Skip Navigation

Native Nations Center

OU Native Nations Center, The University of Oklahoma website wordmark


The Native Nations Center at the University of Oklahoma is a research and policy institute situated within the Office of Tribal Relations in the Office of the President. The NNC works to enhance mutual understanding and engender good relationships between the Center and Tribal Nations to support and respond to their research and policy needs.  The NNC recognizes the sovereign status of Tribal Nations and strives to strengthen the institution-to-institution relationship between the University of Oklahoma and Tribal Nations through the work that we do.



Policy Analysis

Capacity Building




March 31, 2024Tribal Business News

The latest private equity investments are part of the tribe’s broad investment portfolio with venture capital and private investments in several industries including energy, healthcare, technology, real estate and other sectors.

December 6, 2023The White House

The EO aims to respect tribal sovereignty by reforming federal funding to support Tribal Nations in having greater control over how they invest federal funding, acknowled...ging their expertise in addressing the needs of their communities.

October 26, 2023U.S. GAO

Selected Tribes and tribal-serving organizations cited concerns about BIA's timeliness and communication in delivering real estate services. In particular, they told GAO ...that BlA's lengthy processing times can adversely affect applicants and may disincentivize lending or investment on tribal lands. Tribes and others also indicated that BIA's communication regarding the status of applications and other real estate matters can be untimely, unclear, or inconsistent-leading to frustration, delays, or other negative outcomes.

October 29, 2023Tribal Business News

Federal Tribal Consultation Notice: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is formally consulting with tribes beginning in January 2024. As the federal agency responsible f...or granting patents and registering trademarks, the USPTO’s domain is intellectual property. The 2024 consultations seek to better protect tribal cultural resources, cultural expressions, and traditional knowledge. In addition to federally recognized tribes, the consultations include dates for state recognized tribes, Native Hawaiians, and inter-tribal organizations.

September 27,

WASHINGTON - The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the opening the application process ...for $18.2 million available through the Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program (TCGP) to help tribal governments address cybersecurity risks and threats. With the release of a Notice of Funding Opportunity, applicants have until January 10, 2024 to apply for a grant, which can be used to fund new or existing cybersecurity programs.

“We know that Tribes face unique cybersecurity challenges and often lack the resources needed to address them. The Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program will play a critical role in helping Tribal governments build their capability and capacity to protect their communities from cybersecurity threats,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “We encourage all federally recognized Tribal governments to apply for grant funds to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure and communities from malicious cyber activity. CISA is here to provide the expertise, tools, and technical assistance to be a reliable partner to Tribal governments in combatting the emerging cyber threats Tribes face each day.”

September 27, 2023CRS

Fresh off the presses! Excellent CRS report providing an overview of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Budget. Aptly, the report notes that tribes often testify to the negativ...e impacts of government shutdowns on tribal citizens and resources, particularly for public safety and economic development. While Congress recently supported limited advanced appropriations for some federal programs, such as for Indian Health Service’s programming, “Many tribes have expressed support for advance appropriations to mitigate tribal impacts of government shutdowns, and to uphold federal treaty and trust obligations.”


May 1, 2024Native Nations Center

For the past 12+ months, the Native Nations Center has worked diligently to renew its focus on research and tribal engagement. We are excited to provide the first-ever year-in-review ... to highlight our team's extraordinary efforts.

January 18, 2024Native Nations Center

The Native Nations Center is excited to invite you to our first of four events of the Spring 2024 Ethical Tribal Engagement Series! We are kicking off the series with a pa...nel featuring Kelly Berry, Robin Minthorn, Paul Spicer, and Daniel Wildcat at the OU Norman Campus. Come join us on February 7th!

For more information and to register, visit our new dedicated webpage for the Ethical Tribal Engagement Series at

October 27, 2023OU IRES

The University of Oklahoma hosted the Oklahoma Tribal Clean Energy Summit and Symposium, an event convened by State Senator Mary Boren (SD-16) and the first of its kind a...t the university. The Native Nations Center proudly supported this event in partnership with the OU Office of the Associate Vice President for Tribal Relations and the OU Institute for Resilient Environmental and Energy Systems.

The summit and symposium served as a significant platform where tribal officials, federal representatives, academics, and corporate interests converged to explore how tribes can harness clean energy to enhance their energy sovereignty, address climate resilience, and bolster their economies. These events not only showcased the Native Nations Center's active and visionary role in supporting tribal energy initiatives and its commitment to providing a vital space for networking opportunities for tribal representatives, but also highlighted the University of Oklahoma's extensive expertise in clean energy through poster sessions, laboratory tours, one-on-one engagement.

A takeaway from the summit for the Native Nations Center is the significance of forging enduring, reciprocal partnerships to overcome challenges and barriers on the path to tribal energy sovereignty.

October 9, 2023Native Nations Center

Today, we honor and celebrate the rich history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples from around the world. It's a day to recognize their resilience, wisdom,... and enduring connection to the land.

Let's take a moment to learn about and appreciate the diverse Indigenous cultures that have shaped our world.

August 31, 2023Native Nations Center

The Native Nations Center is thrilled to announce an exciting opportunity for an Associate Director of Research to join our team! We are currently seeking internal OU fac...ulty applicants. To see a full job description or to apply, visit

August 29, 2023OU News

OKLAHOMA CITY — In Oklahoma and across the United States, Indigenous women have the highest rates of death and health complications during and following pregnancy. Howeve...r, data shows that more than 90% of those deaths are preventable and that contributing factors like hemorrhage and mental health conditions can be better addressed.

October 20, 2023Native Nations Center

The Native Nations Center is honored to have collaborated and supported an insightful interview of Yancey Red Corn discussing the preparation behind the highly anticipated film Killers of the Flower Moon.

As we prepare to witness the unfolding of this gripping narrative on the big screen, the Native Nations Center recognizes the importance of preserving the stories and traditions of Native Nations and how the past influences the present. In this interview, Mr. Red Corn shares insights behind A Pipe for February, written by his late father, Charles Red Corn, and published by the OU Press in 2005. He also sheds light on the importance of active listening and meaningful engagement with tribes in film making, and Killers of the Flower Moon promises to be a significant step in sharing stories of the Osage Nation—from their perspective—with the world.

As we honor and celebrate the release of this film, we are mindful that together we can build a world that respects and honors the legacies of Native communities.

Credits: The Native Nations Center would like to thank Senator Mary Boren (Senate District 16) for this collaboration. We would also like to extend our thanks to Scout Higgins (Mellon Impact Fellowship intern at the Native Nations Center), who interviewed Mr. Red Corn on location at the Native Nations Event Center on September 21, 2023.


Long before the University of Oklahoma was established, the land on which the University now resides was the traditional home of the “Hasinais” Caddo Nation and “Kirikirʔi:s” Wichita & Affiliated Tribes.

We acknowledge this territory once also served as a hunting ground, trade exchange point, and migration route for the Apache, Comanche, Kiowa and Osage nations. 

Today, 39 tribal nations dwell in the state of Oklahoma as a result of settler and colonial policies that were designed to assimilate Native people.

The University of Oklahoma recognizes the historical connection our university has with its Indigenous community. We acknowledge, honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this land. We fully recognize, support and advocate for the sovereign rights of all of Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations. This acknowledgement is aligned with our university’s core value of creating a diverse and inclusive community. It is an institutional responsibility to recognize and acknowledge the people, culture and history that make up our entire OU Community.