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Michigan State University

Decolonize the University

Created Spring 2023

Departments and Institutes

Native American Institute

The Native American Institute works to enhance the sovereignty, cultural continuity and well-being of tribes, Indian communities and Indian people.

American Indian and Indigenous Studies

Understanding American Indian cultures and identities, the place of Indigenous peoples in today’s world, and the changing demands in the pursuit of cross-cultural diversity are issues that transcend traditional boundaries between academic disciplines. To understand the complexity of these problems and to respond to them thoughtfully, students require a range of training both across disciplines and outside university settings. Michigan State University’s American Indian Studies Program is designed to meet this need.

Indigenous Law & Policy Center, MSU College of Law

The Indigenous Law & Policy Center houses the Certificate Program and provides services to Native students and students studying Indigenous Law. Staff in the Center provide classes for first year law students to ensure they are receiving all of the assistance they need. The Center also organizes teams for the National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition and provides guidance and direction for the local NALSA chapter.

Indian Law Clinic, MSU College of Law

The Indian Law Clinic provides legal resources to tribes across the country, with focuses on the promotion of tribal self-governance and the defense of the The Indian Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.

MSU Extension - Tribal Extension

MSU Extension staff collaborate with Michigan Tribal Nations to create, deliver and evaluate relevant educational programs with and for American Indians and their families throughout Michigan.

Student and Faculty Affinity Groups

Educating Anishnaabe: Giving, Learning, and Empowering (EAGLE)

EAGLE supports Indigenous faculty, staff, and students at MSU by advocating for community-members’ interests, fostering community, and improving communication. 

Latin American & Native American Medical Association (LANAMA)

LANAMA is MSU’s chapter of the Latino Medical Student Association. This student organization provides support and professional development opportunities for Latin and Native American students in the College of Human Medicine. 

Native American Law Students Association (NALSA)

MSU’s chapter of NALSA provides professional support and professional development for Native law students and their allies. Additionally, the organization works to bring attention to legal needs of Native American communities. 

North American Indigenous Student Organization (NAISO)

NAISO hosts events for Native students and staff at MSU. The organization has a community and meeting space in room G33 of Hubbard Hall. Event announcements can be found on the NAISO MSU Facebook page. 

Resources and Programs

Reciprocal Research Guidebook

The Reciprocal Research: A Guidebook to Centering Community in Partnerships with Indigenous Nations should be used as part of a larger effort to support planning for and reflecting on research partnerships. It can be used individually, in a community of scholars or within a graduate level course.

The Reciprocal Research Guidebook provides a narrow cross section of potential scenarios and thought-provoking activities to support researchers in developing robust partnerships. It is important not to assume that all tribes have the same experiences with, and interest in, research partnerships. It is damaging to to view this guide as providing all-encompassing knowledge for working with Native American tribal governments and communities.

The Michigan Indian Leadership Program (MILP)

MILP is a one-week summer experience for youth entering grades 8 - 12 held at MSU’s East Lansing campus. Academic, arts, and cultural programming are tailored for Native American youth and youth with a strong interest or connection to Native American communities. 

Organizations Near Campus

Giitigan Garden

Giitigan is a community garden for the Anishinaabe, Metis, and other Native American members of the Lansing community. The garden offers volunteer opportunities, events, and programming related to land, language, and science.  Address: 537 Clifford Street, Lansing, Michigan.

Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center

The Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center is a short drive from MSU’s East Lansing campus. The center preserves the heritage, culture, history, and language of the Anishinaabe of the Great Lakes through language classes, educational programming, and cultural events open to the public. Address: 5153 Marsh Road, Okemos, Michigan.