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Native Nations Center

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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


Yancey Red Corn Interview: Preparation for the film Killers of the Flower Moon

   October 20, 2023       11:50 am CT

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 Huggins (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.

(POSITION CLOSED) Job Opportunity: Associate Director of Research at the Native Nations Center

   August 31, 2023       1:50 pm CT

The Native Nations Center in the Office of the President invites internal faculty applications for the position of Associate Director of Research in the Native Nations Center at the University of Oklahoma (OU). The Associate Director will be responsible for guiding and supporting the Native Nations Center with long-term strategic planning and grant proposal development in pursuit of research excellence. The Associate Director plays a significant role in identifying funding opportunities in subject areas relevant to the work of the Native Nations Center. This position is expected to develop reciprocal partnerships with Tribal Nations in research and policy analysis in the areas of tribal governance and sovereignty and to provide opportunities to assist in tribal capacity building. In this position, the Associate Director reports to the Director of the Native Nations Center and will continue to maintain a position in their current academic department.


OU Hosts Tribal Energy Summit

October 27, 2023  |  OU News

The University of Oklahoma hosted an Oklahoma Tribal Clean Energy Summit and Symposium on September 27-29, 2023. The events were convened by Oklahoma State Senator Mary Boren (SD 16, Norman) in partnership with the OU Office of the Associate Vice President for Tribal Relations, the OU Native Nations Center (NNC), and the OU Institute for Resilient Environmental and Energy Systems (IREES). The events were designed to continue the momentum generated by Department of Energy Secretary Granholm's visit to campus this past April at which tribal leaders discussed energy sovereignty and OU faculty highlighted their geothermal energy expertise.

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OU College of Nursing Receives $10.5 Million Grant to Partner With Indigenous Communities on Maternal Health Research

August 29, 2023  |  OU 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. However, 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.

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A Native American woven basket pattern, focus on center of spiral pattern.
Expansion for OU Native Nations Center Approved by Board of Regents in December of 2021

December 2, 2021

An expansion of the Native Nations Center was approved. According to the agenda, the expansion will add 30,000 to 35,000 square feet for faculty and staff office spaces, meeting areas, classrooms, a small library, exhibit space and a space to honor Oklahoma’s 39 federally-recognized sovereign nations.

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University of Oklahoma Receives $16 Million Federal Grant to Train Medical Students from Underserved Areas in Oklahoma

October 23, 2023  |  OU News

NORMAN, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma will receive $16 million over four years from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to recruit, retain, and graduate medical students from Tribal, rural and medically underserved communities in Oklahoma, with the goal that those students will go on to practice in their home communities.

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OU Names Tana Fitzpatrick as NNC Director

March 22, 2023

The University of Oklahoma announced appointment of Tana Fitzpatrick as the Native Nations Center Director and elevates the NNC to within the President's Office...

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OU College of Medicine Honors Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, Family Physician

August 22, 2023  |  OU News

ADA, OKLA. — The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine recently honored the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada and one of its family physicians for excellence in helping train the physicians of tomorrow.

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Twelve OU Faculty Selected as Research Consortia Leaders for Native Nations Press

December 9, 2022

Twelve faculty at the University of Oklahoma, representing departments spanning Native American studies, law, education, visual arts and more, will comprise an inaugural Research Consortia Leaders for the Native Nations Center Imprint of the University of Oklahoma Press.

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Tribal Issues: Bureau of Indian Affairs Should Take Additional Steps to Improve Timely Delivery of Real Estate Services [Reissued with revisions on Nov. 6, 2023]

October 26, 2023  |  U.S. Government Accountability Office

"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 BIA's lengthy processing times can adversely affect applicants and may disincentivize lending or investment on tribal lands."

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Proposes Rule Re: Fluid Mineral Leases & Leasing Process

September 6, 2023  |. NDN Collective

Given that the regulatory framework for oil and gas leasing has not been updated since 1988, we have in this proposed rule a rare opportunity to steer Federal policy toward respecting Indigenous sovereignty and preserving treaty lands.

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Electric-vehicle maker Canoo agrees to incentive package with state of Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation

August 3, 2023

The electric-vehicle maker Canoo finalized agreements on workforce and economic development incentives from the state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation for its two manufacturing plants.

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CISA and FEMA Open the Application Process for the Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program 

September 27, 2023  |.

WASHINGTON - Today, 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. 

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Grants Available for Forest Restoration Projects on Non-federal Lands

August 23, 2023

Milwaukee, WI (August 23, 2023) – The USDA Forest Service Eastern Region is now accepting applications for the 2024 Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) competitive grant program which provides financial support to partners performing priority work on non-federal forestlands.

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USDA Additonal Information

GRANTS.GOV Additional Information

Why Native American tribes struggle to tap billions in clean energy incentives

September 8, 2023  |. Reuters

"Tribes cannot access key incentives for larger clean energy projects until they secure an agreement to connect to the regional electrical grid. That is an expensive process that can take years and requires technical expertise that most tribes lack. Other incentives provided under the legislation expire as early as 2024 and 2026."

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Artificial Intelligence on Indian Reservations in the United States: Prospects and Challenges

August 3, 2023

Increases in computing power have contributed to tremendous improvements in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Despite increasing deployment of AI by public, private, and nonprofit organizations, consideration of AI on American Indian reservations remains in its infancy. 

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"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."