To access this work you must either be on the Smith College campus OR have valid Smith login credentials.

On Campus users: To access this work if you are on campus please Select the Download button.

Off Campus users: To access this work from off campus, please select the Off-Campus button and enter your Smith username and password when prompted.

Non-Smith users: You may request this item through Interlibrary Loan at your own library.

Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

ENX 301


Environmental Science and Policy


Paul Wetzel


The relationships between land grant universities in New England and nearby Indigenous tribes are rooted in cultural and physical genocide and as well as countless other atrocities that still manifest today. Universities have played a unique role in the theft of Indigenous land and have a long history of exploitative and harmful research practices. Some universities have more programs or infrastructure for Indigenous peoples, whereas others make Native issues less of a priority. While many individuals at the schools we studied are trying to improve their programs and relationships with Indigenous nations, there is a long way to go.

This paper will give a brief overview of each of the six schools we studied and their Native American programs. These schools are:

o University of Maine (UMaine)

o University of New Hampshire (UNH)

o University of Vermont (UVM)

o University of Rhode Island (URI)

o University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass)

o University of Connecticut (UConn)

We conducted this research for the organization Farm to Institution New England (FINE) and have provided a series of recommendations compiled from our interviews for them and others. Organizations such as FINE that want to be involved with these university and tribal programs and relationships must consider several principles when entering into this work, given this fraught history. While our initial inquiry was whether food could create a bridge between Indigenous communities and land grant universities as that is FINE's focus, we found that food was not often directly present in official Indigenous programs at land grant universities. One reason for this is because, as our interviewees identified, there are more pressing desires and needs for university Native American programs that have to be addressed first. However, we did come across food sovereignty projects in the Northeast that are not tied to higher education institutions.


© 2021 The authors


This project report summarizes the semester-long efforts of a team of students working on a project with a community partner. The student team gathered background information; collected data through surveys, interviews, or experiments; analyzed results, and reported findings and recommendations to the community partner and the public in an oral presentation. This report documents the combined effort of the project by the student team who wrote the report together.