Posts Tagged ‘Ned Blackhawk’
Check out these numbers: 2,744. 606. 120. 93. 1. The corresponding words that go with them? White. Asian. Black. Hispanic. Native American.
The category? The ethnicity of professors at Yale.
Actually, that last number has now doubled, according to this Yale Daily News report, due to the hiring of Ned Blackhawk, a history professor from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Blackhawk, a member of the Te-Moak tribe of the West Shoshone nation, puts himself in the “urban Indian” category, given his Detroit upbringing.
“One would think I’d have to fit into stereotypes to know anything about the culture,” Blackhawk says. “I grew up away from these communities, and yet I chose to be a historian. Why? To mend some wounds that have been made by cultural misunderstandings.”
Yale’s other American Indian professor, Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, is on sabbatical this year. Only 1 percent of Yale’s students are Native American.
It’s no wonder then, as Blackhawk observes, that “many people seem to forget that American Indians exist. This is partially tied to the long-standing history of America’s relationship with its Indians.”
We don’t mean to pick on Yale (OK, maybe a little). The student numbers were similar at the University of Wisconsin.
Hayley Carpenter, president of the Association of Native Americans at Yale, e-mailed the Yale Daily that “Dr. Blackhawk’s presence and input in the Yale Native community can only help raise our visibility on campus and increase the quantity and quality of our events and activities.” Although, she adds pointedly, Yale could still do more to bolster the “Native American presence in our faculty and administration.”