What Resources are Available for Native Students?

At Portland State, we want our students to be successful in school and in life. If you are Native American, Alaska Native or identify as Indigenous, you have access to a variety of resources to support you during your time at Portland State. 

Native American Student and Community Center

The Native American Student and Community Center is a gathering place where you can find community, events and connections. In this space, we celebrate and empower student success through culturally relevant programming, academic support, and inter-generational community engagement. This preserves and perpetuates inter-tribal connection for Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander students and our allies through tradition, ceremony, and storytelling. 

In addition to their own original programming, the NASCC maintains a special relationship with the Cultural Resource Centers Programming Coordinator to facilitate student-focused programming. 

At the NASCC, you can join a student group, like the American Indian Science & Engineering Society, Healing Feathers, the Pacific Islanders Club, and the United Indigenous Students in Higher Education. There are even opportunities for work study and student leadership.

The NASCC also offers a scholarship and emergency assistance funds. Visit the Student Support site for a full list of resources available through the Native American Student and Community Center.

Trevino Brings Plenty is the Native American Student Success Coordinator. His role is to support current and incoming students, so he’s a great contact if you’re looking for support or connections to campus resources.

Events on and off campus

On-campus events like the annual pow wow, salmon bake and lu’au draw in our students as well as the surrounding Portland community. You can see updates for these annual events and more on the NASCC Facebook page or on the NASCC calendar of events.

The Native American Youth and Family Center is another great resource for students. They provide college coaching services, as well as financial, housing, and meal support.They also host many events in the Portland community. They also offer a scholarship program for Portland State students, available through our scholarship database.

The Oregon Native American Chamber offers multiple scholarships for students. You can view all scholarships on their website.

Other local organizations include the Native American Rehabilitation Association, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

Indigenous Nations Studies

Portland State is the only university in Oregon to offer the Indigenous Nations Studies major. You can learn more about the sovereignty, scholarship and cultures of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and global Indigenous communities. You can take classes like Contemporary Issues in Indian Country, Indigenous Women Leadership and Tribal Critical Race Theory. You can also focus on Indigenous Health within the School of Public Health.

View a list of upcoming classes within Indigenous Nations Studies

In-State Tuition for Enrolled Members of Federally Recognized Tribes of Oregon

If you are an enrolled member of one of the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon or enrolled in a federally recognized tribe with ties to Oregon, you may qualify for in-state tuition regardless of which state you live in. You’ll need to provide documentation of tribal enrollment confirming membership. Read more about Tribal Enrollment for Residency.

Institute for Tribal Government

The Institute for Tribal Government arranges and facilitates ongoing training, professional development, and consulting service programs for tribal and non-tribal organizations nationwide that protect and promote tribal trust and treaty rights, advance effective governance, develop tribal leaders and improve the staff capacity of tribal governments and business enterprises, in order to improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for tribal people.

Every summer, the Institute for Tribal Governments hosts a youth program that focuses on water rights and policy for people ages 15 to 19 in high school and early college. Read about the Youth Tribal Water Summit.

Retention Programs

NATIONS is a retention program that provides support to Native American (N.A), Alaskan Native (A.N) and Indigenous students so that you can be successful in school. In this program, you’ll get financial support all the way through graduation, peer mentoring for community, academic and social support, academic and general advising. 

You'll also take part in the Connect Program and College Success Course. This two-week program takes place before school starts so that you can learn about Portland State as a student of color on campus. You will explore cultural identities, establish community among incoming students, and learn strategies for academic success, like study skills, time management, money management and effective communication. This class is designed specifically to address challenges that diverse students sometimes encounter.

The priority deadline to apply to this program is March 1 every year, however you can submit an application at any time and may be admitted if resources are available.

Multicultural Advising connects you with advisors who understand the unique experiences of first-generation college students. The advisors support students holistically (socially, personally, and academically) during your time in college to ensure your persistence, retention, and graduation. Through this program, you’ll become part of a community and develop meaningful relationships that will contribute to academic and professional successes. Apply for the Multicultural Advising Program.

Learn more about retention programs at Portland state by reading our blog post about How Do Multicultural Retention Services Support Students?