenous people and students.”
MIT is creating a job in Native American studies, starting in 2023, and is adding two new positions to the MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars Program, at least one of which will be awarded to an Native American study specialist. Over the next two years, the Institute will also support two graduate scholarships to the MIT Indigenous Language Initiative, a master’s program launched in 2003. MIT will also fund a study of Walker and his role. “MIT has a responsibility to discover and shed light on this history so that we can learn from it,” Reif wrote.
As David S. Lowry ’03, a respected associate of Indian studies, who taught 21H.283 this year, told the faculty, facing difficult truths “really creates the future of MIT, where everyone, in communities, in different disciplines, can start taking care of each other. ”