#NUIndigenousStudents: COVID-19 Experiences From the Perspective of Indigenous Northeastern University Students

Indigenous Students and COVID-19

Northeastern University is a private college located in Boston, Massachusetts, with a student body comprised of a variety of races and ethnicities. According to an analysis conducted by Data USA and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Fall Enrollment, the student body is approximately "...37.7% White, 11% Asian, 6.76% Hispanic or Latino, 3.58% Two or More Races, 3.38% Black or African American, 0.0405% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.0225% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders. " ¹

The small number of Indigenous students enrolled is still vital to Northeastern University as it is a testament to various communities that have survived hardship and continue to exist today.  This exhibit is not limited to Indigenous peoples from just North America, and provides a space for Indigenous students of various backgrounds to express their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that we preserve our experiences now, since they were hidden for many years. 

To see Northeastern University Indigenous stories, click on the page "Indigenous COVID-19 Experience at NU."

If you are also interested in Indigenous experiences during the pandemic outside of Northeastern University, feel free to click on the page "Indigenous COVID-19 Experience Outside of NU."

As your browse our stories, keep in mind the poem below, written by poet Joy Harjo, who is a member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation.



By Joy Harjo

Remember the sky that you were born under,
 know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of 

Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their

tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember. ²

For information on what being Indigenous means, please watch the video in the item below.³


What Does It Mean to Be Indigenous?

What Does It Mean To  Be Indigenous? By CBC News.

1.       Data USA, "Northeastern University," Deloitte and Data Wheel, 2019, https://datausa.io/profile/university/northeastern-university

2.      Joy Harjo, "Remember," Poets.org, 1983, https://poets.org/poem/remember-0

3.      CBC News, "What does being Indigenous mean?" YouTube Video, 00:02:46, June 21, 2017, 



Exhibit created by Claire Lavarreda, Fall 2021 intern for the Journal of the Plague Year.

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