The Native American Initiative (NAI) at Sonoma State University is aimed to increase the number and educational access of our local Native American and Indigenous to enroll and graduate from the university.
In the past three years, SSU has taken a multidisciplinary approach to enhancing student services focused on Native American communities, which includes the newly formed Native and Indigenous Student Support Initiative Committee, a stronger partnership with the local tribes of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria representing the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo people, and the creation of the Native American Program for Student Success.
The following are selected components of the NAI at SSU:
- Hired a Director of Native American Studies, Dr. Erica Tom
- Developed the Native American and Indigenous Studies Reading Group and Independent Studies course
- Hosted in 2019 the 33rd California Indian Conference
- Hosted in 2018 the Indigenous Wisdom and Shamanism Conference
- Earned Chancellor Office grant in April 2020
- Used grant funding to create the Native American Program for Student Success and to hire two Native American Student Mentors
- Strategic Partnership with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
- Collaboration and funding (approx. $2.84 million) to expand the Fairfield Osborn Preserve and build the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Learning Center. Read more about the gift.
- Received funding for approximately $700,500 to expand the Summer Bridge Program (2018 to 2020) for hundreds of first-generation college students. The funding allowed the program to serve more students for more days with enhanced student services for the Educational Opportunity Program, PUERTA and Native American students.