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The Native American Support Program (NASP) cultivates an environment supportive of positive experiences for Native American and Indigenous students at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Learn about NASP initiatives and programming, and get updates on upcoming events and resources both on the UIC campus and within the greater community.

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  • Welcome Dr. Tol Foster (Mvskoke Creek Nation of Oklahoma) - Interim Director of the Native American Support Program

    We are pleased to announce that Dr. Tol Foster (Mvskoke Creek Nation of Oklahoma) started serving as the Interim Director of the Native American Support Program (NASP), effective March 1, 2021, while a national search for a permanent director gets underway.  Dr. Foster succeeds Cynthia Soto, who served as Director of NASP since 2015 and has recently left UIC to take on a position at the Spencer Foundation. Since he joined UIC in 2019, Dr. Foster has been serving as a Pre-Health Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and he will continue to serve in this role at a reduced level while being the NASP Interim Director. 

    Dr. Foster has a M.A. and a Ph.D. in English (American Literature with a concentration in American Indian Studies) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Prior to coming to UIC, Dr. Foster has served as an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Marquette University, Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Lecturer in the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Report of the Native Americans at University of Illinois at Chicago

    The UIC Native American Task Force was formed in 2019 to address the question: What is the status of Native Americans on the UIC campus? Charged with making recommendations in four key areas – access, achievement, inclusion, and engagement – the Task Force was asked to identify strengths, challenges, and areas for improvement, with the goal of building an optimal learning environment for Indigenous students. It became clear that answering this question would necessitate attending to issues of recruitment, Native faculty presence, data collection and representation, academic programming, and the production of Indigenous knowledge. 

    This report culminates a year of work in 2019-2020 that marked the 50th anniversary of UIC’s Native American Support Program (NASP). This year also marked our perseverance through a global pandemic with overlapping medical, societal, economic and political crises that are having disproportionate impacts on Native communities, and thus are reshaping the realities documented in this report. We see this as a critical time to contribute the findings of this Task Force to the efforts to strengthen and deepen the relationship between Native communities and the University, and to chart a course toward UIC becoming a leader in the advancement of Native visibility and voice. 

  • Organizing and Action in an Era of Collapse, Kelly Hayes (Menominee), Informal Discussion

    This event is open to ALL students, staff, faculty, and community friends. 

    Kelly Hayes (Menominee) is a direct action trainer and a co-founder of the Lifted Voices collective and the Chicago Light Brigade. She is also the host of the Truthout podcast Movement Memos. Kelly’s written work can be found in Truthout, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Yes! Magazine, Pacific Standard, NBC Think, her blog Transformative Spaces, The Appeal, and multiple anthologies, including Truthout's Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Kelly also co-authored two essays with Mariame Kaba which are featured in Kaba's new book, "We Do This Til We Free Us." Kelly was honored for her organizing and education work in 2014 with the Solidarity to Celebrate award in Chicago, and in 2018 with the Chicago Freedom School's Champions of Justice Award. Kelly's movement photography is featured in the “Freedom and Resistance” exhibit of the DuSable Museum of African American History. In her online projects, Kelly has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years to support various forms of mutual aid and community care, and helped to launch coordinated mutual aid efforts in Chicago at the onset of the pandemic. Kelly has also been involved with numerous defense committees, including the campaign to free Bresha Meadows, and has organized fundraisers that have helped secure the release of incarcerated people, including #FreedomDay, a Twitter fundraiser that freed 22 people from immigration detention in the summer of 2019.

  • Healthy Learning Environments for Native American Students in Higher Education

    Date: April 29, 2021 from 12:00PM - 1:00PM

    Our workshop pulls from a declaration created by the American Indian College Fund, titled “Creating Visibility and Healthy Learning Environments for Native Americans in Higher Education.” This workshop will provide an opportunity for Native serving academic professionals to share, evaluate, and develop best practices on how to build a more inclusive and vibrant campus for Native students.

    Please note that this is an interactive workshop where we encourage participants to reflect on their own experiences of navigating the education system and converse about what support structures worked for them and what did not. We will then review the eight best practices proposed within the AICF declaration and facilitate an open conversation for participants to share what principles are and are not reflected within their respective institutions.

  • Urban Native Education Conference

    The Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative (CAICC) is pleased to announce that the Call For Proposals for the 2021 Fifth Annual Urban Native Education Conference is now open.  The virtual conference will take place May 14-15, 2021

    Our conference theme this year is Living Our Values Towards Health & Healing. The theme acknowledges the ways in which our values shape and support our individual, family and communities’ health, wellbeing and healing, specifically during a pandemic. At the core of many Native American and Indigenous communities are the values known as the 4 R’s – relationships, reciprocity, responsibility, and respect. In what ways do these values influence how we build, support, care, teach, learn and lead? How has this pandemic helped to ground us in what’s important? 

    We invite Native American and Indigenous community leaders, knowledge keepers and scholars, students, educators, youth, administrators, helpers and staff of educational programs, organizations and institutions, from Chicago-land (Checagou) and beyond, to join us at the 5th Annual Urban Education Conference. 


    For more information and proposal instructions please visit: https://chicagoaicc.com/call-for-proposals-for-caiccs.../Deadline: April 2, 2021 

    A special miigwech to Le'Ana Asher for permission to use her art, Cones. Learn more about Le'Ana's art here: https://leanaasher.com/?v=32aec8db952d

  • FirstGen Flames Flyer

    UIC Chancellor's FirstGen Flames Abroad Scholarship

    Chancellor Michael Amiridis has graciously supported the launch of a new scholarship to encourage first-generation, first-year students to study abroad.  The Chancellor’s FirstGen Flames Abroad Scholarship is designed to award first-year students with high potential whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor’s degree with a scholarship to study abroad. Students will be notified during their first year at UIC if they have earned the scholarship and will have the remainder of their time at UIC to use the scholarship towards the costs of an approved UIC faculty-directed or exchange program. In addition to receiving a scholarship, FirstGen Flames Scholars will participate in a series of workshops as a cohort to learn about selecting a study abroad program, opportunities for additional funding, integrating study abroad into their academic major, and using international education to advance their career.

    Scholarship amounts:

    10 students will be selected to receive a scholarship to study abroad each year. Scholarship amounts will vary depending upon the length of program the recipients choose:

    Less than 3 weeks: $1,6003-6 weeks: $2,100Semester: $2,600

    The deadline to apply for this year is April 15, 2021.

    For more information, visit studyabroad.uic.edu/scholarships

  • Registration is Open for the 2021 Mid Year Conference

    Registration for the 2021 Mid Year Conference is now open!

    At NCAI’s Mid Year Conference, attendees have the opportunity to come together to address issues critical to Indian Country. This year, the conference will occur virtually for the first time and will provide tribal leaders and partners a unique opportunity to discuss and work on the issues facing Tribal Nations directly from their respective homelands. 

    In addition to championing issues, NCAI's Mid Year Conference is home to the 16th Annual Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum (TLSF). The purpose of TLSF is to provide researchers, practitioners, community members, and others an opportunity to present research and data findings to tribal leaders, policymakers, and tribal citizens.

    June 20-24, 2021

    Early Bird Registration Deadline: May 30, 2021

    Register online today by clicking below, or download the form and mail your form of payment.



  • UIC Career Services Upcoming Events

    Please take a moment to read and share the below announcements with students, alumni, and/or co-workers.  We have several great career events taking place next week and would like to encourage members of our UIC community to participate!

    • The Crown: Black Hair in the Workplace, Part 2 (Tuesday, 4/6, 4:30-5:45 PM)

    For students graduating this year, we encourage them to attend the following webinars:

    • Career Changes: Strategies and Stories From Alumni Who’ve Done It (Wednesday, 4/7, 12:00-1:00 PM)
    • Should I Wait or Should I Go: Navigating the Decision to Pursue Graduate School (Friday, 4/9, 12:00-1:00 PM). 
    • Top 10 Questions an Applicant to Medical School Should Ask & St. George’s University Information Session (Wednesday, 4/7, 4:00-5:00 PM). 

    For students seeking internships, we are offering the following webinars:

    • Resumes & Cover Letters for Internships, Wednesday, 4/7, 3:00-4:00 PM
    • Social Justice in Chicago: Service Opportunities Seminar, Thursday, 4/8, 10:00-11:00 AM
    • Interviewing for Internships, Thursday, 4/8, 4:00-5:00 PM

    Thanks for your time.  For questions, contact UIC Career Services (312-996-2300 or careerservices@uic.edu).

  • American Indian College Fund Updates

    • Medical School Application Workshop: Attend this two-day workshop for a comprehensive review of the medical school admissions process presented by top medical schools. 
    • Tribal Public and Environmental Health Fellowship: Apply to the full-year paid internship and research the environmental health of Alaskan tribal lands. 
    • Graduate Marketing Internship: Apply to the 3-month internship and work across various phases of the Nike marketing process. 
    • Criminal Justice Travel Grant: 15 American Indian and Alaska Native students can attend criminal justice-related conferences. 
    • USAJobs Navigation Webinar: Register for this virtual training that provides a step-by-step process for searching for, and applying to, Federal jobs. 
    • Bloomberg Summer Institute: Take courses designed to introduce indigenous health leaders to public health approaches to address health disparities in tribal communities. 
    • Henry Roe Cloud FellowshipThe Roe Cloud Fellowship has developed American Indian Studies at Yale by supporting doctorate completion in Native studies. 
    • NAHJ Multimedia Fellowship: NAHJ and Verizon Media are providing fellows the opportunity to make an impact with their multimedia content.
  • Don't Miss These Opportunities this April: 2021 UNITY Virtual Midyear Conference

    Register Today for UNITY’s Virtual Midyear Conference. Thanks to our sponsors, it’s complimentary! No registration fee this year. We've even simplified the process so you can register for additional exciting Spring webinars and trainings all in one place.

    • Pre-Conference Training: Learn the dos and don’ts of a virtual meet-up.
    • Complimentary Registration! Click here.
      • Friday, April 23 @ 5:30 - 7:30 PM (PST) General Session I
      • Saturday, April 24 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PST) General Session II
    • Download the draft agenda! Click here.