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Gabrielle Tayac

Smithsonian Museum

United States

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Gabrielle Tayac - Professional Summary:    A member of the Piscataway Indian Nation, Gabrielle Tayac, PhD, has served as the group's Research Director since 1994, focusing on a major repatriation project. Using a variety of research tools including ethnographic, oral, genealogical, and historical materials, Dr. Tayac demonstrated that the modern-day Piscataway have a cultural affiliation with certain human remains held in various museum collections and by the state of Maryland. Experts representing the state agreed with Dr. Gabrielle Tayac’s findings and recommended repatriation of the remains.

Dr. Gabrielle Tayac also holds the position of Recognition Coordinator for the Piscataway, a tribe which currently is not recognized by any state government or the federal government. In a research project spanning years, Dr. Tayac has prepared materials supporting the claim of the Piscataway for official recognition by the state of Maryland. Her work was presented to the state-appointed Recognition Committee, which unanimously recommended positive action on her findings.

Dr. Gabrielle Tayac earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and American Indian Studies from Cornell University and a Master's and PhD in Sociology from Harvard University. Over a dozen of her articles appeared in scholarly publications, with close to a dozen more in publications of general interest. In 2002, Dr. Tayac authored a book for children titled Meet Naiche: A Native Boy of the Chesapeake Bay Region, which garnered significant acclaim.

Shortly after earning her PhD in 1999, Dr. Gabrielle Tayac accepted a position as Education Director with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. She has enjoyed an ongoing relationship with the museum ever since, serving in a number of different capacities and currently holding the title of Historian. Recent visitors to the museum will recall the multimedia exhibit IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas, which Dr. Tayac co-curated. She also edited the lavishly illustrated 256-page book that accompanies the exhibit.


Gabrielle Tayac - Professional Experience:   


Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Washington, DC US
Washington, D.C. (Permanent Appointment) Research, lecture, write, and advise on hemispheric indigenous peoples histories. Develop new scholarly unit at museum geared to indigenizing methodologies, theory, and content. Curate exhibitions and direct content for public programs, and publications.



Gabrielle Tayac - Education:   


Harvard University
Doctorate (Ph.D.)
Cambridge, MA US
11/01/1993 — 05/30/1999

National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Research Fellowship Harvard Graduate Prize Fellowship


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