Rae Gould, an anthropologist and member of the Nipmuc Nation, has been named the campus’s first tribal liaison, providing the administration with an in-house advisor on Native American issues and an opportunity to develop stronger relationships with tribes in the region.
Gould will also oversee compliance with the federal Native American Graves Repatriation and Protection Act (NAGPRA) and teach courses through the anthropology department and the Native American Indian studies certificate program. She reports to the Chancellor’s Office and the anthropology department.
Gould is already familiar with the campus, having served as a lecturer and repatriation coordinator in the anthropology department from 2010-14. For the past three years, she has worked at the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s Office of Native American Affairs in Washington, D.C., where her duties included policy and guidance development, youth program development, and case support for tribes across the country on Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
“We are delighted that Rae has returned to our campus community,” says Enobong (Anna) Hannah Branch, associate chancellor for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. “She will play a leading role in shaping our responsiveness to the needs our Native American community on campus and guiding outreach to develop and strengthen ties with tribes throughout Massachusetts.”
Since her arrival on campus in October, Gould has been laying the groundwork for a Native American Advisory Council to advise the Chancellor’s Office. The council will help broaden ties between the tribes and the university.
“I’ll be informing university leaders about relationships with tribes and how that translates into specific actions, depending on what the chancellor’s council decides,” says Gould. “Different tribes may have different needs.”
Gould will also advise Student Affairs and Campus Life about activities in support of Native American students, including recruitment, outreach and climate initiatives as well as programs, policies and services, such as the Josephine White Eagle Cultural Center.
A graduate of Connecticut College, Gould completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Connecticut. She is a member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and the Society for Historical Archaeology.