The mission of the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) at the University of Utah is to advocate for American Indian and Alaskan Native students through recruitment and retention projects that lead to graduation. The AIRC serves as a vital link between American Indian and Alaskan Native students; the University; and the larger community. The AIRC works to increase American Indian student visibility and success on campus by advocating for and providing student centered programs and tools to enhance academic success, cultural events to promote personal wellbeing, and a supportive “home-away-from-home” space for students to grow and develop leadership skills. The AIRC also strives to advance public education concerning American Indians and Alaskan Natives on the University of Utah campus and in surrounding communities.
- Recruitment – To increase the number of American Indian students who enroll at the University of Utah.
- Retention – To increase the retention and graduation rate of American Indian students at the University of Utah.
- Culture – To increase the cultural and historical competency of American Indians for all students, staff, and faculty at the University of Utah.
- Community Outreach – To increase communication and collaborative relationships with tribal nations and American Indian communities throughout the State of Utah.
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Our Advisors and Staff
Franci Taylor (Choctaw)
Director of the American Indian Resource Center
Groups & Associations
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
The mission of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is to substantially increase the representation of American Indians and Alaskan Natives in engineering, science, and other related technology disciplines. Since 1977, AISES has worked to substantially increase American Indian and Alaska Native representation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields as students, professionals, mentors, and leaders. AISES employs a “full circle of support” model that begins with pre-college programs, progresses into collegiate life, and then into the professional years of members and on into retirement.
American Indian Women and Allies Association (AIWAA)
AIWAA’s mission is to provide a venue and safe location for American Indian women and their allies to gather and share interests and concerns, Meetings include a monthly pot luck and talking circle.
American Indian Business L… (AIBL)
AIBL’s mission is to provide…
Inter-Tribal Student Union (ITSA)
“We Native American students at the University of Utah, in order to promote greater unity and understanding among ourselves, and the community; to further our own academic achievements; and to strengthen our unique cultural roots, do hereby organize ourselves as the Inter-Tribal Student Association”.
ITSA is the primary American Indian Student Group. Along with weekly meeting they sponsor the American Indian High School Conference and the Annual Honoring Our Traditions Pow Wow. If you would like more information about meetings and how to become involved please contact the ITSA officers using the email link above.
Programs & Events
Soup & Tutoring
Soup & Tutoring is held every first Tuesday of the month in the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC). This event not only provides delicious soup, but the opportunity to receive tutoring for any subject with which you might need a little extra help. Tutors range from graduate students, primarily in the stem fields, to professors.
American Indian Scholarship Program
The Office for Equity and Diversity and American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) are proud to present its first American Indian, non-major specific scholarship at the University of Utah. This scholarship supports American Indian students who are committed to working towards their educational goals and who demonstrate the ability to make positive changes in their community. The scholarship’s framework will create a life-cycle where students are recruited to participate in our Diversity Scholars Program, led through graduation and mentor as ambassadors to future students and community.
Year-End honoring & Graduation Ceremony
In partnership with the Office for Health Inclusion & Equity, the American Indian Resource Center hosts year-end ceremony celebrating the Native graduates of each academic year.
The University of Utah’s Inter-Tribal Student Association hosts the Pow Wow at the U annually. This event is an opportunity for tribal members throughout the Intermountain West and others to meet to honor the cultural and religious practices of the American Indian community. The ceremonial Grand Entry is a cultural and spiritual tradition where a parade of participants enters the dance circle hosted by northern and southern drummers.
Blessing the Journey
At the beginning of each Fall Semester, the American Indian Resource Center hosts Blessing the Journey. This event connects individuals to people, resources, and support services in one place.
American Indian Woman Scholar
The American Indian Woman Scholar serves as representative of Native students at the University of Utah and surrounding communities. A new ambassador is chosen annually and contributes to community outreach.
American Indian Educational Embassadors
In partnership with the Salt Lake City Title VI Director students from the AIRC will be traveling to various schools with significant American Indian populations to advocate and encourage high school completion and enrollment and graduation in higher education.
Pathways for American Indians Through Higher Education (PATHs)
The College of Education at the University of Utah is dedicated to creating pathways for American Indians that lead to educational excellence in a variety of education fields. Four departments and the Urban Institute for Teacher Education offer preparation for teachers, leaders, counselors, and educational researchers – as well as an annual lecture series.
Navajo Nation Teacher Education Consortium (NNTEC)
The Navajo Nation Teacher Education Consortium originated from the Navajo Teacher Initiative developed in 1992 to improve the quality of Navajo education through the recruitment and training of prospective Navajo educators. At that time, President Peterson Zah sought the sponsorship and funding of the Ford Foundation and set a goal to educate 1,000 Navajo teachers in 5 years. Now, 25 years later, the initiative is being redesigned to establish a Resource Center for Navajo educators and includes a recruitment pipeline.
Utah Division of Indian Affairs
The Commission on State Indian Affairs was created in 1953 when the Utah State Legislature passed the “Indian Affairs Act.” The first director for the commission was hired in 1956. The commission was restructured in 1999 as the Division of Indian Affairs. It is currently staffed by the Director, Program Manager, and Administrative Assistant. It is part of the Department of Heritage & Arts.
Utah Department of Health – American Indian/Alaska Native Initiatives
The American Indian/Alaska Native Initiatives is located in the Division of Family Health & Preparedness, Director’s Office at the Highland Drive Building, Salt Lake City, UT. It is staffed by the Indian Health Liaison ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or 801-273-6644. The mission of the initiative is to raise the health status of Utah’s American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population to that of Utah’s general population.