Dartmouth's commitment to Native American Studies began with the founding of the College. Mohegan preacher Samson Occom raised funds for the College in Britain. The grant for the College, given in 1769 by King George III of England, highlighted Native American education as the purpose of the institution: "...for the education and instruction of Youth of the Indian Tribes in the Land in reading, writing & all parts of Learning which shall appear necessary and expedient..." Unfortunately no more than 71 Indians attended in the years 1770-1865, and in the century between 1865 and 1965, only 28 Indians enrolled at Dartmouth.
Dartmouth's commitment to Native American education was re-affirmed on March 2, 1970 by Dartmouth's 13th President, John G. Kemeny, during his inauguration. President Kemeny promised to enroll a "significantly greater" number of Indians than at any time since the College's founding. This commitment has since been reaffirmed by every College president. The first Chair of the Program was Michael Dorris. The Native American Studies program began in 1972 with two course offerings. It now offers more than 20 courses each academic year, and supports a Major and Minor in the Program.
Last Updated: 11/5/08