Natural Way: Indigenous Voices Speaker Series

Cornel Pewewardy

Comanche - Kiowa
Director of Indigenous Studies at Portland State University


Indigenous research and teaching methodologies are founded in relationships which must in turn be based on respect, reciprocity, relevance, and responsibility.

Cornel Pewewardy Cornel Pewewardy is Comanche-Kiowa and an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. Growing up in Southwestern Oklahoma, Cornel followed the collective talents of the artists and musicians in his extended family. From this exposure, Cornel learned of his cultural ancestry and rich tribal background at an early age. Being brought up "on the drum" offered the deep appreciation and luminescent spirituality that comes from singing long hours with renowned masters of the Southern Plains' song composers.

Dr. Cornel Pewewardy is the Director and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at Portland State University. A former kindergarten teacher and elementary principal on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico, Dr. Pewewardy is the founding principal of the American Indian Magnet Schools in St. Paul (MN) Public School District. For his architectural design of this award-winning, public magnet school, the National Indian Education Association selected him the 1991 National Indian Educator of the Year.
Cornell also has eight professional music CD recordings on Southern Plains music and ten CDs with combined various artists. In 1998 the Lawrence Kansas Arts Commission awarded Cornel the Phoenix Award for his lifetime contributions to music and arts.