Resources for Native American students

UW–Madison provides an array of resources for Native American students on campus. Review the lists below for resources and information on financial assistance, admissions and advising, and student life.

Wisconsin Tribal Educational Promise

For Undergraduate Students

UW–Madison’s Wisconsin Tribal Educational Promise Program is a commitment to Wisconsin residents who are enrolled members of federally recognized Wisconsin American Indian tribes.

The program guarantees scholarships and grants to meet the full in-state cost of attendance for Wisconsin Native Nations students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree.

Learn more.

For J.D. & M.D. Students

The Wisconsin Tribal Educational Promise Program is a commitment to native Wisconsin Law and Medical students.

The program guarantees scholarships and grants to meet the full cost of in-state tuition and fees for Wisconsin residents who are enrolled members of federally recognized Wisconsin American Indian Tribes pursuing either a Law or Medical degree.

Learn more.

Admissions, advising, and instruction

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Admissions: Native American recruitment

Monty Little is the Native American recruiter in the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Contact Monty with any admissions questions at  mjlittle3@wisc.edu.

Bucky’s Tuition Promise: income-based free tuition

A commitment to WI resident students; it guarantees a period of free tuition & segregated fees to incoming first-year and transfer students whose family’s household adjusted gross income is $65,000 or less. Learn more.

Bucky's Pell Pathway: meeting full financial need

An expansion of UW–Madison’s commitment to WI resident students; it guarantees to meet the full financial need for all Federal Pell Grant-eligible first-year and new transfer students. Learn more.

Badger Promise: free tuition for first-generation transfer students

The Badger Promise is a commitment to first-generation college students residing in Wisconsin.

The program guarantees a period of free tuition and segregated fees to those who have successfully transferred from any of the two-year UW Colleges or from liberal arts associate degree programs at Madison College (Madison Area Technical College), Milwaukee Area Technical College, Western Technical College, Nicolet College, College of Menominee Nation, and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College.

HEAL Project

The Humanities Education for Anti-Racism Literacy in the Sciences and Medicine (HEAL) project, a 3-year project funded by the Mellon Foundation’s Just Futures Initiative, is a large, cross-racial and interdisciplinary team that seeks to improve equitable access to higher education by drawing on humanities research to advance anti-racist practices and pedagogy in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). HEAL’s aim is to center the educational experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students to build more accurate narratives about histories of racism in the sciences and medicine to better understand persistent underrepresentation and to develop educational tools for building a more equitable university and society. Read more about HEAL.

Information Technology Academy

Information Technology Academy (ITA) is a pre-college initiative with the goal of increasing enrollment rates of Native American students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ITA programs serve students in the communities of Madison, Lac du Flambeau and Oneida.

Through ITA, high school students build knowledge and skills with hands-on training, academic support, mentoring, leadership development, community service and internship opportunities. for Lac du Flambeau, Madison-area, and Oneida ITA students.

Contact ITA staff.

Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP)

The Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP) works with prospective students, current students and health professionals to serve as a central location for opportunities of growth, professional development, mentorship, research and support. Their main goals are to:

  1. Enhance recruitment of Native American students to UW health professional schools and programs
  2. Improve the Native American health professional student experience
  3. Establish and enhance Native American health education opportunities
  4. Recruit, retain and develop Native American faculty
  5. Grow Native American health academic programs, in both research and education, with tribal communities

NACHP staff advisors Melissa Metoxen (Oneida), Lauren Cornelius (Oneida), and Lina Martin (Ho-Chunk and Stockbridge-Munsee) support pre-med and medical students.

Nursing STREAM program (Success Through Recruitment/Retention, Engagement, and Mentorship)

The Success Through Recruitment/Retention, Engagement, and Mentorship (STREAM) program was launched in 2017 to increase the number of Native American nurses in the workforce.

Kim Cornelius (Oneida) and Haley Burkhardt (St. Croix Ojibwe) support Native American nursing students and can be reached at STREAM@son.wisc.edu or 608-262-2334.

Precollege Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE)

The Precollege Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) recruits students in 8th grade and partners with students to help them reach their goals of college attainment and degree completion.  PEOPLE consists of two programs:  one specific to precollege students and one specific to college scholars at UW–Madison.

Lina Martin (Ho-Chunk and Stockbridge-Munsee) supports Native American students on PEOPLE scholarships.

First-year Interest Groups

First-year interest groups, or FIGs, are academic learning communities designed specifically for first-year students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each FIG is a unique cluster of UW classes, linked together to explore a common theme or topic. Find out about upcoming FIGs.

Tree of Peace on Observatory Hill

The Tree of Peace on Observatory Hill at UW–Madison was planted in 1988 by Mohawk Elder Tekaronianeken (Jake Swamp, or Where Two Skies Meet Together), Wolf Clan and former sub-chief of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. The tree is here to encourage unity and environmental stewardship. It provides us comfort, so please visit the tree if you need support. Read more about the Tree of Peace.

Student Life and Organizations

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Indigenous Student Center

The Indigenous Student Center (formerly known as the American Indian Student and Cultural Center) is a place where Indigenous students and Indigenous student organizations can meet, study, and relax. Find it at 215 N. Brooks Street in Madison.

Elders-in-Residence Program

The Culture Keepers/Elders-in-Residence Program seeks to improve the experience of American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian students by hosting Native American elders on campus for extended visits and educational exchanges. The inaugural participant was Ada Deer in November 2018.

For more information, contact the American Indian Studies Department at 608-263-5501 or ais@letsci.wisc.edu.

Indigenous Mental Health and Well-Being at University Health Services

Serena Cisneros (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe), Counselor, University Health Services – Mental Health Services.  Serena is from Odaawaa-Zaaga’iganiing, the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Reservation. Prior to joining UHS in 2021, Serena was living and working in NYC for 12 years.

Indigenous Student Services Coordinator - Division of Diversity Equity & Educational Achievement

Laura Hiebing (Métis) is the Indigenous Student Services Coordinator with DDEEA Academic Coaching and Tutoring Services.

Under the direction of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer, the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison as it works to create a diverse, inclusive and excellent learning and work environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners at the university.

DDEEA accomplishes this work centered in the core values of community, inclusion, organizational excellence, transparency, accountability and social justice. DDEEA uses collaboration, leadership and seeding of new initiatives, consultative advice and the coordination of numerous institutional initiatives to support campus, Wisconsin and the world.

Program Coordinator for Native/Indigenous Students - Multicultural Student Center

Bobbi Skenandore (Oneida Nation of WI), Program Coordinator for Native/Indigenous Students at the Multicultural Student Center, oversees programmatic initiatives that support Native/Indigenous students, including daily operations of the Indigenous Student Center (formerly the AISCC) and the M.E.Ch.A. House. As of September 1, 2021, these cultural centers joined the MSC’s family of identity centers that includes the Black Cultural Center, Latinx Cultural Center and APIDA Student Center.

The Program Coordinator or Native/Indigenous Students develops culturally relevant programs, serves as an advocate and resource for Native/Indigenous students, and maintains supportive and collaborative relationships with students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and community members. The Program Coordinator supports events held by Native American student organizations, such as Native November and the On Wisconsin (Wunk Sheek) Powwow.

Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc. Lambda Chapter (APO)

Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc., is the country’s oldest Native American Greek letter organization. Founded at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on Sept. 1, 1994, the sorority has more than 400 sisters representing more than 70 tribes nationwide and 13 chartered chapters. For more info, contact advisor Lauren Cornelius (Oneida), Native American Center for Health Professions, lauren.cornelius@wisc.edu

American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national organization that was founded in 1977 by American Indian scientists, engineers and educators. In view of the high dropout rates and low college enrollment and graduation rates of American Indians and the severe under-representation of American Indians in the science and engineering fields, these Native American professionals resolved to create an organization that would identify and remove barriers for the academic success of Native American students. For more info, contact advisor Prof. Brett Benally Thompson (White Earth Ojibwe), MD, bbthomps@medicine.wisc.edu

Indigenous Law Students Association (ILSA)

The Indigenous Law Students Association (ILSA) exists to provide an organization and forum for University of Wisconsin law students while contributing to the advancement of Indigenous peoples. ILSA fosters communication between all Law students, the UW Law faculty and staff, and the community at large. Additionally, ILSA provides support to its members by maintaining study groups, assisting with job searches, and hosting monthly social activities. For more info, contact advisor Prof. Richard Monette (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), richard.monette@wisc.edu

Society for Advancement of Native Americans and Chican@s in the Sciences (SACNAS)

The Society for Advancement of Native Americans and Chican@s in the Sciences (SACNAS) is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanx and Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM. For more info, contact advisor Prof. Ahna Skop (Eastern Band Cherokee), skop@wisc.edu

Wunk Sheek

Wunk Sheek works to expose, edu­cate, and enlighten the cam­pus com­mu­nity about the unique cul­tural iden­ti­ties of its Indige­nous stu­dents. The orga­ni­za­tion is open to all stu­dents, Native American and non-Native American, grad­u­ate and under­grad­u­ate, fac­ulty, staff, and community. Wunk Sheek typically orga­nizes annual powwows as well as many events in celebra­tion of Novem­ber, National Native Amer­i­can Her­itage Month. These pro­grams include speak­ers, work­shops, films, and an annual meal.

For more info, visit their Facebook page or contact advisor Lina Martin (Ho-Chunk/Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Nation), Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP), linamartin@wisc.edu.

University of Wisconsin-Madison tenure-track faculty who are excited to support your growth and development as an Indigenous scholar:

  • Assoc. Prof. Emily Arthur (Eastern Band Cherokee), Art Dept., School of Education.
  • Asst. Clinical Prof. Bret Benally Thompson (White Earth Ojibwe), Medical Physician, School of Medicine and Public Health; Faculty Director Native American Center for Health Professions; Principal Investigator UW Indians Into Medicine grant; Advisor to the UW–Madison Chapter of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES).
  • Asst. Prof. Grace Bulltail (Crow), Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies.
  • Prof. Carolee Dodge Francis (Oneida Nation of WI), Civil Society & Community Studies, School of Human Ecology.
  • Prof. John Hitchcock (Comanche), Art Dept., School of Education.
  • Prof. Annie Jones (Menominee), Organizational Development and Tribal Nations Specialist, Division of Extension; Community & Environmental Sociology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Prof. Tom Jones (Ho-Chunk), Art Dept., School of Education.
  • Asst. Prof. Kasey Keeler (Tuolumne Me-Wuk and Potawatomi), Civil Society & Community Studies, School of Human Ecology.
  • Asst. Prof. Marissa Kawehi Loving (Kanaka Maoli), Mathematics, College of Letters and Science.
  • Asst. Prof. Jeneile Luebke (Bad River Ojibwe), School of Nursing; STREAM for Native Nursing Students (Success Through Recruitment/Retention, Engagement, and Mentorship), School of Nursing.
  • Assoc. Prof. Shaun Marcott (Lakota – Rosebud Sioux), Dept. of Geoscience, College of Letters and Science.
  • Assoc. Prof. Brian McInnes (Wasauksing First Nation Canada & Potawatomi), Civil Society & Community Studies, School of Human Ecology.
  • Prof. Richard Monette (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Law School.
  • Asst. Prof. Judi Simcox (Crow), Biochemistry, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Prof. Ahna Skop (Eastern Band Cherokee), Genetics, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Advisor to the UW–MadisonChapter of the Society for the Advancement of Native Americans and Chicana/os in the Sciences (SACNAS).
  • Asst. Prof. Sasha Maria Suarez (White Earth Ojibwe), American Indian Studies and History, College of Letters and Science.
  • Asst. Prof. Matt Villeneuve (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa descendant), American Indian Studies and History, College of Letters and Science.
  • Assoc. Prof. Lucas Zoet (Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Glaciology and Glacial Geomorphology, College of Letters and Science.

University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and staff who are excited to support your growth and development as an Indigenous scholar:

  • Assoc. Prof. Emily Arthur (Eastern Band Cherokee), Art Dept., School of Education.
  • Asst. Clinical Prof. Bret Benally Thompson (White Earth Ojibwe), Medical Physician, School of Medicine and Public Health; Faculty Director Native American Center for Health Professions; Principal Investigator UW Indians Into Medicine grant; Advisor to the UW–Madison Chapter of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES).
  • Dr. Camille Bernier (Bad River Ojibwe), Academic Advisor, School of Education.
  • Dr. Nicky Bowman (Stockbridge Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation), Evaluator/Researcher, Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER).
  • Asst. Prof. Grace Bulltail (Crow), Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies.
  • Serena Cisneros (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe), Counselor, University Health Services.
  • Michelle Cloud (Ho-Chunk), Indigenous Arts and Sciences Outreach Specialist, Earth Partnership, UW Arboretum.
  • Dr. Jessie Conaway, Indigenous Arts and Sciences Research Coordinator, Earth Partnership, UW Arboretum.
  • Dan Cornelius (Oneida Nation of WI), Outreach Specialist, Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center, Law School.
  • Kala Kimberly Cornelius (Oneida & Menominee), Nurse Practitioner Researcher, Gleason Research Group, School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • Lauren Cornelius (Oneida Nation of WI), Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP), School of Medicine and Public Health; Advisor to UW–Madison Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc. Lambda Chapter.
  • Prof. Carolee Dodge Francis (Oneida Nation of WI), Civil Society & Community Studies, School of Human Ecology.
  • Brian Gauthier (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe), Community Resource Development Educator; Native American Task Force Coordinator); Lac du Flambeau UWEX Office. Lac du Flambeau, WI.
  • Jennifer Gauthier (Menominee), Community Natural Resource & Economic Development Educator. Menominee County/Nation UWEX Office, Keshena, WI.
  • Laura Hiebing (Métis), Indigenous Student Services Coordinator, Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) Academic Coaching and Tutoring Services.
  • Prof. John Hitchcock (Comanche), Art Dept.; Assoc. Dean of the Arts, School of Education.
  • Dr. Ron Jetty (Spirit Lake Dakota), Education Programs Director, Division of Information Technology (DoIT).
  • Prof. Annie Jones (Menominee), Organizational Development and Tribal Nations Specialist, UW Extension.
  • Prof. Tom Jones (Ho-Chunk), Art Dept., School of Education.
  • Asst. Prof. Kasey Keeler (Tuolumne Me-Wuk and Potawatomi), Civil Society & Community Studies, School of Human Ecology.
  • Christopher Kilgour, Information Technology Academy, DoIT.
  • Sacheen Lawrence (Oneida Nation of WI), Associate Outreach Specialist, Geriatrics and Adult Development, School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • Asst. Prof. Marissa Kawehi Loving (Kanaka Maoli), Mathematics, College of Letters and Science.
  • Asst. Prof. Jeneile Luebke (Bad River Ojibwe), Nursing, previously 2021-2022 Post-doctoral Nurse Research Fellow; STREAM for Native Nursing Students (Success Through Recruitment/Retention, Engagement, and Mentorship), School of Nursing.
  • Assoc. Prof. Shaun Marcott (Lakota – Rosebud Sioux), Dept of Geoscience, College of Letters and Science.
  • Lina Martin (Ho-Chunk and Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican), Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP), School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • Assoc. Prof. Brian McInnes (Wasauksing First Nation Canada & Potawatomi), Civil Society & Community Studies, School of Human Ecology.
  • Melissa Metoxen (Oneida Nation of WI), Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP), School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • Prof. Richard Monette (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Law School.
  • Valerie Peterson (Ho-Chunk), Global Health Institute, School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • Omar Poler (Mole Lake Sokaogon Ojibwe), American Indian Curriculum Services (AICS), School of Education; Tribal Libraries Archives and Museums (TLAM), Information School.
  • Laura Red Eagle (Ho-Chunk). Communications and Events Manager. Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.
  • Dr. Susan Rufledt (Menominee), Assistant Director of Academic Advising Services, College of Letters and Science.
  • Asst. Prof. Judi Simcox (Crow), Biochemistry, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Bobbi Skenandore (Oneida Nation of WI), Program Coordinator for Native/Indigenous Students, Multicultural Student Center.
  • Prof. Ahna Skop (Eastern Band Cherokee), Genetics; Advisor to the UW–Madison Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Native Americans and Chicana/os in the Sciences (SACNAS).
  • Donald Stanley (Oneida Nation of WI), Faculty Assoc. Life Science Communications, CALS; 3Rhino Media.
  • Asst. Prof. Sasha Maria Suarez (White Earth Ojibwe), American Indian Studies and History, College of Letters and Science.
  • Asst. Prof. Matt Villeneuve (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa descendant), American Indian Studies and History.
  • Denise Wiyaka (Ihanktonwan), Director, American Indian Studies.
  • Danielle Yancey (Menominee), Director, Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP), School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • Nicole Yazzie (Ho-Chunk/Diné), Graphic Designer, Wisconsin Center for Educational Research.
  • Assoc. Prof. Lucas Zoet (Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Assistant Professor Glaciology and Glacial Geomorphology, College of Letters and Science.