Faculty Civic Excellence Award

Faculty Civic Excellence Award


Gabrielle Tayac 

Associate Professor of Public History
Department of History and Art History, George Mason University

Award announcement for Gabrielle Tayac

Gabrielle Tayac is a public historian, curator, and community engaged scholar committed to empowering Indigenous perspectives. She is a Piscataway tribal citizen serving as an associate professor of public history at George Mason University. Tayac earned her doctorate and master’s in sociology from Harvard University, and her bachelor’s in social work and American Indian Studies from Cornell University.

Her scholarly research focuses on hemispheric American Indian identity, multiracialism, indigenous religions, and social movements, maintaining a regional specialization in the Chesapeake Bay. Tayac served on staff at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian for 18 years as an educator, historian, and curator.

She strives to be a good relative and ancestor for upcoming generations. She maintains widely accessible presence in public discourse. Tayac initiated and now oversees the Public History Lab to train upcoming scholars and co-create methodologies to activate inclusive, meaningful narratives.

At Mason, she is the faculty advisor for the Native American and Indigenous Alliance and associate director for the Center for Mason’s Legacies. Currently, her major projects include For a Sovereign Generation: Indigenous Rights Activists in Washington, D.C. after 1985, partnering with the Center for Humanities Research and curating Native American components of the permanent exhibit reinstallation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.