MSU Native American Institute great source of information

The Native American Institute can be a helpful resource to learn more about American Indians and resources connected to working with American Indians.

Michigan State University offers one of the most inclusive approaches to American Indian studies in the nation. The university offers a vast array of programs and organizations related to American Indians, which explores and informs individuals about all aspects of indigenous life. Michigan State University Extension assists in sharing the knowledge and resources created at MSU with communities, adding to the vitality and richness of American Indian life—in Michigan and beyond.

MSU has a Native American Institute that many individuals may not be aware of. The mission of the Native American Institute is “to work with tribes, American Indian organizations and various Michigan State University units to enhance the sovereignty, cultural continuity and wellbeing of tribes, Indian communities and Indian people.”

According to the website, the Native American Institute (NAI) was authorized by the MSU Board of Trustees in October 1981. The Native American Institute was established as a component of the Center of Urban Department in the Urban Affairs Program. Through the work and vision of its founding director, George Cornell, the Institute was established to help North American Indian organizations and tribal governments plan and prepare to meet the present and future needs of their constituents. The institute is located in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) on the MSU campus. It has a strong partnership with Michigan State University Extension and now jointly administers certain programs focused on tribal topics. They also strengthened the commitment to working on natural resource and agricultural topics such as ecosystem management, environmental protection, sustainable community and economic development, traditional/ cultural preservation and tribal food systems.

The website provides excellent resources for both American Indians and those who are nonnative. Included in the resources is the Michigan Indian Directory, which highlights Federally Recognized and State Historic Tribes, State and Federal Contacts and Indian Programs and Services. Along with highlighting initiatives, publications and other information, the site also provides American Indian statistics for the following:

Michigan State University Extension Educators can provide your organization with assistance in learning more about parliamentary procedure.  The Government and Community Vitality team also offers training for elected and appointed officials for improved effectiveness in several areas, including various public policy issues and effects of government programs, regulation, incentives, strategies and more. By working together with local elected and appointed officials, and interested citizens, MSU Extension is able to provide education on critical local and state issues.

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