Pandemic Message

Pandemic Update: For updates on the current status of each opportunity, please contact the Advisor listed, or for courses, check the linked Class Roster page.


Minimum GPA: 2.80

Terms and Dates:

  • Winter 2021


Donna Ramil

Cornell Affiliations:

Industrial and Labor Relations


Opportunity Description

Note: Due to the global pandemic this program will be held in a virtual format this winter break.

The Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, in collaboration with the ILR International Programs Office, will offer a virtual opportunity to explore mediation practices by the Hopi and Navajo Nations. 

The primary objective of this engaged learning program is to explore the culture of two Native American tribes and their traditional and modern methods of resolving conflicts. The secondary objective is to study contemporary dispute resolution in the southwest United States, including water, land use, tourism, and environmental issues.

Richard Fincher (ILR'73), the Executive Director of the Asia Labor Arbitration Project (ALAP) in Scheinman will serve as the primary faculty lead for the program, and Donna Ramil will serve as the administrative and engaged learning leads.  

What is unique about this program?

Students will gain a broad understanding of the of current issues under dispute by indigenous communities in the US.  In fall 2020 Students will attend pre-program sessions to review traditional mediation and restorative justices practices.  Faculty from Cornell's American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) will share information on the new CU and Indigenous Dispossession Project

The approximate program dates will be from January 4-17, 2021.  Since this is a new pilot opportunity the program leads are still working on the January details but students must be available during the entire program time-frame- no exceptions.

Some of the topics that may be covered in January include:

  • Overview of Native American history, treaties, federal obligations, and oversight
  • Conflict resolution in the Hopi nation (mediation)
  • Conflict resolution in the Navajo nation (peacemaking)
  • Conflict resolution in the national park system -environmental/pollution, water use, tourism overuse, effects of Glen Canyon Dam, employee disputes, light pollution, noise pollution from aircraft, employee issues
  • Conflict resolution in water rights and environmental issues (multi-state Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River, cattle grazing rights)
  • Coal pollution and jobs on Navajo nation, from Black Mesa coal mine
  • Cultural Program on Southwestern Native American silver jewelry and silversmiths

Program Timeline

Fall 2020

Students will be required to take part (virtually) in 4-5 prep meeting.  The times and dates will be based on students' schedules.

January 2021

Winter Break engagement from January 4-17, 2021.  Most days students will attend 1-2 virtual lectures and a group meeting.  There will be some preparation assignments between days.

Spring 2021

Students selected to the program will be enrolled in a 1 or 2 credit directed study project, co-supervised by an ILR faculty member and Richard Fincher.  Students will be required to submit a final academic reflection based their experience and research focus (will determined based on students’ interests).

How do I apply?

1) Review the program Requirements.

2) If possible, attend the info session or meet with the program advisor (Donna Ramil, to discuss the program details and your eligibility.

3) Complete the online application by clicking on the "Apply" button on this web page. You must log in with your NetID and password to access the application. Note that the term in "Winter 2021".  

If you have a problem with the application, please contact for assistance.