Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Landscape photo of desert in the foreground, with a rocky bluff off to the side.

Advancing NAU’s commitment to Indigenous People

Dear colleagues,

We have long been recognized as one of the nation’s foremost institutions serving Indigenous students. Today, I am excited and honored to share more about the next steps on this front, with the announcement of a transformational gift that will power our future efforts to meet our strategic commitment to Indigenous Peoples. 

NAU has been awarded a $5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, matched by an additional $5 million investment from the Northern Arizona University Foundation (NAUF), to develop and implement the Seven Generations Signature Initiative (7GSI) over the next three years. 

I encourage you to read the full press release that outlines the key projects that comprise 7GSI.

7GSI is informed and energized by the renewed commitment to Indigenous Peoples articulated in NAU’s strategic plan, NAU 2025 – Elevating Excellence. The commitment bears repeating on this momentous occasion, as it has guided our work throughout the development of the grant proposal:
In recognition of the unique sovereign status of Native Nations and the sacred land on which the university was built, NAU will continue its intentional support for Indigenous students, faculty, and staff; develop universitywide culturally responsive educational opportunities and programming; and build mutually beneficial partnerships with Indigenous communities that will position NAU as the nation’s leading university serving Indigenous Peoples.
Through the work of 7GSI, NAU will contribute to the advancement of Indigenous knowledges and scholarship, strengthen partnerships, and propel Indigenous student success. Coupled with the university’s recently announced expansion of the Access2Excellence tuition commitment for members of Arizona’s 22 federally recognized tribes, it demonstrates clearly how we are taking bold strides and enacting substantive initiatives to meet our aspirational goals.

Over the months ahead, more will be shared about each component of 7GSI. I look forward to the collaboration and partnership of our university community on this important endeavor that will help us meet our commitment to Indigenous Peoples.

In partnership,

José Luis Cruz Rivera