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Proud to be Indigenous at Nevada

Posted on Monday, November 9, 2020

Nov. 16 Spotlight – Ambrielle Palmer

Year and Major
Senior in the B.A. Psychology Research program
I love Lake Tahoe, fishing, hunting, four-wheeling, and spending time with my family. Being in Northern Nevada, we have plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and visit historical sites.
What does your identity mean to you?
My identity serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our peoples, our culture, our languages. Already as it is we have a disadvantage, many of us are not likely to graduate, let alone achieve any kind of college degree. Our Reservations might be behind your house, but they are a whole new world. I’ve seen how underserved our communities are every day. Our statistics on homicide, suicide, substance abuse, and domestic violence are unheard of.
        I am Washoe and Hopi, I’ve lived in Nevada my whole life. Our home has been passed down through the generations and it has seen nothing but darkness for generations. I’ve watched the substance abuse and violence ravage our lands, and it is tearing families, cultures, and traditions apart. On the Carson Colony, we have a sign that is in front of our gym with the simple message, “Meth Kills”, considering the size of the colony of just a couple of blocks speaks volumes as to where we are at in the battle within our communities. My family was ripped apart by all of those things, as have I watched it happen to others. We need help, but to help we need the professionals to do it, that’s why I’m here.
How has your identity shaped/impacted your experience at Nevada?
My experience at UNR has given me hope and inspiration. I’ve broken through statistical chains to be where I am at today and I will make it my mission to help others do the same.

Nov. 9 – Lance Owyhee

Lance Owyhee

Year and major:
Freshmen (Class of 2024) Forest Management and Ecology Major

Tribal Affiliation:
W. Shoshone (Newe), N. Paiute (Numa) and Navajo (Diné)

My passion is learning my culture and also to get a career in protecting our land.

What does your identity mean to you?
My identity is what connects me to my roots. It also pushes me forward to my goals by letting me know why I am still going.

How has your identity shaped/impacted your experience at Nevada?
My experience at Nevada has been challenging but also helped define who I am by allowing me to meet more people and also connect to other native people at Nevada.


Contacts at Nevada: 

  • ASUN President Hall –
  • ASUN Diversity and Inclusion, Director Priya Bajwa –
  • The Center – and
  • Indigenous Student Organization – 
  • Gender Race and Identity Club –
  • Gender Race and Identity Department –
  • Student Conduct Office –
  • Title IX Office – (775) 784-1547
  • Coordinator of Indigenous Student Services, Markie Wilder –
    • Reach out to this contact for information on: 
      • Native Student Organization (NASO) Support
      • Indigenous Research Institute for Student Empowerment (IRISE)
  • Alianza Organization —  
  • Cultural Diversity Committee (CDC) —, 
  • University Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Eloisa Gordon-Mora, Ph.D. — 

Important Statistics to Consider:

* “Because Native Americans (both American Indians and Alaska Natives) comprise only 1% of the U.S. undergraduate population and less than 1% of the graduate population, these students are often left out of postsecondary research and data reporting due to small sample size. What data is available indicates that only 10% of Native Americans attain bachelor’s degrees and only 17% attain associate degrees, making the case for a system that is more responsive to the specific needs of these students.” (PNPI). 

  • 17% of Native American students pursue postsecondary education 
  • Enrollment in Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate education decreased between 2016 and 2018 by roughly 5,000. 
  • Roughly 80% of Native American students attended public institutions in 2014 
  • Native American students comprise nearly 78% of all students in Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU)
  • 85% of Native American students received federal financial assistance 
    • Compare to their white counterparts: 69%
  • “the six-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time American Indian/Alaska Native undergraduates who began their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at a four-year, degree-granting institution in fall 2011 was 39 percent, the lowest of all racial and ethnic groups.” (HET)

Research Starters (Terms and Concepts):

Patriarchal oppression
Liberation theory
Genocide / Cultural Genocide
MMIWGs (Murdered and Missing Indigeous Women and Girls)
First Nations
Canadian Aboriginal Priorities and Policies
Native lands and regions
Indigenous feminism

Valuable Resources and Articles: 

– United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

– First Nations Assembly of Canada. 

– Native Land Map *NOTE: This map does not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. To learn about definitive boundaries, contact the nations in question.

– Tribal and Cultural Awareness Guide


– Ethical Principles for the Conduct of Research in the North