The University of Utah: Marking Native American Heritage Month

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In November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, which highlights the achievements and contributions of Indigenous peoples and nations to our society. Indigenous faculty, staff, and students are vital members of our university community, which makes the University of Utah stronger. The university has planned a list of events to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

Recently, the university adopted a Declaration of Recognition of Indigenous Lands which is used at the start of campus events to recognize the important role the Ute Indian tribe plays for the U.

We recognize that this land, which is named after the Ute tribe, is the traditional and ancestral homeland of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute tribes. The University of Utah recognizes and respects the enduring relationship that exists between many Indigenous peoples and their traditional homelands. We respect the sovereign relationship between tribes, states and the federal government, and we affirm the University of Utah’s commitment to partnership with Indigenous nations and urban Indian communities through research activities, d education and community awareness.

In addition to special relationship with the Ute Indian tribe, the University of Utah, through numerous colleges, departments, and programs, continues to reach out to tribes and tribal organizations throughout Indian country. Note that “Indian country” is an artistic term used to refer to both different types of land, including Indian reserves, allotments, and dependent Indian communities, as well as the peoples and tribal nations which combine to form the Indian country. .

“I invite our university community to take the time this month to reflect on the contributions of Indigenous peoples on our campus and in our state,” said Taylor Randall, president of the University of Utah. “While the university has made progress in our relationship and support to Indigenous nations over the past few years, I recognize that there is still important work to be done. “

There is a strong set of initiatives, programs and groups across the university that work to support the success and recognition of Indigenous peoples. Below is an overview of ongoing activities.

Land recognition declaration

Find more information on the University’s Indigenous Land Recognition here.

Land recognition declaration

College level initiatives

College of Education

The College of Education has created the Native Education @ the CoE community dedicated to promoting Indigenous excellence in various academic fields, especially education. The community is made up of faculty and staff who believe in working collaboratively with the Native American and Native peoples of Alaska, including the eight distinct sovereign nations of Utah, to advance educational goals.

College of Humanities

The College of Humanities via the American West Center is engaged in a vast awareness campaign among the tribes of the region. The Center has successfully conducted over 2,000 Aboriginal oral interviews as part of its oral histories work. The college’s communications department also published a statement recognizing the work that remains to be done to seek equity with indigenous peoples and their sovereign nations.

College of Social Work

Dena Ned, Associate Dean of the First Generation Access Office at the College of Social Work, focuses her research and work on India’s Child Welfare Act, Title V of India’s Improvement Act health care, Indian-American urban health policies and delivery of health care systems.

David Eccles School of Business

The David Eccles School of Business has developed the First Ascent Scholars Program, which cultivates, encourages, and enables study-oriented students with significant financial needs to attend Eccles School and connect with the University of Utah, the local and global community while reaching their full academic potential. As part of the First Ascent Scholars program, the David Eccles School of Business has educated tribal communities and successfully recruited tribal citizens to the School of Business.

SJ Quinney College of Law

SJ Quinney College of Law worked with the Navajo Nation to develop a Memorandum of Understanding, which will help cover the tuition fees of Navajo citizens attending the College of Law. The Law College is also hosting a Pathway to Law School conference, reaching out to potential and current Indigenous law students across the country.

College of Education College of Humanities College of Social Work David Eccles School of Business SJ Quinney College of Law

Utah University of Health

Huntsman Cancer Institute

The Huntsman Cancer Institute provides Native American Patient Navigators to help Native patients navigate the healthcare system. The School of Medicine also offers a Graduate Certificate in Tribal, Rural and Underserved Medicine which aims to prepare and encourage medical students at the University of Utah to choose residences and careers in primary care. that serve tribal communities, rural communities and / or medically underserved communities. after graduation.

Medicine School

The School of Medicine offers the Native American Summer Research Internship. The Native American Research Internship is a dynamic summer research opportunity for junior and senior Native American students interested in health science research. The purpose of the internship provides Native American students with outstanding laboratory or clinical research experience alongside world-class research professors at the University of Utah. The objective of the internship is to support the academic, professional and personal development of Native American students interested in careers in the health sciences.

Huntsman Cancer Institute School of Medicine

American Indian Resource Center

The mission of American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) at the University of Utah is to advocate for Native American and Native Alaskan students through recruitment and retention projects that lead to graduation. AIRC serves as a vital link between Native American and Alaska Native students, the university, and the community at large. The AIRC strives to increase the visibility and success of Native American students on campus by advocating and providing student-centered programs and tools to enhance academic success, cultural events to promote personal well-being and a favorable “home away from home”. a space for students to grow and develop their leadership skills. AIRC strives to advance public education regarding contemporary issues in Native American and Native Alaskan communities. The AIRC also seeks to promote awareness and collaboration with Indigenous nations and communities in the state of Utah and the region.

U centers, groups and associations

Center for Equity and Student Belonging

The Center for Equity and Student Belonging (CESB) supports Indigenous students with dedicated staff hired to create and support Indigenous and Indigenous programs and to directly advise the Intertribal Student Association (ITSA).

Intertribal student association

The Intertribal student association provides a support system for Indigenous students at the University of Utah, fostering unity, cultural strength, and advocacy for Indigenous issues.

Native American Society of Science and Engineering

The Native American Society of Science and Engineering works to dramatically increase the representation of Native Americans and Alaska Natives in engineering, science, and other related technological disciplines.

Indigenous and Allied Students Association

The Indigenous Student Association and Allies seeks to educate the community as a whole about American Indian culture and issues while providing Indigenous students with the opportunity to explore cultural connections.

Native American Law Students Association

The Native American Law Students Association provides support to students interested in practicing Indian Law, as well as programs related to the legal challenges facing the Indian country.

Society for the Advancement of Chicano / Hispanics and Native Americans

The University of Utah Chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos / Hispanics and Native Americans (SACNAS) is an inclusive community dedicated to supporting diversity and inclusion in STEM fields and promoting the success of scientists from under-represented backgrounds.

Center for Equity and Student Belonging Inter-Tribal Student Association American Indian Science and Engineering Society Indigenous Student Association and Allies Native American Law Student Association Society for Advancement of Chicanos / Hispanics and Native Americans

Editor’s Note: In addition to his role at the University of Utah, Elizabeth kronk warner is a citizen of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and served as Tribal Appeal Judge and District Judge for the Potawatomi Tribe of the Prairie Band.


This press release was produced by University of Utah. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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