Native American Students at the UO

As part of our strong commitment to creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for learning, teaching, and expression, the University of Oregon encourages Native American students to apply for admission. Through a variety of programs, services, and initiatives, the UO seeks to create a welcoming and supportive campus atmosphere for Native American students.

Resources for Native Americans at the UO

Elder blessing flag raising at EMU ampitheater
Indigenous Pre-College Academy

This summer academy aims to create a cohort of college-bound indigenous students from Oregon. Over the course of this eight-day program, the students will get acquainted with the UO's campus, facilities, students, and staff. We want to foster an early sense of comfortability on college campuses that will make the transition into higher education that much easier for our students. Students will stay in our new Kalapuya Ilihi residence hall and get first-hand experience living and learning on a college campus.

More Information

  • The Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) Academic Residential Community is for students interested in delving into the issues facing indigenous communities, as well as exploring solutions to those challenges. NAIS residents live in the newly built Kalapuya Ilihi Hall. Students interested in being part of NAIS must apply to this residential community.
  • The UO offers in-state tuition to all members of the tribes and bands that have a historic relationship to the land that became Oregon regardless of their current state of residence—a savings of over $20,000 per year.
  • The UO offers a minor in Native American studies.
  • The UO has an active Native American Student Union (NASU).
  • The Diversity Excellence Scholarship recognizes the academic achievement and potential of students who, through sharing their varied cultural perspectives, will enhance the education of all students and the excellence of the university.
  • The Native American Student Union organizes an annual Mother’s Day celebration and pow-wow.
  • The beautiful Many Nations Longhouse, which is used for personal, cultural, social, and academic events, is the oldest continuously operated longhouse on a college campus in the Northwest.
  • The Northwest Indian Language Institute offers Sahaptin and Tolowa dialect studies.
  • Academic resources and cultural support for Native American students through the Division of Equity and Inclusion, and TRiO programs.
  • The Pacific Northwest Tribal Climate Change Project within the Environmental Studies Program offers UO students the opportunity to take on internships and research positions examining how tribes can be involved in tackling climate change.
  • The College of Education's Sapsik'walá Project is a master's program that trains Native American students to become professional educators, allowing them to help their communities by returning to teach in Native schools.
  • The Native American Law Students Association promotes the study of Indian Law and traditional forms of government.
  • The Opportunities program presents workshops at schools and community centers that address concerns for both students and parents, such as financial aid and scholarships, essay writing, deadlines, ACT and SAT tests, the admissions process, and the natural fear of going away for college. 
  • UO Connections is a half-day college advocacy program designed for first-generation, ethnically diverse, or economically disadvantaged high school students in ninth through twelfth grades. The program provides valuable college prep information.
  • The Future Stewards Fellowship is a scholarship waiving tuition for Native American graduate students for up to two years. Please review the scholarship criteria to see if you qualify.

Native American Faculty and Staff Contacts

At the UO, you’ll make connections with Native American faculty and staff across campus.

Dr. Kirby Brown (Cherokee Nation)
Assistant Professor
Department of English
541-346-5819
kbrown@uoregon.edu
Kenlei Cowell (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa)
Academic and Career Advisor
Tykeson Hall College and Career Advising
541-346-1072
kcowell@uoregon.edu

Dr. Michelle Jacob (Yakama Nation)
Professor
Department of Education Studies
541-346-9572
mjacob@uoregon.edu

Dr. Brian Klopotek (Choctaw)
Associate Professor
Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies
541-346-0903
klopotek@uoregon.edu

Ethan Mapes (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation)
International Student and Scholar Advisor
Interim Scholar Services Manager
Division of Global Engagement
541-346-1402
emapes@uoregon.edu

Jennifer R. O'Neal (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon)
Assistant Professor
Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies
541-346-1899
joneal@uoregon.edu

Melina Pastos (Flathead Nation)
Academic and Career Advisor
Tykeson Hall College and Career Advising
541-346-9268
pastos@uoregon.edu
Zara Pastos (Flathead Nation)
Career Readiness Coach
University Career Center
541-346-6301
zpastos@uoregon.edu
Mandie R. Pritchard (Acoma Pueblo)
Assistant Director
Accessible Education Center
541-346-8869
mandiep@uoregon.edu
Leilani Sabzalian (Alutiiq)
Associate Professor
Department of Education Studies
541-346-1535
leilanis@uoregon.edu
Dana Santiago (Koasati/Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana)
Psychology Doctoral Intern
University Counseling Center
541-346-2713
santiag2@uoregon.edu
Jan Smith (Kiowa/Cherokee/Creek)
Administrative Assistant
University of Oregon Libraries
541-346-1889
jansmith@uoregon.edu
Katie Staton (Tsimshian, Sitka Tribes of Alaska)
Many Nations Longhouse Steward
Many Nations Longhouse
541-346-6262
kstaton@uoregon.edu

Stephanie Tabibian (Shoshone-Paiute)
Sapsik'wala Project Coordinator
Sapsik'wala
541-346-2545
tabibian@uoregon.edu

Norma Trefren (Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians)
Native American Retention Specialist and Outreach Coordinator
Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence
541-346-9831
ntrefren@uoregon.edu
Cholena Wright (Klamath Tribes)
Coordinator for Native American Recruitment
Admissions Counselor
541-346-0681
Cholena.admissions@uoregon.edu
Dr. Jason Younker (Coquille Indian Tribe)
Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President on Sovereignty and Government-to-Government Relations
541-346-5672
jyounker@uoregon.edu