Celebrating Success: Purdue University Native American Educational & Cultural Center

In the heart of Purdue University lies a beacon of support, empowerment, and cultural enrichment – the Native American Educational and Cultural Center (NAECC). Since its inception in March 2007, the NAECC has stood as Indiana’s pioneering cultural center dedicated to fostering the success of Indigenous students. Today, we delve into the remarkable journey of the NAECC, exploring its impact on student success, cultural dynamics, and the cultivation of Tribal sovereignty.

A Historic Beginning:

In 2006, a group of passionate Native American graduate students at Purdue, including Kimberle Davis, Jeremy Garcia, Hollie Kulago, Aleeah Livengood, and Valerie Shirley, envisioned a dedicated space for Native students. Their dream materialized with the opening of the NAECC in March 2007, marking a historic moment as the first cultural center in Indiana exclusively committed to supporting Indigenous students.

The NAECC has been a trailblazer in the recruitment and retention of Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian graduate students. The Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP) program, housed within the NAECC, has played a pivotal role. In the Fall 2022, SIGP celebrated a major milestone – the graduation of the 50th Indigenous Purdue student with an advanced degree in a STEM discipline.

Noteworthy Alumni Achievements:

Purdue’s Indigenous alumni, nurtured by the supportive environment of the NAECC, have gone on to hold leadership positions within tribal nations. Moreover, they serve as faculty in tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and prestigious R1 Research Institutions across the United States. The impact of the NAECC reaches far beyond the university’s campus, contributing to the growth and success of Indigenous professionals nationwide.

Tribal Tea Co. Gratitude:

In a truly heartwarming gesture, the NAECC has embraced Tribal Tea Co., choosing our tea to share with their community. This connection not only reflects the center’s dedication to the success of Native students but also underscores the significance of community collaboration. As we extend our sincere appreciation to Purdue’s NAECC, we joyfully acknowledge the ongoing success and meaningful contributions facilitated by this connection.

As the NAECC enters its sixteenth year, we invite you to join us in supporting success and cultural enrichment. The NAECC’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of cultural centers in higher education, demonstrating how they can be instrumental in shaping the future of Indigenous students.

The Native American Educational and Cultural Center at Purdue University stands as a testament to the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the success of its Indigenous students. As we celebrate the achievements of the NAECC and its partners, we recognize the ongoing journey towards fostering success and cultural enrichment for generations to come.