Indigenous Educational Programs

indigenous high school student smiling happily for photo

The UNL Hoop of Learning Program

The UNL Hoop of Learning Program is an indigenous college and career program for indigenous high school students and their families to learn about the programs and services that the Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC), Southeast Community College (SCC), and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) have to offer. The program will coordinate these programs and services to better inform indigenous students and their families about these higher education institutions.

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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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Indigenous Food Wellness Circle Program


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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Urban Indigenous Food 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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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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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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UNL / Tribal Cultural Exchange Programs


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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UNL Indigenous Health & Wellness Summit

October 5-6, 2023 | UNL East Campus Union

This event will focus on health and wellness issues that impact infants, children, adults, and elders in the indigenous communities. Additionally, it will help to create reciprocal relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous health programs and providers to discuss ideas and share information that will map a path forward to healthy lifestyles for indigenous people in Nebraska.

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