Native American programs

Explore the various Native American programs offered by Northern Arizona University and the Native American Cultural Center.

Academic programs and departments

Learn more about the education programs and departments that are designed to benefit Native American students.

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College of Health and Human Services    

Health STAR

The Health STAR program is new, innovative new way to allow incoming freshmen to begin their higher education at Northern Arizona University.  It assists new students with making important transitions from high school to college.

Native Journey to Academic Success (NJAcS)

As part of the university’s NJAcs program, you’ll benefit from:

  • faculty mentoring
  • cultural support
  • financial assistance for your education

We also provide career programs like the Dream Catcher Middle School Mentoring and Career Shadowing.

Visit the College of Health and Human Services

Commission for Native Americans

The Commission for Native Americans considers, evaluates, and analyzes all matters pertaining to Native Americans at Northern Arizona University. We establish goals and priorities, engage Native American faculty/staff/students, disseminate and share the information, and most importantly advise the president on these matters.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Applied Indigenous Studies Department (AIS)

The mission of the AIS department is to prepare students to assume 21st century leadership roles for nation building within indigenous communities in the United States and globally.

Traditional Knowledge Scholars program (Resident Elder program)      

The Traditional Knowledge Scholars program offers culturally-based mentoring and provides assistance to all students with traditional knowledge for today’s world.

Archaeology research project

Archaeology research projects include:

  • The Hopi Footprints Project
  • Colorado Plateau Agricultural Origins Project
  • Hopi Iconography Project
  • Southwest pottery traditions
Department of Global Languages and Cultures

The Navajo Translation and Interpretation Program, offered by the Department of Global Languages and Cultures, is a non-degree certification program in Navajo translation and interpretation available to students who are already proficient in Navajo and English.

Extended Campuses

Browse through the following Northern Arizona University Extended Campuses

Pre-college programs

We offer a variety of pre-college programs to help you prepare.

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Educational Support Services (ESU)

ESU provides services to enhance the academic experience of junior high, high school, college and returning adult students. Explore the resources available through ESU.

Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP)

MEP offers a variety of programs designed to increase and enhance the academic performance of all of our declared engineering majors.

Multicultural Academic Peer and Mentoring Program (MAPP)

MAPP pairs freshman and sophomores with upperclassmen tutors and mentors.

Inclusion and Multicultural Services (IMS)

IMS serves a broad array of university students. Important transition services and support is provided for many first generation students, including a growing number of historically underrepresented students. The MSC:

  • promotes student success through academic, personal, and cultural growth
  • provides an access point into the campus community
  • develops leaders that enrich our diverse society

IMS STAR offers new freshmen an innovative and exciting way to begin their higher education at Northern Arizona University. This program, sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center, assists new students with making the important transition from high school to college.

Native American Student Service (NASS)

As part of the university’s mission, NASS is committed to providing culturally-sensitive support services to all of our Native American students, including:

  • American Indians
  • Alaskan Natives
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders

Our emphasis is on serving first-year freshmen and transfer students and providing assistance with the transition from home to the university community.

Student to Student Connections: Shadowing Program

This program pairs Native American high school students with a current social and behavioral sciences student for a day.

Additional resources

Explore our additional pre-college resources:

Community/outreach programs and services

Learn how you can get involved in the community.

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Center for American Indian Economic Development (CAIED)

CAIED is a unique information and resource center for Arizona's twenty- two tribal nations and communities. Services include technical assistance, business consulting and training, and educational workshops.

Institute for Human Development

Capacity Building for American Indians Project (CBAIP)

CBAIP has provided national outreach, technical assistance (TA) and trainings to existing American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Programs and interested American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives in the form of grant writing workshops, grant management trainings, and follow-up assistance that may be needed to ensure a successful program.

Growing in Beauty Partnership Program (GIBPP)

GIBPP is funded by the Navajo Nation’s Education Department to assist the Navajo tribe in addressing their intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Arizona’s Part C Program for infants and toddlers

Indian Children’s Program (ICP)

ICP strives to provide responsive, family-centered and community based services for Native American children with known or suspected disabilities

Nihiyazhi Ba’iit’ih (for our children)

The Nihiyazhi Ba’iit’ih program provides home visiting services to families with children younger than five who reside on the Navajo Nation.

Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

ITEP was created in 1992 to act as a catalyst among tribal governments, research, and technical resources at Northern Arizona University, in support of environmental protection of Native American natural resources, which includes:


Find out what research projects related to Native Americans and the Southwest have been happening at Northern Arizona University.

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Center for American Indian Resilience

The Center for American Indian Resilience is a new 5 year center awarded to NAU in August 2012.  A collaboration between the University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Dine’ College, the center's mission is to reduce health disparities by identifying, assessing, applying and teaching models of resilience associated with positive health outcomes in American Indians. The 6.1 million NIH P20 Grant is the first of its kind to be awarded to NAU and is supported by the National Institute of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and  Health Disparities, Exploratory Centers of Excellence (P20). The grant Principal Investigators are Dr. Priscilla R. Sanderson, Assistant Professor with Health Sciences and Applied Indigenous Studies and Dr. Nicolette I. Teufel-Shone, Associate Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona.

Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention

The overall objective of the Partnership for Native America Cancer Prevention is to alleviate the unequal burden of cancer among Native Americans of the Southwest through research, training and outreach programs.

Additional programs and projects

Other student services and programs