Dr. Gabrielle Tayac

After graduating from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and American Indian Studies, Dr. Gabrielle Tayac served as a Ralph Bunche Human Rights Fellow at Amnesty International in Washington, D.C. As one of five fellows chosen from a nationwide pool, Gabrielle Tayac was selected based on the human rights research in Central America and the Amazon she conducted while at Cornell. In this fellowship, Gabrielle Tayac oversaw and aided 250 Amnesty International high school and college groups, as well as instituted student leadership structures. An advocate for indigenous rights, Gabrielle Tayac created a number of American Indian outreach groups through her work with Amnesty International, including the Indigenous Peoples' Urgent Action Network. Gabrielle Tayac also lent her support for the Indigenous Peoples' Campaign for 1992, created to counter the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival. Building upon her undergraduate work, Gabrielle Tayac organized human rights assistance for cases in Central and South America. Gabrielle Tayac additionally helped in the Oka, Canada, crisis and ran a number of workshops on indigenous issues.

When her fellowship at Amnesty International concluded, Gabrielle Tayac pursued a Master of Arts in Sociology at Harvard University and then continued as a Doctor of Philosophy candidate, receiving her PhD in 1999. Since receiving her doctorate, Gabrielle Tayac has worked with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. After serving as a Director of Education and a Curator, Gabrielle Tayac is now in a permanent appointment position as a Historian. Gabrielle Tayac has managed a number of exhibits at the Smithsonian, including The Native Landscape; Return to a Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake; and IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas. In addition to having published a number of important articles on indigenous issues, Gabrielle Tayac edited the recently published IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas, a companion book to the exhibit.