Native & Indigenous

Launched in Fall 2016, the Native & Indigenous Affinity Group serves as a resource for Native and/or Indigenous members of Northeastern’s faculty, staff or student body to come together and converse.

The group uses its resources to provide support, spread awareness and promote thoughtful discussion between its members and allies.

For information regarding Affinity Groups, including the Native and Indigenous Affinity Group, please contact Lisa Susser, ODEI Manager – Network Engagement at

Email, with any questions or comments, or to find out more information.

Subscribe to the Native & Indigenous Affinity Group mailing list for more events and opportunities to connect.

Subscribe to the Native & Indigenous Affinity Group’s mailing list

Recent Events

Women’s & Two Spirit Symposium: Curating our Way into the Future

Indigenous Women's spirit flyer

May 30  |  12 – 1PM  |  Online & In-Person

Northeastern University Alumni Center, 716 Columbus Ave, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02120

In collaboration with the North American Indian Center of Boston and Northeastern University, the City of Boston convened a symposium of Indigenous Women and 2-Spirit Individuals. With the recent changes to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), museums and galleries have taken a step back to re-evaluate During this symposium, the audience heard from experts in museum curation, arts, history, and culture. They shared their work, recommendations, and visions for the future.”

Speakers included:


Tess Lukey (Aquinnah Wampanoag) The Trustees of Reservations, Associate Curator of Native American Art 


Sháńdíín Brown (Dine’) Assistant Curator, Native American Art, RISD

Panelists include:

Leah Hopkins (Narragansett) Manager of Museum Education and Programs, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University

Paula Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag) Educator & Writer; Producer of “Our Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History”, on exhibit at Harvard University Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

Mary Amanda McNeil, PhD (Mashpee Wampanoag) Assistant Professor, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, Tufts University

Jean-Luc Pierite (Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana) MLK Visiting Scholar at MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, President of the NAICOB, and the founder of InDigiFab

Sponsored by: Northeastern University, City of Boston; City of Boston New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston Equity and Inclusion North American Indian Center of Boston

Past Events

View “Indigenous Community, Scholarship, & Research” Panel Presentation and Discussion 

This past October 9 the Boston campus’s Native and Indigenous Affinity Group  hosted a virtual event, in collaboration with Oakland colleagues to celebrate and highlight the work of Native and Indigenous scholars who are Northeastern faculty. Three panelists presented on their work in three areas:

  • Indigenous Language Persistence. Why, How, and Where the Cherokee and Other Indigenous Languages Continue. 
  • Tender Violence in U.S. Schools, And Its Origins in Missionary and Colonial-settler Education. 
  • Designing Cultural Connection.

The First Annual Indigenous Resilience Event

This event held on October 3, 2019, included a gathering for women in sciences and a panel discussion with scholars who center their work on native peoples’ resilience through science, technology, and indigenous knowledges.

Thank you for attending the First Annual Indigenous Resilience Event! Stay tuned for more opportunities to engage.

Photo credits: Danzel Jones and Anthony Wilder

Affinity Group Leadership

Kylie Bemis
Lecturer, Khoury College of Computer Sciences

Kylie Bemis is a faculty in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University. She holds a B.S. degree in Statistics and Mathematics, a M.S. degree in Applied Statistics, and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Purdue University. In 2013, she interned at the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection, where she developed the Cardinal software package for statistical analysis of mass spectrometry imaging experiments. In 2015, she was awarded the John M. Chambers Statistical Software Award by the American Statistical Association for her work on Cardinal. In 2016, she joined the Olga Vitek lab for Statistical Methods for Studies of Biomolecular Systems at Northeastern University as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2019, she joined Northeastern as faculty, where she now teaches data science and develops curriculum for the MS in Data Science program. Her research interests include machine learning and large-scale statistical computing for bioinformatics.

While at Purdue University, Kylie Bemis served as president of the Purdue chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and secretary of the Native American Student Association (NASA). She is active in outreach to the Native American and LGBTQ communities. She is an enrolled member of the Zuni tribe, and she is a writer of fiction and poetry. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Nameless Woman: An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color (2018), Maiden Mother Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes (2019), and Transcendent 4: The Year’s Best Transgender Themed Speculative Fiction (2019).
Ellen Cushman,
Professor & Associate Dean, Office of the Dean, CSSH
Mary Jo Ondrechen
Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Mary Jo Ondrechen (she/her), Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. I serve (mostly in informal capacity at NU, more formally through AISES) as a mentor to Native American students. I am a co-PI and mentor in the AISES project “Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM.” Pathways now has 119 undergrad, grad, postdoc, and junior faculty members participating nationwide. I am also co-Director of the HHMI-funded project, Northeastern University Skills, and Capacity for Inclusion (NU-SCI).