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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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OU President announces Native American Studies Department, Native Nations Center and Liaison at Indigenous Peoples' Day
by Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Tribune

NORMAN, OK. — University of Oklahoma (OU) President David L. Boren today announced that he will recommend the elevation of the Native American Studies program to a department, the creation of a Native Nations Center and the appointment of a Tribal Liaison Officer.

"From the very beginning of the University, we have been extremely proud of our Native American heritage which has permeated our entire university." Boren said. "The diversity of Native American cultures can be seen all around the campus, from statues to artwork in buildings. The University is committed to supporting tribal sovereignty and continuance by growing the resilient and vibrant Native American culture on campus and by providing additional resources and programs to members of the OU community."

Pending approval from the OU Board of Regents and the State Regents for Higher Education, the university is elevating the Native American Studies program to full department status under the College of Arts and Sciences. The newly elevated department will provide additional resources and learning opportunities for students on the Norman campus.

"May We Have Peace" bronze statue of Native American holding peace pipe by Allan Houser located on the North Oval of University of Oklahoma

The University is working to combine and strengthen existing programs with additional resources to create a Native Nations Center. Under the leadership of Amanda Cobb-Greetham (Chickasaw), an initiative of the Native American Studies Department, the OU Native Nations Center, will provide a "front door" and clearinghouse for those interested in Native initiatives at OU and elevate and institutionalize OU's existing good relationships with tribal nations. The Center will provide resources for students as well as provide additional space within the newly elevated Native American Studies Department.

As the Center grows, it will provide research and policy resources for Tribal Nations as well as grants and research opportunities for OU students and faculty and for scholars across the nation. Plans for the Center have been underway for more than a year and draw on OU President William Bizzell's original vision for such a center in 1929. Because of President Bizzell's vision, OU became one of the first universities in the United States to make American Indian subject matter a curricular focus.

Mark Wilson (Cherokee) has been appointed the Tribal Liaison Officer and will be a part of the leadership team in the Office of the Vice President for the University Community. Wilson has over 20 years of experience at OU, working in Prospective Student Services, where he focused on Native American Recruitment for over 10 years. He has also been a Tribal Liaison at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center.

These initiatives outlined by President Boren continue to contribute to OU's long-standing reputation as a national and international leader in this area.

In his remarks, Boren said that Native peoples have made a significant contribution to the fabric of the University and to the unique culture of the state of Oklahoma.

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