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Finding success at Northern Arizona University
The Heart of NAUs Native American Community
Express your culture, expand your mind, and extend your circle of friends.
NACCs Elder Cultural Adviser’s
The Elder Cultural Advisor program is new to the Native American Cultural Center. However, this program was previously housed in the Applied Indigenous Studies Department until Fall 2016 and was known as the Traditional Knowledge Scholar program. This program has been an essential component to support NAU’s mission to serve Native American students and increase retention efforts. Placing Elder Cultural Advisors in one-on-one contact with students maintains cultural continuity, offers traditional knowledge teachings on campus and in the community about lifeways and indigenous philosophies, and balances Native cultural traditions with university life. The Elders do not hold faculty positions and are funded through private gifts and grants.
The Elder Cultural Advisors are centered on meeting and mentoring students, and by helping them find solutions to individual problems by offering cultural and spiritual support. Other areas that the Elder Cultural Advisors assist with include giving presentations to NAU staff, faculty and students in a variety of formats and assisting students with off-campus referrals for spiritual and cultural needs and contributing to recruitment and retention efforts.
The Elder Cultural Advisers (ECAs) are in the Native American Cultural Center (use our Waitwhile app to schedule a meeting) and the SBS West Building. Elders are involved in outreach, research, and other activities with the local Flagstaff and neighboring tribal communities. The Elders provide a lecture series every semester, check the NACC Events page for the dates of the Learning from Our Elders Lecture Series.
Mr. Max gained his role as a traditional practitioner (medicine man) by steadily studying throughout his life. He gained valuable knowledge and experience that equips him to educate youth about their ancestral knowledge and teachings. As an apprentice studying under his elders, Lorenzo acquired the interpersonal skills needed to be an effective practitioner. His is able to translate ancient prayers and songs into stories that are applicable to this day and age. He is adept at communicating the significant and moral interpretations that our ancestors have cherished, with the proper mix of authority, diplomacy, and tact. He remains able to interact with the diverse cultural concerns of native students, parents, and university faculty. Mr. Max is able to help a person rebalance with nature by communicating in a spiritual way and by giving “offerings” to many parts of nature (Earth Water, Wind, Water Plant, animals, insects, Sun, Moon, Rain, and many others), using hundreds of different types of protection/blessing prayers and songs.
If you have any questions, or would like to set up an appointment with Lorenzo Max, click here; please feel free to call the office at the NACC at (928)523-8597 or you can call him at (928)606-0569, you can also email directly at: Lorenzo.Max@nau.edu.
Fall 2020 semester
Lorenzo will move to Zoom meetings, he has regularly scheduled office hours on the following Tuesdays from 11 am to 1 pm:
- September 22 from
- September 29 from
- October 13 from
- October 27 from
- November 3
- November 10
Connect to his office hours via https://nau.zoom.edu Meeting ID: 916 0917 5984, Password: Max
In their work the Elder Cultural Advisors use the NAU Hogan (Building #82b) on south campus, just south of the Forestry Department. A hogan is a traditional Navajo home used not only for everyday living, but also for ceremonial purposes. However, like many other homes, the hogan needs care and attention. We need your help in maintaining the hogan, here are some of the ways you can help:
- Donating time to clean the weeds around the hogan
- Donating time to rake and clean inside the hogan
- Donating wood for the hogan
If you have questions about donating time or resources, please click here.
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
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
Find more information here about: Northern Arizona University Online
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.
Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Services
The Office of Inclusion: Multicultural and LGBTQIA Student Services 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. They:
- promote student success through academic, personal, and cultural growth
- provide an access point into the campus community
- develop leaders that enrich our diverse society
Successful Transition and Academic Readiness (STAR)
STAR offers new freshmen an innovative and exciting way to begin their higher education at Northern Arizona University. This program, sponsored by the First-Generation program, assists new students with making the important transition from high school to college.
Office of Indigenous Student Success (OISS)
As part of the university’s mission, OISS 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.
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
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
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
- NAU Financial Aid
- Tribal Scholarships
- Graduate College
- College of Education (COE)
- NAU Cline Library
- Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation