Native American Coalition

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Native American Coalition

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Who We Are

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Native American Coalition (NAC) builds relationships and partnerships between the Nebraska Extension and Native American communities and organizations. The work of NAC is to help Nebraska Extension staff work more effectively with Native American communities, to build bridges between tribal and non-tribal communities, to facilitate community development and leadership in Native communities and to bring Native American traditional worldviews, languages, cultures and histories to the University of Nebraska and non-tribal communities.

Land acknowledgement statement

"We would like to begin by acknowledging that the University of Nebraska is a land-grant institution with campuses and programs on the past, present, and future homelands of the Pawnee, Ponca, Oto-Missouria, Omaha, Dakota, Lakota, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Kaw Peoples, as well as the relocated Ho-Chunk, Iowa, and Sac and Fox Peoples. Please take a moment to consider the legacies of more than 150 years of displacement, violence, settlement, and survival that bring us together here today. At the University of Nebraska, we respect and seek out inclusion of differences, realizing we can learn from each other, and we look forward to building long-lasting relationships with the Indigenous People of Nebraska."

Chuck Hibberd, Nebraska Extension Emeriti


Federally Recognized Tribes in the United States


5 Nebraska Land-based Tribes

Umonhon, Isanti, Ho-Chunk, Ponca, and Iowa Nations


Native Students in Fall 2021 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Native Americans in Nebraska

35% residing on state’s 3 reservations
65% living in urban areas in Nebraska

Indigenous Sovereignty Programs

Indigenous Youth Food Sovereignty Program

This program will welcome Indigenous high school students onto UNL’s East Campus to engage with Indigenous elders and UNL Extension faculty to learn how to grow their own food and establish food sovereignty for their families and communities. They will meet on Saturday mornings throughout the year to learn how to prepare, maintain, harvest and preserve the food they will grow in the UNL Indigenous Garden.

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indigenous high school student smiling happily for photo

Hoop of Learning Program

The Hoop of Learning is an indigenous college and personal development program for indigenous high school students in the Lincoln Public Schools. Students will complete an American Indian studies course (AIS 100), attend monthly talking circles focused on indigenous teachings, and form connections with advisors from tribal colleges, Southeast Community College, and the University of Nebraska to focus on college and career preparation and success.

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Turtle Island Trade Coalition

The Turtle Island Trade Coalition (TITC) is an Indigenous food trade hub that serves tribal nations and communities throughout the United States. Tribal members of the coalition receive multiple benefits including an online space where you can easily market and sell products, a profile on the National Market Maker business directory, access to grant opportunities, ability to attend business training workshops, and free registration to the annual Turtle Island Trade Coalition Food Sovereignty Conference.

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Indigenous Foods Programs


Indigenous Food Wellness Circle Classes

This program uses the Indigenous medicine wheel as a model to focus on the four directions for healthy eating: nutrition education, food preparation and safety, cooking and recipes, and food preservation.

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Indigenous Food Wellness Circle Events

These events are hosted in the spring, summer, fall, and winter by the UNL Tribal Extension Office. Tribal communities in Nebraska are invited to attend these seasonal wellness circle events that focus on nutrition education, food preparation and safety, cooking and recipes, and food preservation.

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Nation Nourishment Program

This program is a partnership between Nebraska Indian Community College, the Center for Rural Affairs, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Tribal Extension Program. This tribal food sustainability program is designed to create local food producers for the Umonhon Nation. These food producers will grow food for their families, communities and commercial venues to create economic development.

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photo of lettuce growing in hydroponics

Umonhon Nation Hydroponics Initiative

This program focuses on hydroponics, a non-traditional method for growing food. Hydroponics involves growing plants without soil by using water-based mineral nutrient solutions. This program will provide year-round fresh food for the Umonhon tribe.

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Indigenous Cultural Exchange Trainings


Medicine Wheel Talking Circle Training Model

The first goal of the Medicine Wheel Talking Circle Training Model is to create good relationships and foster strong identity which leads to people becoming good relatives to one another. The second goal of this model is to create relationships between Nebraska communities and Nebraska Extension.

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Tribal Engagement Training Model

This model utilizes an Indigenous medicine wheel design that acknowledges the four directions and the circular motion of the medicine wheel that starts in the east and flows clockwise south, west and north. This model is designed to provide four two-hour training modules that will share knowledge on tribal worldviews/cultures, tribal policies/history, tribal community assessment and tribal economic opportunities.

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Indigenous Education Programs

illustration of bison at a river

Applied Science Online Degree Program

Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC) and the UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources have partnered to create an articulation agreement for a B.S. in Applied Science Program (Online). This online program provides tribal students the opportunity to take classes from the convenience of their homes or at NICC’s computer labs. Applied Science is one of the most flexible majors, allowing you to choose from several areas of emphasis.

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Native woman kissing child

Domestic Violence Among Native Americans

Nebraska and South Dakota researchers are collaborating to address unique challenges faced by rural Native American survivors of domestic violence.

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Native woman kissing child

Understanding the Issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Across the United States and Canada Native Women and girls are being taken or murdered at an unrelenting rate.

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