Native-Focused Student Services
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American Indian Law Program

University of Boulder
LegalColorado Law

At Colorado Law, we believe that American Indians deserve the very best lawyers and that we have an obligation to train them. Our American Indian Law Program faculty, including the nation’s top scholars and practitioners in the field, offers a full slate of introductory and advanced classes in the field to prepare students for all aspects of Indian law practice, and we now have dozens of successful alumni practicing Indian law in tribal government, federal agencies, and at law firms.

American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program

Cornell University
Native Transfer ProgramCollege of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) can help with your transfer application and can connect you to the transfer coordinators of specific Cornell colleges and schools. To make the transfer process more efficient, Cornell has articulation agreements with a number of colleges and universities.

Contact:
Wayva Waterman Lyons
wl685@cornell.edu

Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies

University of Minnesota - Duluth
HumanitiesAmerican Indian Learning Resource Center

Our programs and projects prepare students to become effective child welfare practitioners, particularly in working with American Indian families through offering stipends, coursework and other cultural and experiential learning opportunities. The Center also partners with tribes, county agencies, and non-profits in Minnesota to help improve American Indian child welfare practice and reduce the disparities experienced by families in the child welfare system.

Contact:
Bree Bussey
bussey@d.umn.edu

Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health (CAIANH)

University of Colorado - CU Anschutz
HealthColorado School of Public Health

The Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health (CAIANH) was established in 1986 and is the largest, most comprehensive, and longest standing program of its kind in the country. Our mission is to promote the health and well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives, of all ages, by pursuing research, training, continuing education, technical assistance, and information dissemination within a biopsychosocial framework that recognizes the unique cultural contexts of this special population.

Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP)

Montana State University
HealthCollege of Nursing

The Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP) is a supplemental student support program for Native American and Alaska Native students pursuing their nursing degree at Montana State University. CO-OP’s goals are to increase the enrollment of American Indian nursing students in the College of Nursing at Montana State University and build a strong pool of American Indian and Alaska Native nurses who are prepared for practice, management, and leadership to serve Indian Country.

College of Education and Human Service Professions

University of Minnesota - Duluth
EducationAmerican Indian Learning Resource Center

The American Indian Learning Resource Center exists to enrich the cultural, academic, supportive, and social environment of the UMD campus. Our mission is to increase the recruitment and retention of American Indian and Alaskan Native students, while promoting a more culturally diverse campus environment. Working in conjunction with UMD staff, the AILRC provides supportive services to empower and aid in the success of our students and to enhance their educational experience.

Daḳota Iapi Uƞspewic̣akiyapi Teaching Certificate

University of Minnesota
LanguageDepartment of American Indian Studies

The Daḳota Iapi Uƞspewic̣akiyapi Teaching Certificate is designed to address the critical point of Dakota language loss in Minnesota by developing a cadre of Dakota language learners, speakers, and teachers. This effort is part of a global indigenous language revitalization movement based on the understanding that language is fundamental to cultural survival and tribal sovereignty.

Indigenous Sun Devil Transfer Program

Arizona State University
Native Transfer ProgramAmerican Indian Student Support Services

The Indigenous Sun Devil Transfer Program helps Indigenous students transition from a community college to ASU. The program provides personalized support whether completing an admissions application or being admitted to ASU. Students are provided with resources and engagement opportunities that support their transition to ASU, connect them with Indigenous peers and staff, and provide personalized guidance to achieve academic and professional goals. The American Indian Student Support staff looks forward to helping you adjust to campus life, build connections and identify mentors.

Indian Natural Resources, Science and Engineering Program (INRSEP) + Diversity in STEM

Cal Poly Humboldt
STEMIndian Natural Resources, Science and Engineering Program (INRSEP)

The Master of Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship (MTRES) is an applied graduate degree designed in consultation with regional tribes to create future leaders and stewards of tribal natural resources. There is no other graduate-level degree program like this in the country. This degree program takes an integrated approach to protection of natural resources through the lens of Indigenous environmental stewardship.

Indigenous STEM Research and Graduate Education (ISTEM)

University of Idaho
STEMAquaculture Research Institute

The University of Idaho (UI) is taking the lead in American Indian graduate-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education by forming the Indigenous STEM Research and Graduate Education program, or ISTEM. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded University of Idaho nearly $750,000 to create a national network of institutions collaborating to increase the number of Native students entering and completing masters and doctoral programs in STEM fields. ISTEM is a pilot program with the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program at NSF.

Indian Legal Program

Arizona State University
LegalSandra Day O'Conner College of Law

Established more than 30 years ago, the Indian Legal Program (ILP) at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University has grown to become one of the most respected Indian law programs in the nation. Situated in the heart of the Southwest, with connections to Arizona’s 22 tribes and tribes nationally, the ILP is in the perfect location for students looking to study the developing field of Indian law. Our nationally recognized faculty members are leading scholars in their fields, producing research and publications, as well as providing outreach and public service.

Contact:
Patty Ferguson-Bohnee
pattyfergusonbohnee@asu.edu

Indians Into Medicine (INMED)

University of North Dakota
Health School of Medicine & Health Sciences

INMED provides academic, personal, social, and cultural support for students in grades 7 through graduate studies. Each year, INMED enrolls an average of 100 health, pre-health, and allied health students in various academic programs.

Contact:

Indians Into Psychology (InPsych)

University of Montana
HealthDepartment of Psychology

The InPsych program is designed to recruit American Indian/Alaska Native undergraduate students into psychology and recruit, fund and train American Indian graduate students into Clinical Psychology. The ultimate goal is to send licensed American Indian/Alaska Native Clinical Psychologists back to reservation communities and urban Indian health programs to fill the needs for culturally competent care and address health disparities.

Contact:

INMED

University of Arizona
HealthHealth Sciences

The goal of the AZ INMED is to develop collaborative partnerships with tribal nations, K-12 school districts, community-tribal colleges, universities and health professional schools to recruit, support and encourage Native American students to enter and succeed in the health professions at the Arizona Health Sciences Centers located in both Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona (Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Public Health).

Indigenous Teacher Education Program

University of Arizona
EducationCollege of Education

The Indigenous Teacher Education Program (ITEP) is an in-person Bachelor's Degree granting program that was founded in 2016, through a grant from the US Department of Education. Our mission is to increase the number of Indigenous teachers serving Indigenous students, schools, and communities. Our students graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood or Elementary Education and a teaching certification.

Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program

University of Arizona
LegalJames E. Rogers College of Law

What makes the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program at the University of Arizona Law unique is our approach to legal education in the fields of federal Indian law, tribal law and policy, and Indigenous peoples human rights. Students are trained in the classroom and in real-world settings by faculty who are leaders both in their academic fields and as practitioners in tribal, national, and international forums.

Contact:
Justin Boro
justinboro1986@email.arizona.edu

(520) 626-9224

Law & Indigenous Peoples Program

University of New Mexico
LegalLaw & Indigenous Peoples Program

The UNM School of Law has a strong and longstanding tradition of dedication and commitment to the development of the field of Indian law education and assisting in the legal protection and representation of Native American nations and communities.

Contact:
John P. LaVelle
lavelle@law.unm.edu

Lakota Studies

Oglala Lakota College
LanguageLinguistics

The Lakota Studies department offers four different degrees as well as a Lakota Language Certificate. By training to develop skills in research, evaluation, communication, analysis, and graphic design, you'll experience a customized education befitting of the ever-changing demand of modern society. The department also provides the focus for the entire college in maintaining a Lakota perspective.

Master of Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship

University of Minnesota Duluth
STEMAmerican Indian Studies

The Master of Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship (MTRES) is an applied graduate degree designed in consultation with regional tribes to create future leaders and stewards of tribal natural resources. There is no other graduate-level degree program like this in the country. This degree program takes an integrated approach to protection of natural resources through the lens of Indigenous environmental stewardship.

Master of Professional Studies (MPS) Indigenous Governance

University of Arizona
LegalJames E. Rogers College of Law

The Indigenous Governance Program (IGP), a partnership between University of Arizona Law’s Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program and the University of Arizona Native Nations Institute (NNI), provides professional development, leadership training, and graduate education for individuals interested in a deep, practical understanding of Indigenous governance and rights. IGP’s nation building and Indigenous governance curriculum combines the expertise of world-renowned faculty with data-informed research on what works for Native Nation (re)building efforts. IGP offers both in-person and online courses for tribal leaders and other professionals to collaborate on how to strengthen Indigenous governance.

Contact:
Dr. Tory Fodder
taf05@email.arizona.edu
(520) 621-3093

MPA Tribal Governance

Evergreen State College
GovernanceMaster of Public Administration

Currently, there is no other Master of Public Administration program in the U.S. with an emphasis on Tribal Governance. With that in mind, the Tribal Governance Cohort focuses on structures, processes and issues specific to Tribal Governments providing the knowledge and skills needed to work successfully within public administration. The Cohort is also appropriate for those working with governmental or other organizations in a liaison role with Tribal Governments.

Contact:
Puanani Nihoa, MPA
nihoap@evergreen.edu
(360) 688-4780 (cell)

Master of Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship (MTRES)

University of Minnesota Duluth
LegalAmerican Indian Studies

The Master of Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship (MTRES) is an applied graduate degree designed in consultation with regional tribes to create future leaders and stewards of tribal natural resources. There is no other graduate-level degree program like this in the country. This degree program takes an integrated approach to protection of natural resources through the lens of Indigenous environmental stewardship.

Master of Tribal Administration and Governance

University of Minnesota Duluth
GovernanceAmerican Indian Studies

The Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) is an applied professional development degree designed to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work as an administrator in a tribal government. Students in the program may already serve as tribal administrators, council members or tribal leaders. Students who currently work or aspire to work professionally in tribal governments or management positions will benefit from this program, which emphasizes both the acquisition of academic knowledge and the application of practical skills.

MLS in Indigenous Peoples Law

University of Oklahoma
LegalTBD

The M.L.S. in Indigenous Peoples Law is an online, 33-credit hour graduate degree that can be completed in 15 months. This program offers a strong foundation in Native American Law for non-lawyers who deal with contracts, negotiations or any other issues that demand knowledge of Native American policy, regulation or business practice.

Master of Arts in Native American Languages and Linguistics

University of Arizona
LanguageLinguistics

The NAMA degree program is oriented towards community language activists who wish to train in the kinds of skills and experience needed to work on maintaining, revitalizing, and documenting their native languages. Students interested in NAMA can either be speakers or second language learners of their language, or ones who have studied a particular Native American language and have close contact with that language community.

MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship

Gonzaga University
BusinessSchool of Business Administration

Gonzaga's MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship (MBA-AIE) program was established in 2001 with the generous help of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Gonzaga University was chosen to develop the program because of its national recognition, accreditation, strong mission, and commitment to social justice. The program strives to prepare leaders to effectively manage and support sustainable business on American Indian reservations.

MBA in Native American Leadership

Southeastern Oklahoma State University
BusinessJohn Massey School of Business - Online MBA Programs

Culture can be your key to success with our 100 percent online MBA in Native American Leadership degree program. Learn how to manage diversity in a changing world as you explore personal and organizational leadership, tribal sovereignty and contemporary issues facing the Indian Country.

Navajo Law Fellowship Program

University of Arizona
LegalJames E. Rogers College of Law

The Navajo Law Fellowship Program provides financial support, mentorship, a Navajo law curriculum, externship opportunities on the Navajo Nation, and bar preparation assistance to Navajo Juris Doctor (JD) students attending University of Arizona Law.

Contact:
Faith Liston
afs1@email.arizona.edu
(520) 621-1166

Native Americans Into Medicine (NAM)

University of Minnesota - Duluth
HealthCenter of American Indian and Minority Health

NAM is a seven-week summer enrichment program for college sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in pursuing health careers. The 2023 NAM Summer program will provide students with both qualitiative and quanitative research experience, using data from the Minnesota Youth Survey. The dates of the program are June 20th-Aug 4th. The 2023 NAM program is a two-summer cohort.

Contact:

Native American Science and Engineering Program

University of Arizona
STEMEarly Academic Outreach

An initiative of the Office of Early Academic Outreach at The University of Arizona, the Native American Science & Engineering Program is a FREE year-long program designed to provide Native American high school students with the necessary resources to enroll in college and pursue a career in a Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) field. NASEP participants will gain a wide exposure to these fields through interactions with university experts on many subjects including environmental sustainability. The intention of this program is to expose students to a wide variety of STEM pathways so as to better inform their college pathways in the context of the Native American experience.

Native Children's Research Exchange Scholars Program

University of Colorado - CU Anschutz
HealthColorado School of Public Health

The NCRE Scholars Program provides career development support to early career investigators and late-stage graduate students interested in pursuing research on substance use and disorder and Native child and adolescent development.

Contact:

Native American Tribal Management

Nicolet College
BusinessBusiness Management Programs

Develops the skills of people who work or plan to work in a First Nation environment including fundamental management skills, and how a Native nation’s legal, political and cultural context impact an organization’s work.

Native Early Transition Program (NET)

University of Alaska - Anchorage
College BridgeNative Student Services

Native Student Services (NSS) provides a safe, affirming space on campus for Alaska Native, Native American, and Indigenous students. It is a gathering place where incoming and current students can find academic, advising, and cultural support; access resources; study with classmates; attend culturally empowering events, connect with community representatives; and interact with people who share similar experiences as Indigenous peoples.

https://iaia.edu/

New Freshman Summer Bridge (NFSB)

Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)
College Bridge

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) New Freshman Summer Bridge (NFSB) is a free, three-week, on-campus program available to incoming IAIA Freshmen with no college experience who have been accepted to IAIA for Fall 2022. Students establish skills for college readiness, leadership, and creativity with dedicated instructors and staff. Students will also earn three credits through educational workshops and classes while attending the program.

Ojibwe Language Program

Bemidji State University
LanguageLanguages & Indigenous Studies

Bemidji State University is home to the first collegiate Ojibwe language program in the United States, starting with adjunct classes in 1969 and a full three-year sequence of language courses starting in 1971. Additional current course offerings include Ojibwe Culture, Ojibwe Oral Literature, and Instruction of Ojibwe.

Preparing Indigenous Teachers & Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS)

University of Alaska Southeast
EducationSchool of Education

Alaska is diverse and so are our educators. The PITAAS program is a scholarship that supports Alaska Native students who want to become teachers and administrators in Alaska’s schools. A total of 228 degrees and certificates were awarded to 152 Alaska Native students with PITAAS scholarship support. PITAAS graduates are employed by 28 of 54 school districts across our vast state. Application for Spring 2023-Summer 2023 will be posted mid-November.

Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) for American Indians and Alaska Natives

University of New Mexico School of Law
LegalAmerican Indian Law Center, Inc.

PLSI is an intensive two-month program that prepares American Indian and Alaska Native individuals for the rigors of law school by essentially replicating the first semester of law school. The PLSI concentrates its content into eight weeks of instruction, research and study, teaching students the unique methods of law school research, analysis, and writing. The success of the PLSI in providing a nationally respected pre-law orientation can be traced to its original and continuing intent — that it be based on sound legal education principles, and not function as a philosophical, political, or cultural training ground. For more than five decades, the Law Center has remained dedicated to providing valid training in the skills required for the study of law.

Sloan Scholars Program; Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership

University of Montana
STEMIndigenous Research and STEM Education

The UM Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (UM SIGP) was established in the fall of 2005. Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian) graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM at The University of Montana are eligible to apply for the scholarship program established by the A.P. Sloan Foundation. The UM SIGP Program is intended to increase the number of Indigenous Americans earning master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM disciplines.

Contact:
Dr. Thomas
406-243-2052

Stanford Native Immersion Program

Stanford University
College BridgeNative American Cultural Center

The Stanford Native Immersion Program (SNIP) is a six-day, fun and information-filled virtual experience designed to welcome incoming frosh to the Farm.

Yup'ik; Yup’ik Language and Culture; and Iñupiaq Bachelor of Arts degrees; minor degrees in Alaska Native Languages; Yup'ik, and Iñupiaq; Associate's degrees in Native Language Education and Yup'ik Language Proficiency; and certificates in Native Language Education and Yup'ik Language Proficiency

University of Alaska - Fairbanks (Kuskokwim campus in Bethel, AK)
LanguageAlaska Native Lanaguage Center

The Alaska Native Language Center offers academic programs ranging from certificates to bachelors degrees. Our programs promote language revitalization, community connections, and intergenerational learning.

Tribal Colleges and Universities

Tribal colleges and universities provide dynamic higher education opportunities, most on or near reservation lands. Known for their remarkable programs, culturally-relevant curricula, and familial student care – tribal colleges allow students to further their careers, attain an advanced degree, or better support their communities.

News & Events

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust Partners with American Indian College Fund to Support Native Student Veterans

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust Partners with American Indian College Fund to Support Native Student Veterans

Fellowship program will support the success of Native student veterans at TCUs

May 17 2024, Denver, Colo.— The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) has received a $50,000 grant from the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust to implement a six-month fellowship focused on empowering Native student veterans to success. The Naabaahii Ółta’í (Student Warrior): Native Student Veterans Peer-to-Peer Program is a mentorship opportunity that builds relationships between veterans based upon their shared experiences.

The Native Student Fellows will collaborate to develop and implement a community-based project that will support the overall health and wellness of their TCUs and communities. This opportunity will help the participating Native student veterans discover how to best fill their roles both on and off campus. Each TCU involved in the project will receive $9,000 to support programmatic efforts.

American Indian College Fund President and CEO, Cheryl Crazy Bull, said, “We appreciate being able to honor the Native men and women who support our country through military service. The Naabaahii Ółta’í (Student Warrior): Native Student Veterans Peer-to-Peer Program allows fellows to use the skills learned in the armed forces to take up mantles of leadership in a new way on tribal college campuses and in their home communities.”

Both of the selected Native Student Fellows, Cynthia Jones and Tori Benally, shared their thoughts on the importance of this program. Jones said, “As an Indigenous Female Veteran, I have endured many challenges that have come before me, the voices of my ancestors through their songs and prayers have bestowed upon me, I now can see myself as a leader of my family and community.”

Benally added, “Being a part of this scholarship, has taught me how to become a leader as a woman. To stay ahead and to be prepared to help give an experience of knowledge to those who need it. Mental health is a mental crisis that’s often overlooked. Knowing there is help is what our culture needs, being involved to provide guidance is the best felling ever.”

About the American Indian College Fund The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 34 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $17.4 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2022-23. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $319 million in scholarships, programs, community, and tribal college support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

JournalistsThe American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.

American Indian College Fund Launches “Make Native Voices Heard” Voting Campaign

American Indian College Fund Launches “Make Native Voices Heard” Voting Campaign

Campaign shares stories of why Native votes matter and how to register

May 14, 2024, Denver, Colo.— Native Americans are more impacted by the law than any other group in the United States. Native students in higher education, or seeking a higher education, in particular are impacted by federal and state laws impacting funding for education, such as Pell Grants, student loans, and federal funding for tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), 70% of which comes from federal sources. To ensure Native students, community members, and their allies are represented and heard at all levels of government, the American Indian College Fund (College Fund) is launching its “Make Native Voice Heard—Vote!” campaign to encourage Native people to register and vote on Tuesday, November 5.

In addition to ensuring Native voices are heard with regard to higher education, voting also gives Indigenous communities representation within laws and policies that guide Native nations, including housing, health care, early childhood education, energy programs, and reservation infrastructure. Other critical issues such as the high rate of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, environmental protections, and economic development in the balance, Native voices need to be heard at every level of government.

One hundred years ago on June 2, the U.S. government unilaterally extended U.S. citizenship to Native Americans with the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act. As dual citizens of their Tribal Nations and the United States, members of federally recognized tribes have the right to register and participate in both non-Tribal (federal, state, and local) elections and Tribal elections to decide who should represent them.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “Native people were often deterred from exercising that right, and continually litigated for that right to be honored. Only in 1958, 38 years after the Indian Citizenship Act, did Native voters participate in elections in all 50 states. By voting in tribal, local, state, and national elections, Native people exercise their legal right to vote and honor the ancestors that fought for it, while ensuring we have a say in our futures as Native people and sovereign Nations.”

To make Native voices heard and exercise the right to vote, every Native citizen must register to do so in their state of permanent residence. The College Fund’s Make Native Voices Heard web page shares information on how to register to vote in every state at https://collegefund.org/vote/register/.

As part of the campaign, the College Fund will also share information about how to make a voting plan and ways voting impacts Native communities in big ways. Native students, tribal college presidents, faculty, and staff and others are also invited to share their reasons for voting and voting plan in blogs and videos at https://collegefund.org/vote/. It is also offering $500 awards to TCU students who are leading voter education events.

For more information on how to submit a blog or video, grants for voter education events, and to follow the campaign, visit https://collegefund.org/vote/ or follow the College Fund on Facebook at American Indian College Fund and Native Pathways.

The campaign will run from now through early November.

About the American Indian College Fund The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 34 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $17.4 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2022-23. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $319 million in scholarships, programs, community, and tribal college support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

JournalistsThe American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.

Support for Native People in Higher Education Includes Permitting Sharing of Tribal Affiliations

When John Little, a member of the Standing Rock Lakota Nation and the director of Native recruitment and alumni engagement at the University of South Dakota, used his tribal affiliation and his gender pronouns in an email signature, he was told to remove them.

The reason? Little was told he was in violation of the Board of Regents Policy 1.7.6 concerning communications and branding. He was told the policy was enacted to “create standards and expectations for institutional communications and brand management to preserve and protect a cohesive message and image.”

Support for Native People in Higher Includes Permitting Sharing of Tribal Affiliations - Board of Regents Policy 1.7.6 concerning communications and branding.Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, a member of the Oglala na Sicangu Lakota and director of Native Student Services, shared on Instagram she was also told she was in violation of the Regents’ policy for including her tribal affiliation on her email signature.

The Board of Regents oversees the University of South Dakota and five other state higher education institutions in that state. Employees who fail to comply with the new policy face the possibility of discipline, suspension, or termination for noncompliance, despite the fact that gender pronouns and tribal affiliations are not specifically mentioned in the policy.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, Sicangu Lakota and President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, and a graduate of the University of South Dakota (USD) and South Dakota State University, says the action is troubling because it represents the lack of systemic support for Native students, faculty, and staff in mainstream higher education institutions. Crazy Bull shared she has appreciated that USD, through the leadership of both Little and Red Shirt-Shaw and other Native advocates, had maintained a clear commitment to honoring and supporting Native students and alumni through a variety of activities, including both on-campus and off-campus events.

Having Native identities, voices, cultures, and perspectives recognized and respected in the same manner as any other group is important to Indigenous student, faculty, and staff success in higher education.

The American Indian College Fund asks its allies to stand with Native faculty, staff, and administrators to include their tribal affiliations and identities (or other cultural identities if non-Native), and gender pronouns in their e-mail signatures as a sign of support.

The newest higher ed battleground: college email signatures

In South Dakota, administrators faced retribution for including their tribal affiliation: https://mile-markers.beehiiv.com/p/newest-higher-ed-battleground-college-email-signatures