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

State-Wide Indigenous Food Programs


Indigenous Food Wellness Circle

The Indigenous Food Wellness Circle is a program that is offered through the UNL Tribal Extension office. Please sign up for free virtual classes and optional in-person classes that focus on Indigenous nutrition, food safety and preparation, cooking, and food preservation classes.

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Mni Waconi - Water is Life

photo of lettuce growing in hydroponics

Umonhon Nation Hydroponics Initiative

More information coming soon.

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Water Summits

These summits will create a coalition of Native American community members, Nebraska Extension Educators, and non-Native water conservation organizations to educate urban and rural communities to monitor and create policy to impact the quality of their drinking water.

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Urban Indigenous Food Sovereignty Programs

UNL Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program

This program will welcome Native American students onto UNL’s East Campus to engage with Native American elders, UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty, and Extension educators to learn how to grow their own food and establish food sovereignty for their families and communities. Students will grow both edible and medicinal traditional foods in the Indigenous Garden on UNL's East Campus.

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Rural Indigenous Food Sovereignty Programs


Ashita Thewathe (Let's Go Outside) K-8 Garden Program

This tribal food sustainability program engages K – 8 students at the Umonhon Nation Public School in hands-on, outdoor group and individual experiences that provide a love of gardening, develops an appreciation for the environment and a connection to their language and traditional practices.

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UNL / UNPS Farm to School Program

This program is a collaboration between the UNL Native American Coalition and the Umonhon Nation Public School (UNPS) food sustainability programs. UNL will provide training and funding for UNPS to bring fresh-grown produce to the lunch tables for their K–12 students. This collaboration will also share Umonhon language and traditional growing practices with the students.

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elder with grand child and jelly made from her garden

(Helping One Another) Cooperative Program

This program will educate Umonhon Nation Tribal members on how to start a business or cooperative in their communities. Community members will learn basic concepts in planning, promoting, and understanding business/cooperative structures and designs.

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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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Indigenous Cultural Programs


Cultural Knowledge Exchange Project

This program will develop and facilitate cultural exchange opportunities between Native American communities, non-Native communities and UNL. NAC will sponsor an Indigenous Speaker Series to highlight issues impacting Native American communities. It will provide opportunities for Nebraska Extension faculty and staff to create partnerships with Tribal communities. This program will also provide educational opportunities for anyone interested in learning more about the Nebraska tribal communities.

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Medicine Wheel Talking Circle Model

The first goal of the Medicine Wheel Talking Circle 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 Educational Programs

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:

  • Food, Animal and Plant Science
  • Genetics, Biotechnology and Processing
  • Ecology
  • Entrepreneurship, Economics and Policy

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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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