Indigenous Engagement

NASPA's efforts to repair and re-center our work with our Indigenous Peoples community is a key part of our commitment to creating a more inclusive association and deepening capacity to serve Indigenous members and students across our programs, scholarship, and institutions. As NASPA President Kevin Kruger reflected in a November 2020 statement, the work is collaborative, intentional, and focused on repair, restoration, and growth. 

Power and Place Symposium

The Power and Place Symposium, launched in 2020, annually explores issues related to orientation, transition, retention, and other topics that impact the participation of Indigenous higher education communities. The symposiums include keynote presentations and panels, moderated sessions, and community reflection. The theoretical orientation for each supporting element of the Symposium is simultaneously grounded by the text Power and Place: Indian Education in America, co-authored by the late Vine Deloria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) and current Haskell Indian Nations University faculty member Daniel Wildcat (Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma) and the NASPA Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community leadership framework.

A significant Power and Place Symposium goal is to center, privilege, and promote Indigenous worldviews regarding orientation, transition, retention, and professional and leadership development experiences in higher education. The Symposium is hosted at the NASPA Annual Conference or the Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education and is intended for student affairs professionals, higher education scholars, allied educators, and anyone interested in questioning, reflecting, and imagining how Power and Place engender conditions for deepening Indigeneity in higher education.

President's Implementation Committee on Indigenous Engagement and Inclusion

The President's Implementation Committee on Indigenous Engagement and Inclusion has been charged with implementing recommendations from the December 2021 Indigenous Engagement Working Group report to the Board of Directors. Members of the Implementation Committee participate in one of five workstreams, focused on conference and event planning, partnerships with Indigenous-focused organizations, the Power and Place Symposium, engagement with Tribal Colleges and Universities and Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions, and Indigenous mentorship.  

Indigenous Implementation Committee Members

Indigenous Engagement Timeline

Critical Moments in NASPA's Indigenous Engagement
  Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community founded
  Board of Directors commits to Indigenous Protocol and Practice Policy
February 2019 NASPA hosts gathering of past and current IPKC leaders
Summer 2019 Pam Agoyo appointed to the Board of Directors, the first Indigenous person to serve on the Board
November 2020

NASPA President Kevin Kruger issues statement, "Repairing and Re-centering NASPA’s Work with the Indigenous Peoples Community"

November 2020 Charlotte Davidson appointed to a special Indigenous Relations Advisor role
Winter 2021 Special issue of Leadership Exchange published titled "Power and Place: Indigenous Worldviews of Higher Education"
March 2021 Power and Place Symposium launches
April 2021 NASPA charges an Indigenous Engagement Working Group
December 2021 Indigenous Engagement Working Group report and recommendations presented to Board of Directors
April 2022 NASPA appoints President's Implementation Commmittee for Indigenous Engagement and Inclusion