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Jordan Clark on the Afro-Indigenous History of Martha’s Vineyard and Adopting a Decolonial Mindset on Campus

Recorded on 10/09/2023
Posted in TIE Podcast

TIE Podcast · Jordan Clark on the Afro-Indigenous History of Martha’s Vineyard and Adopting a Decolonial Mindset

This two-part series of the Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE) Podcast features Jordan Clark, Assistant Director of the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) and an enrolled member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah. Joined by TIE’s Editor-in-Chief Alexia Hudson-Ward, this series touches on Martha’s Vineyard’s Afro-Indigenous history, adopting a decolonial mindset in higher education, and how Native American history can be integrated into artificial intelligence tools to avoid bias while also protecting Native communities and knowledge.

In this first episode, Jordan shares how in his role he plans to uplift Native voices, platform Native history, and engage with Native communities through the university. Next, Alexia and Jordan discuss the intersections between African American and Native American history, examining enslavement in early America and the US government’s practice of defining racial groups through “blood quantum laws” and the “one drop rule.” Further, they highlight the anti-Blackness perpetuated against the Wampanoag Tribe and how Afro-Indigenous intersections connect to Martha’s Vineyard’s history.

Last, Jordan walks through the difference between “decolonizing” an institution and adopting a decolonial mindset. A collective decolonial mindset—which includes centering new voices, challenging Western values, and updating language—can help break down colonial structures that limit our thought processes, resources, and solutions. Episode one of this enlightening discussion ends with Jordan’s thoughts on how academia can embrace knowledge-sharing that goes beyond the written word.


About the guest:

Jordan Clark headshot

Jordan Clark
Assistant Director
Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP)

Jordan Clark is an enrolled member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah, located on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Prior to joining HUNAP, Jordan was the Director of Community Programs for Equity and Inclusion at The Cambridge School of Weston, MA. In that role, he managed student affinity and alliance groups, organized community programming, created and managed a four-year service-learning program, and executed leadership training and professional development for students and adults. Jordan was also faculty in the History Department at CSW, focusing on Native American Studies, African American History, the History of Mass Incarceration, and the development of Race in America.

Episode theme music: Black is the Night by Jeris (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: DJ Vadim (djvadim), NiGiD


Watch the video recording of the interview here:

Read the TIE blog post on the episode.


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