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A native of Greenwich Village, New York, Dr. Gabrielle Tayac has shown a lifelong commitment to indigenous peoples’ rights and histories. Gabrielle Tayac is a member of the Piscataway Indian Nation and belongs to the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Gabrielle Tayac is Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the Accokeek Foundation and was appointed by Maryland's Governor O'Malley to the Historic St. Mary's Commission. Gabrielle Tayac has lectured and consulted about indigenous issues across the country, including recently at the White House. Additionally, Gabrielle Tayac has published a number of academic articles relating to her research.Gabrielle Tayac’s indigenous activism started during her undergraduate career at Cornell University, where she received a degree in Social Work and American Indian Studies. During this time, Gabrielle Tayac spent a semester in Ecuador studying native Amazon rights and participated in a peace delegation to El Salvador, resulting in an article on native rights published in Akwesasne Notes. After graduation, Gabrielle Tayac was chosen along with four other candidates to participate in a fellowship at Amnesty International that allowed her to continue the work she commenced at Cornell. In 1990, Gabrielle Tayac began studying at Harvard University, from which she received both a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology. At Harvard, Gabrielle Tayac was politically engaged and organized multiple symposia and lectures on native history and rights at Harvard and elsewhere.Since earning her doctoral degree, Gabrielle Tayac has been employed by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. At the museum, Gabrielle Tayac has curated a number of exhibits, conducted a body of respected research, and lectured on a number of vital topics. Currently a Historian on permanent appointment with the museum, Gabrielle Tayac held previous roles as Curator and Director of Education.

Work experience



Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian




Harvard University


Harvard University


Cornell University