Walking the Path Together

Walking the Path Together Goals:Group of 4 people at the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women parade in Hannahville.

The Social Work Department and CNAS, in conjunction with the Walking the Path Together (WPT) project, seek to support and connect interested students with rural tribal communities for internship placements. The programs also seeks to advance education in Native American Studies and work with victims of crime in Indigenous communities with an emphasis on Great Lakes Indigenous perspective.

Is there a need? Yes.

Retaining qualified victim advocates in rural reservation communities is immensely challenging.

Domestic violence programs are seeking to place skilled and caring advocates in rural Indigenous communities. Successful advocates will embody cultural humility and engage in culturally inclusive approaches.

Addressing the Challenges:

The three key challenges addressed through the WPT are:

The rural nature of the region creating distance between tribes and major universities with accredited programs.

The rural nature of the region creating distance between tribes and major universities with accredited programs.

Financial barriers exacerbated by poverty and economic disparities that are endemic in rural Native American communities.


WPT Interns and Fellows will:

Understanding the challenges and engaging in cultural humility are both required for meaningful advocacy work.


  • Continue to grow their interpersonal and communications
  • Foster positive connections in their community through collaboration with clients, other employees at the agencies, and their fellow interns 
  • Demonstrate effective and reflective writing
  • Collaboratively design and complete a practical learning plan with the support of their agency supervisor and instructor
  • Develop and enhance cultural humility and sensitivity with Indigenous communities.

WPT Benefits:

Undergraduate Students Advanced BSW & MSW Everyone

Undergraduate students can enroll in a summer course and a 96-hour paid mini-internship. These students will complete a summer course while placed in a tribally run victim services program located within an Indigenous community throughout the Upper Peninsula.

MSW first-year and BSW advanced-year students may apply to the Walking the Path Together Social Work Fellowship, in which they will complete a 400 hour field placement with a tribal victim-services agency. Individual students will be awarded up to $3000 per semester to support the costs associated with completing the internship program.

WPT will host professional development workshops for students and regional professionals, provided by qualified and established consultants. Regional tribal victim service agencies will be able to share opportunities to recruit NMU students for field placements or employment.


Contact Us

Social Work Department Center for Native American Studies
2400 Suite Jamrich Hall 112 Whitman Hall
906-227-2706 906-227-1397
wpt@nmu.edu cnas@nmu.edu

Land Acknowledgment

Northern Michigan University is located in beautiful Marquette, Michigan, upon the ancestral homelands of the Anishinaabe Nation. Anishinaabe people are among the First Peoples of the Great Lakes. Marquette is known to the Anishinaabe as Gchi-namebinin Ziibing, which refers to a life-sustaining river.

Special thanks also to the Hannahville Indian Community, Bay Mills Indian Community, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.