With respect to Native, First Nations, Aboriginal, and indigenous peoples around the globe, this page is a resource to highlight ISEP Member Institutions that maintain certain designations or affiliations, student populations, academic programs, and/or relationships that either further the education of indigenous communities or offer opportunities for our students and members to learn more about indigenous peoples worldwide.
- Minority Institutions in the United States
- Top Programs for Native American Studies
- Native, First Nations, Aboriginal, or Indigenous-Serving ISEP Members Outside the U.S.
- Other Ways to Learn About Indigenous Peoples with ISEP
1. Minority Institutions in the United States
Alaskan-Native or Native Hawaiian-Serving Institution (ANNHI)
Institutions that serve an undergraduate population that is both low income and in which Alaska Native students constitute at least 20% or Hawaiian Native students constitute at least 10%
Fort Lewis College
Also a Native American-Serving Nontribal Institution (NASNTI), approximately 41% of Fort Lewis students are Native American or Alaska Native, representing 177 nations, tribes, and villages. FLC consistently ranks as one of the most culturally diverse colleges, and its faculty, staff, and administration work to create a living and learning space supportive to the needs of all FLC students. Qualified Native American students can attend Fort Lewis College tuition free through their Native American Tuition Waiver and have many other scholarships and financial opportunities.
In addition to a number of academic clubs serving Native American and Alaska Native students, the Native American Center (NAC) is a hub for indigenous cultural activity and community on campus. The NAC organizes campus events, conducts outreach with tribal communities, provides academic and transitional support to indigenous students, and more.
- Native American Center - Scholarships & Internships
- Native American Student Success Program
- Native American & Indigenous Studies
University of Alaska Southeast
Southeast Alaska is the ancestral home of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples. Their presence extends back thousands of years. Some twenty percent of UAS students are indigenous Alaskans. The advancement of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures and languages are increasingly reflected in UAS programs. As part of its community engagement, UAS has formal partnerships with the Sealaska Heritage Institute, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and Ketchikan Indian Community.
Native American-Serving Nontribal Institution (NASNTI)
Institutions other than TCUs that serve an undergraduate population that is both low income and in which American Indian students constitute at least 10%
Northeastern State University
Back in 1846, Northeastern State University was founded as the Cherokee National Female Seminary. This historic link to the Cherokee Nation and Indian Territory make Northeastern the oldest institution of higher learning in Oklahoma. NSU’s student body consistently has the largest number of American Indian students of any public university in the United States, representing approximately 30 different nations.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Founded in 1887 as a school for the education of American Indians, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke now serves a distinctly diverse student body and encourages inclusion and appreciation for the values of all people. UNCP is the only 4-year public institution founded by American Indians for American Indians. U.S. News & World Report has identified UNC Pembroke as one of the most diverse regional universities in the South. Minority enrollment at UNC Pembroke is 61 percent with 13 percent of students identifying as American Indian.
With a population of approximately 3,000, Pembroke is the historic home of the university and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. The 55,000 members of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina reside primarily in Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland and Scotland counties. The Lumbee Tribe is the largest tribe in North Carolina, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River and the ninth largest in the nation. The Lumbee take their name from the Lumbee River which winds its way through Robeson County. Pembroke, North Carolina, is the economic, cultural and political center of the tribe. Learn more about the Lumbee Tribe.
The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the American Indian Studies department offer programming opportunities for students, including workshops, exhibits, speakers, and programs. The Southeast American Indian Studies program sponsors a speaker series, an annual academic conference, the Museum of the Southeast American Indian, and numerous events celebrating Native American Heritage Month.
U.S. Universities with Significant Percentage of Indigenous Students
Montana State University
MSU is located near a major traditional crossroads for Plains and Plateau Native nations, a meeting place where these nations congregated to trade, celebrate and negotiate. Today, that tradition is continued through MSU’s nationally recognized commitment to Native students- their education, communities and nations- through the exchange of ideas. MSU also offers one of most comprehensive interdisciplinary Native American Studies programs in the region.
Northern Arizona University
NAU attracts more than 1,500 Native American students from over 115 tribal nations throughout the country. NAU is unique in its mission to become the leading university serving Native Americans. The Office of Native American Initiatives (ONAI) was established to make this mission a reality. ONAI seeks to make a substantial and enduring contribution to a new era in American Indian self-determination by partnering with Native American communities, collaborating with tribal colleges and universities, contributing to a culture of support for Native American students, and building bridges to and from Indigenous-serving institutions across the globe
2. Top Programs for Native American Studies
Fort Lewis College
The Native American and Indigenous Studies program reaffirms “Indigenous Peoples” as the Original Peoples of the land. NAIS centers its course work on the indigenous experiences of Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, and First Nations Peoples. The foundational knowledge and methodologies in the NAIS program gives students the skills to engage with and seek future careers in tribal, state, and national levels of government and governance, in the professional fields of education, law, and heritage preservation, as well as a multitude of careers that benefit and are unique to Indigenous communities. A minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies is available to students majoring in other disciplines. Course options include: Contemporary Issues of Native Nations, Federal Indian Policy, Native American Gender Issues, Indigenous Women, Native American Religion and Spirituality, Cultural Heritage Preservation.
Montana State University
The Department of Native American Studies was established to provide and advance quality education for and about American Indians of Montana, the region, and the nation. In fulfilling this mission, the Department is committed to meeting the changing needs of Montana’s Indian tribes and all Montana citizens through excellence in teaching, research, and service. Examples of courses include: Native Food Systems, American Indian Education, Gender Issues in Native American Studies.
South Dakota State University
Coursework in various departments of SDSU provide a broad base for understanding the past, present, and possible futures of American Indian people. The program recognizes the historical and contemporary significance of American Indian experiences. Study of these experiences promotes understanding of the pluralist nature of the United States and responds to the growing need for multicultural sensitivity and awareness. Examples of include the following courses: Introductory Lakota I, Indians of North America, American Indian Literature.
University of Wyoming
The Native American and Indigenous Studies program examines the cultural, social, economic, political, and educational systems of Native and Indigenous communities. The NAIS develops respect for, and understanding of, Native views, culture and history and provides learners with the Native perspective on contemporary issues. Students in NAIS develop and refine skills in creative and critical thinking and analysis and graduate prepared to succeed in any field they choose. Examples of courses include: American Indians in Hollywood Film, Tribal Governments, Indigenous Communities Abroad: International Travel.
3. Native, First Nations, Aboriginal, or Indigenous-Serving ISEP Members Outside the U.S.
University of Regina
The University of Regina is situated in Treaty 4 territory with a presence in Treaty 6 territory. Treaty 4 is the traditional territory of the Cree, Saulteaux, Nakota, Lakota, and Dakota peoples, and it is the homeland of the Métis people.
The Indigenous Studies program is a cross-disciplinary study of Indigenous societies, cultures and knowledge. It is open to both Indigenous and non- indigenous students and explores the history and life of Indigenous people in Saskatchewan, Canada, North America and around the world. It incorporates traditional teachings offered by Elders, as well as traditional perspectives and content. Examples of courses include: Indigenous Political Systems of North America, Principles of Indigenous Law, Inuit Culture and History, Indigenous Systems of Religion and Philosophy, Urbanization and the Indigenous Peoples. Further programs include the following: Education - Indigenous (Elementary), Education - Indigenous (Secondary), Indigenous Fine Arts, Indigenous Languages & Literature (Cree or Saulteaux), Indigenous Social Work.
Massey has a School of Māori Knowledge which provides an academic focus for Māori cultural, educational, social and economic development. The school seeks to retain and develop New Zealand’s heritage and contribute to the advancement of Indigenous peoples. Students can study Māori culture and language as part of the Māori Studies program. Course examples include: Māori Art & Design, Māori Wellbeing and Vitality, Māori and Politics, Foundations of Māori Health.
University of Auckland
The University places particular emphasis on promoting Māori presence and participation in all aspects of University life and encouraging teaching, learning and research in a range of fields important to Māori. Learn more. Students can take a variety of Māori Studies classes including: Introduction to Written Maori, Māori and the Media / Te Ao Paho, Maori Art History: Mana Taonga.
University of Waikato
Rated as one of the leading Mātauranga Māori centres in the country, the University of Waikato represents innovation and tradition in teaching and research - and provides global leadership in sustainable development and Indigenous issues. Students are armed with the knowledge and attitude to advance Indigenous peoples and provide cultural perspectives in contemporary environments.
4. Other Ways to Learn About Indigenous People with ISEP
Many other ISEP Members have unique programs, courses, or other engagement opportunities to connect, serve, or study indigenous cultures and communities, including: