Akwe:kon (pronounced uh-GWAY-go) opened its doors in 1991, making it the nation's first university residence hall established to celebrate American Indian culture and heritage. In the Mohawk language, Akwe:kon means "all of us," reflecting the spirit of inclusiveness the house offers to students and the broader community.
Akwe:kon's 35 residents represent diverse cultures and backgrounds; roughly half are Native American. Whatever their cultural background or tribal nationality, residents share an interest in past and contemporary Native issues and the importance of community and extended family.
Situated on Cornell's north campus, Akwe:kon's distinctive building and landscape were designed with extensive input from Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people, incorporating symbols that reflect the theme of communal spirit. Akwe:kon's presence on campus goes beyond the beauty of its structure, and includes activities and events that provide its residents and the entire Cornell community with ways to experience aspects of American Indian cultures and traditions.
Throughout the year, Akwe:kon – in conjunction with Cornell's American Indian Program – sponsors activities and programs featuring lectures, music, art, and dances by participants representing tribes from throughout the U.S. and Canada. Events are open to the public, and enable the whole Cornell community to experience the spirit of Native cultures and traditions.