Report of the Native Americans at UIC Task Force

Task Force Members
-Dr. Teresa Córdova (Co-Chair) (Genízara/Chicana), Director of the Great Cities Institute and Professor of Urban Planning and Policy, UIC
-Dr. Josh Radinsky (Co-Chair), Associate Professor of Education and Learning Sciences, UIC
-Dr. Megan Bang (Ojibwe), Professor, Northwestern University
-Kevin Browne, Vice Provost of Academic and Enrollment Services, UIC
-Lori Faber (Oneida), UIC Alumna
-Dr. Rachel Havrelock, Director of Freshwater Lab and Associate Professor of English, UIC
-Dr. Michelle Manno, Director of Diversity Initiatives, Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity, UIC
-Cynthia M. Soto (Sicangu Lakota/Puerto Rican), Director of Native American Support Program, UIC
-Roniciel Vergara, Executive Director, Center for Student Involvement, UIC
-Josephine Volpe, Assistant Vice Provost for Advising Development, UIC
-Dr. Angela L. Walden (Cherokee Nation), Director of Inclusion Initiatives, Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity, UIC

The UIC Native American Task Force was formed in 2019 to address the question: What is the status of Native Americans on the UIC campus? Charged with making recommendations in four key areas – access, achievement, inclusion, and engagement – the Task Force was asked to identify strengths, challenges, and areas for improvement, with the goal of building an optimal learning environment for Indigenous students. It became clear that answering this question would necessitate attending to issues of recruitment, Native faculty presence, data collection and representation, academic programming, and the production of Indigenous knowledge.

This report culminates a year of work in 2019-2020 that marked the 50th anniversary of UIC’s Native American Support Program (NASP). This year also marked our perseverance through a global pandemic with overlapping medical, societal, economic and political crises that are having disproportionate impacts on Native communities, and thus are reshaping the realities documented in this report. We see this as a critical time to contribute the findings of this Task Force to the efforts to strengthen and deepen the relationship between Native communities and the University, and to chart a course toward UIC becoming a leader in the advancement of Native visibility and voice.

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