Distinguished Lecturers
Gabrielle Tayac

Gabrielle Tayac

Gabrielle Tayac, a member of the Piscataway Indian Nation, is a public historian and community-engaged curator committed to empowering Indigenous perspectives. For over thirty years, she has served on staff and boards of numerous human rights organizations centering energy on global indigenous movements. Tayac continuously mentors indigenous/Latinx youth and families through a culturally grounded tribal approach incorporating historic consciousness and land-based practices.  Her scholarly research focuses on hemispheric American Indian identity, collective identity, indigenous religions, and social movements, maintaining a regional specialization in the Chesapeake Bay. She served on NMAI's staff for 18 years as first education director and then as a historian, curating major exhibitions and programs. Following a call to deepen commitments to knowledge legacies, Tayac took a two-year journey to uplift the voices of indigenous elder women leaders, sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors prior to settling back at home. She is now an Associate Professor of Public History at George Mason University, always striving to be a good relative and an honorable ancestor.  Tayac earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from Harvard University, and her B.S. in Social Work and American Indian Studies from Cornell University.


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