NSU Center for Tribal Studies wins ISAN Outstanding Contribution

NSU Center for Tribal Studies wins ISAN Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award

Northeastern State University’s Center for Tribal Studies was awarded the Indigenous Student Affairs Network’s (ISAN) Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award.

This award is given to an individual or program who is noted for their contribution to the larger Indigenous Student Affairs community.

Sara Barnett, director of NSU’s Center for Tribal Studies, said that the center strives to serve students and the community. This includes student services, programming activities, cultural events and leadership summits.

“We don't do it for recognition, we simply try to fulfill needs in our Native community and provide opportunities to educate others on the uniqueness of our Native cultures and highlight Native scholars,” Barnett said.

The Center for Tribal Studies supports not only American Indian students at NSU but also their colleagues who work in higher education. Barnett said the center has many programs and events that are beneficial to the Indigenous community.

One such event is the Annual Symposium on the American Indian which brings Native scholars to share their research and knowledge on relevant issues to American Indian communities.Other notable events include virtual forums the Center for Tribal Studies organizes to share practices and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic for American Indian students. These forums have included higher education professionals, representatives from Tribal higher education departments and scholarship providers. Barnett said these forums were created to form a support network and to provide connections with other professionals.

Alisa Douglas, coordinator for student programs, said that it’s rewarding to know that their efforts at NSU are being recognized by the Indigenous Student Affairs Network organization.

“Although our office is being recognized, I'd like to also acknowledge the collaboration and support we receive across campus and within our Native community,” Douglas said. “Because of the concerted effort between all of us, we're able to continue to provide the type of programming and support for our Native students here on campus.”

This award will be presented virtually at the ISAN/Native Indigenous Aboriginal Council meeting, which will take place on Friday, March 5 from 1 - 3 p.m.

For more information about the Center for Tribal Studies, email tribalstudies@nsuok.edu or call 918-444-4350.