All About Us

The Native American Council’s framework is based upon the Family Education Model (FEM) developed by Iris HeavyRunner and Richard DeCelles.  It is an Indigenous-based model on student persistence in higher education. The FEM is based on principles of education and social work, and promotes action that offers strategies for dealing with Native American student attrition. This intervention-based model suggests that replicating the extended family structure within the college culture enhances an American Indian student’s sense of belonging and consequently leads to higher retention rates among American Indians. Establishing and maintaining a sense of “family,” both at home and at college, fortifies American Indians’ academic persistence and reduces feelings of resentment that family members feel toward students because they spend time away from home. In the NAC framework, the group’s focal areas are support, education, culture and outreach. These four tenets will help guide the group in achieving our mission and goals, as well as keeping us centered as we support each other, our students and university.

Image showing framework for the theory behind the native american council's existence.
A visual representation of the Family Education Model by Iris HeavyRunner and Richard DeCelles. Displays four arrows of each of the four tenets, in the following order: Support; Education; Culture; Outreach. The items listed underneath each tenet are all listed below.

Four Main Tenets of the Native American Council

  1. Support
    Students
    Native American Student Assocation
    Emergency Assitance
    Staff
    Department Events
    NAC Membership
    Supportive Network
    Welcome Packets
    Diversity Enhancement Initiatives

  2. Education
    Annual UI Powwow
    Film Series
    Speaker Series
    Elder in Residence Program
    Workshops:
    • Native Student Development
    • American Indian Culture
    • Native Professionals in Higher Education

  3. Culture
    Cultural Programming:
    • Beadwork Workshops
    • Sewing Workshops
    • Cooking
    • Gardening

  4. Outreach
    Latino and Native American Alumni Association (LANA)
    Iowa First Nations Summer Program
    Meskwaki Higher Education
    Social Media Native American Veterans