Northern Michigan University has made an appearance on a top colleges list geared specifically to the Native American student experience. “The 200 List” appears in the special college issue of Winds of Change, a magazine published quarterly by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). The magazine has compiled information on 200 four-year colleges and universities “where American Indians are going to school in significant numbers and where the community, Native programs and support system are strong enough for these students to enjoy college and stay on to graduation.” Pictured are students participating in a past Homecoming parade.
The list does not rank the institutions from top to bottom. Instead, it offers state-by-state comparisons. NMU is one of six Michigan universities to make the cut. Others are Central, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan State and the University of Detroit Mercy.
“I was delighted to learn that NMU was included as part of this year’s Winds of Change Top 200 list,” said April Lindala of the NMU Center for Native American Studies. “American Indians are disproportionally underrepresented at state universities as compared to their non-Native peers. Longstanding programs such as the Native American Student Empowerment Initiative and this year’s new Elders-in-Residence program, both originating from our center, strive to build community for tribal citizens studying here at NMU. Support programs such as these can lead to retention of American Indian students and, subsequently, their graduation.”
Northern offers an interdisciplinary Native American Studies minor and more than two dozen related courses that can also be applied toward a concentration for a general studies associate degree or master of education administration degree. There is also an American Indian Education certification endorsed by the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA).
Other attributes designed to enhance the Native American student experience include opportunities to publish in The Anishinaabe News, an outdoor fire site (pictured) and a resource room filled with books, films and other materials. There are also three student groups: the Native American Student Association, which hosts the annual First Nations Food Taster (this year’s is Friday) and campus pow wow; the NMU chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, which was officially reactivated this week; and the Native American Language and Culture Club.
For more information, contact Lindala at 227-1397.