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NAU Land Acknowledgement Statement: Northern Arizona University sits at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, on homelands sacred to Native Americans throughout the region. We honor their past, present, and future generations, who have lived here for millennia and will forever call this place home.
NACC 10 Year Anniversary Celebration Video
Celebrating a Decade of Culture and Inclusivity
The Native American Cultural Center (NACC), a unit under the Office of Native American Initiatives opened its doors to become a “Home Away from Home” for many in the NAU Community in October 2011. From its inception, the NACC has striven to support students and to educate the larger community on the histories, cultures, and issues facing Native American/Alaskan Native/ Native Hawaiian and Indigenous communities. The Native American Cultural Center was a dream 30 years in the making for the NAU and Flagstaff community. There were many people involved with the creation of the NACC, including tribal officials, two past NAU Presidents (Dr. Clara Lovett and Dr. John Haeger), and countless NAU students, faculty, and staff.
The 12,000 square foot facility houses activities that support student recruitment and retention, serving as a point of connection for Native and Indigenous groups and programs on campus and with Tribal communities. The center embodies Native values and symbolizes NAU’s commitment to Native Americans. Our main doors open to the east, greeting the sun every morning. Like many traditional Indigenous homes, the NACC has an opening in the center of the building. The NACC also hosts a Story Room, which is specifically designed to accommodate our students’ spiritual needs.
Since 2016, the NACC has served over 10,000 students per year and has hosted over 70,000 guests per year in various capacities, such as tours, educational presentations, concerts, cultural events, and student services. The pandemic created a major disruption in the way that the NACC provided support to students, and our services turned to virtual spaces to bring the community together. Although this virtual environment provided us with unique engagement opportunities, we look forward to sharing and holding space with our community in the future.
NACC Programs & Services
The NACC has 4 programs that provide support for the next generation of Indigenous Leaders and Advocates by providing a community of understanding and success the Indigenous Way. These 4 Programs are the Elders Program, the Indigenous Cohorts of Care Program, the Indige-Jacks student worker Program, and the Indigenous Pathways to Success Program.
Each of these programs is designed with the assistance of Indigenous knowledges and philosophies directed at providing a holistic approach to supporting students by way of focusing on cultural education and expression, inclusive academic education, social outreach, and health and well-being. All four of the NACC Programs offers opportunities to attend events at the NACC, to join in critical conversations, and to find your community of support and success! For additional information about how to become involved at the NACC email us at NAU-NACC@nau.edu.
ONAI is led by Vice-President Ann Marie Chischilly. The Office of Native American Initiatives has 5 different programs and many partners that strive to support NAUs goal to become the leading university serving Indigenous Peoples:
- The Native American Cultural Center (NACC) is the central hub for Native American & Indigenous activities at NAU, providing resources for Indigenous students, Arizona tribes, local organizations, and students, staff, and faculty throughout the NAU campus.
- The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals focuses on the protection and sustainability of Native American land, strengthening tribal capacity and sovereignty in environmental and resource management through culturally relevant education, research, partnerships and policy-based services.
- The goal of the Institute for Native-Serving Educators or INE is to be the premier preK-12 professional development institute of choice for Native Nations in the United States.
- The Development program of ONAI focuses on locating resources for NAUs Native American and Indigenous community.
- The Tribal Leadership Initiative provides training and support for current and future tribal leaders in Indian Country through graduate curricula, executive education, youth leadership programs, fellowships, and more.
ONAI offices are located on the second floor of the NACC and in office 105. ONAI seeks to make a substantial and enduring contribution to a new era in Native American and Indigenous self-determination by:
- partnering with Native American and Indigenous communities
- collaborating with tribal colleges and universities
- contributing to a culture of support for Native American and Indigenous students
- building bridges to and from Indigenous-serving institutions across the globe
Questions about ONAI? Call 928-523-9124 or email Shirley.Conrad@nau.edu. ONAI is open from Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm.
Supporting and Encouraging Indigenous Students
The Office of Native American Initiatives in conjunction with NAU Marketing, worked together to create logos and graphics that represent ONAIs Core Values of Relationships, Responsibility, Respect, and Resilience. These logos and graphics are a collective representation of values that are upheld within many different Indigenous communities.
- The Relationships graphic was inspired by the staple imagery of the four cardinal directions that are considered sacred in Native American cultures. The feathers represent the trust, honor, wisdom, and strength that is necessary in establishing and cultivating relationships.
- The Responsibility value is a sun that illustrates responsibility by showing the effect that it has by reaching out with its rays. It also signifies the beginning of a new day as it rises from the east. Both of these express dependability and accountability which are essential parts of responsibility.
- The Respect value is represented by a water graphic that uses a droplet shape often utilized in Native American jewelry and other inspired circular designs. Water is used here to visually express the importance of respect and the value of community approval and honor.
- The Resilience value is represented as a corn stalk that is found in many Native American images. Corn is a resilient crop which ties directly to the concept of resilience. It also symbolizes the growth students experience through support in their education.
The NACC is operating on a reduced capacity currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NACC will be accepting Room Reservations on a very limited basis. Please use the NACC Room Reservations Google Form to submit your requests.
Are you a Student Organization looking to reserve NACC space for AY 22-23? Contact us directly at NACCRooms@nau.edu and provide your Student Organization meeting day and time, Contact information, and preferred room.
The NACC will begin charging a nominal administrative fee for room reservations beginning Fall 2022, fees will be different for each room based on size and amenities offered. If you have any questions, please email us at NACCRooms@nau.edu. Check back starting August 1, 2022 to submit room reservation requests for Fall 2022.