UIC Native American Task Force Releases Official Report

In the spirit of healing, this Task Force acknowledges and honors the original peoples of the Chicagoland area – the Three Fires Confederacy (Potawatomi, Odawa and Ojibwe Nations) and other Tribal Nations (Menominee and Ho-Chunk) – and the many Indigenous people who call it home – past, present, and future.

Adapted from Native American Support Program (NASP, 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. The Task Force sees this as a critical time to contribute the findings of this report 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.

View the Report

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


In addition to the members of this Task Force, we would like to thank the following people for their collaboration and efforts toward assembling the information included in this report:

Members of the Chicago area Native community, alumni and students who contributed perspectives, feedback and recommendations:

  • Jacob Adams (Colville Nation), Native American Support Program, UIC
  • Jordan Alcantar, UIC
  • Dr. Dorene Wiese (Ojibwe), American Indian Association of Illinois
  • Jasmine Gurneau (Oneida/Menominee), Northwestern University
  • Jennifer Michals (Ojibwe/Potawatomi), Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, Northwestern University
  • Fawn Pochel (First Nations Oji-Cree), American Indian Center
  • Susan Stanley (Ojibwe), California Indian Manpower Consortium
  • Eli Suzukovich (Little Shell Band of Chippewa-Cree/Krajina Serb), Northwestern University
  • Shelly Tuccarelli (Oneida), Visionary Ventures

Collaborators from UIC’s Office of Institutional Research who contributed work to the data analysis and recommendations:

  • Nick Ardinger
  • Allison Ballwebber
  • Stephanie Estrada
  • William Hayward
  • Anna Luz Pasillas-Santoyo
  • Gabriela Valencia

Those who assisted the Task Force with various tasks to make this effort possible:

  • Frida Sanchez Vega, Research Assistant for the Office of Diversity, UIC
  • Jackson Morsey, Great Cities Institute, UIC