November is Native American Heritage Month, and the University of Arizona is honored to highlight the work of a few Indigenous Wildcats who are involved on campus and in their communities.
Learn more about these students, their passions, and their advice for other Indigenous students.
Major: Elementary Education
Minors: Gender and Women’s Studies & Mexican-American Studies
Affiliations: Queer and Trans Person of Color Two-Spirit discussion group, Indigicats
Major: Natural Resources (Wildlife Conservation and Management)
Minor: American Indian Studies
Affiliations: American Indian Student Initiatives (AISI), Miss Native American University of Arizona
Major: Public Health (Environmental and Occupational Health)
Affiliations: Native American Science Engineering Program (NASEP), American Indian Student Initiatives (AISI), Miss Native American University of Arizona, research through the Native Nations Institute and Banner Health-University Medical Center
Augie: “Native American Student Affairs (NASA) is the main central organization that you want to go to. It offers a bunch of opportunities such as programs and events. They have an embedded counselor to help students and the people there are really nice.”
Dynnika: “NASA is a cultural community that offers academic resources, support services, and a student space for studying and lounging. With this community, I was able to create and be a part of clubs and organizations that recognize Indigenous voices and to be academically supported by its resources. NASA highlights inclusivity and community, and I believe this support helps students succeed in higher education.”
Nadira: “My parents and family really keep me motivated. I want to support my community, my relatives, and my tribe with the different skills and knowledge that I will obtain here at the University of Arizona.”
Augie: “Keeping my culture alive and working toward the idea of serving the students.”
Dynnika: “I hold my future goals and Diné cultural upbringing as my motivators in college and through life’s challenges.”
Nadira: “My main career goal is to be a tribal liaison between governmental agencies like Arizona Game and Fish or U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service, so working with Tribal Nations and state or federal agencies just to make sure that Indigenous issues are being heard when we are talking about conservation and environmental policy.”
Augie: “My goal is to become a teacher and work with students on the reservation. The university has helped me find the Indigenous Teacher Education Program, which is focused on having Indigenous teachers serve Indigenous communities and students.”
Dynnika: “I hope to earn a Master of Public Health with a focus on Environmental Health Science and continue with my education to initiate and facilitate research in my Indigenous community.”
Nadira: “Make sure that you find peers here on campus who will support you.”
Dynnika: “Occupy and Indigenize these academic spaces and resources. No matter what field of study you choose, our representation and voice matter. You are making your community proud and paving the way for the next generation of Indigenous students and leaders.”
Nadira: “When we went to the Navajo Nation parade, there were a lot of people who loved seeing the University of Arizona being represented and I really enjoyed seeing that Wildcat pride amongst the Navajo people.”
Augie: “My favorite part is the campus. While there are a bunch of different people doing whatever they need to do, we all have this one identity that unifies us.”
Dynnika: “My favorite part about being a Wildcat is finding and making connections, whether that is seeking community, resources, services, peers, and/or career opportunities.”
The University of Arizona is proud to offer many opportunities to support Native and Indigenous students in achieving their goals. Some of these include Native American Student Affairs, the on-campus cultural center dedicated to helping Indigenous Wildcats succeed.
The university also offers the Arizona Native Scholars Grant, an institutional grant program that covers any remaining gap in tuition, mandatory fees, tuition differentials, and program fees for main campus, Native American, Arizona resident undergraduate students from Arizona’s 22 federally recognized tribes.