Institutional Links between Native Nations and UW-Madison

A number of institutional relationships between UW-Madison and the Native Nations of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region are found across campus, serving students, faculty and staff, and communities beyond the university. These organizations and programs span interests in research, education and outreach. A list of these organizations, including short descriptions, websites and contact information, is found below.

Research | Education | Outreach


American Indian Studies Program

The American Indian Studies Program works to foster an environment in which the university community can discover, examine and appreciate the cultures, traditions and values that reflect the many contributions American Indians have made and continue to make to the quality of life in contemporary society. The program provides information, referral and consultation to students, faculty, staff and citizens throughout the state.

Great Lakes Indian Law Center

The Great Lakes Indian Law Center works to provide an academic and educational atmosphere and opportunity for law students to study federal, state and tribal laws affecting Indian tribes and their members. The center also provides legal assistance on uniquely tribal legal matters.

Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (campus office)

GLIFWC provides natural resource management expertise, conservation enforcement, legal and policy analysis, and public information services in support of the exercise of treaty rights during well-regulated, off-reservation seasons throughout the treaty-ceded territories.

School of Education: Act 31 Resource Center

The Act 31 Resource Center informs students about various diversity programs offered at UW-Madison.

Native American Center for Health Professionals

NACHP works with prospective students, current students and health professionals to serve as a central location within the UW School of Medicine and Public Health for opportunities of growth, professional development, mentorship, research and support. It offers innovative ways to continue to enhance our pipeline of Native health professional students, as well as keep students connected to Native health and wellness issues.

American Indian Science & Engineering Society

AISES is dedicated to removing barriers for the academic success of Native students, especially in fields of science.


Association of Native American Medical Students

The Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAMS) is a student organization representing Native American graduate health professions students throughout the US and Canada. The goals of ANAMS include providing support and a resource network for all Native Americans currently enrolled in various allied health professions schools. ANAMS strives to increase the number of Native American students in medicine and other health professions. The UW chapter is one of the most active.

Connections Program

The Connections Program offers select applicants, who are Wisconsin residents, the opportunity to start at a partner college or university and finish their bachelor’s degree at UW-Madison—and hold the distinctive UW-Madison student status from the beginning. Partner campuses include UW-Green Bay, the College of the Menominee Nation, and Nicolet Area Technical College.

The College of Engineering

has partnered with the College of Menominee Nation on three projects: 1) Operation Launch, a middle school engineering camp that takes place on the Menominee Reservation; 2) Engineering Summer Program, a six-week residential program for 9th and 10th graders that explores engineering and prepares students academically for the rigors of a first-year engineering program; and 3) The College of Menominee Nation Transfer Program, which allows students to transfer from CMN to the College of Engineering after completing an associate’s degree.

Indigenous Law Students Association

The Indigenous Law Students Association (ILSA) exists to provide an organization and forum for University of Wisconsin law students while contributing to the advancement of indigenous peoples. ILSA fosters communication between all law students, the UW law faculty and staff, and the community at large.

Novel Ecosystems Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship

This Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) award trains the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists to design biodiversity conservation strategies in the face of novel environments, and develops an integrative program of experiential learning, engaged scholarship, and problem-focused research on biodiversity conservation.

Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc.

Alpha Pi Omega Sorority is the country’s oldest Native American Greek letter organization with more than 400 sisters representing more than 70 tribes nationwide. The purpose of the sorority is to create a strong sisterhood that will serve as a support for college women in today’s society.

American Indian Student Advising Services in Office of Diversity and Equity

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin-Madison as it works to create a diverse, inclusive and excellent learning and work environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and others who partner with the university.

Wunk Sheek

Wunk Sheek provides educational and supportive services to the UW campus and community. Its primary goal is to expose, educate, and enlighten the campus community about the unique cultural identities of its Indigenous students.


Bad River Youth Outdoors

Bad River Youth Outdoors (BRYO) is a watershed education program that combines outdoor education with teachings about Ojibwe culture and water.

Contact: Jessie Conaway

Earth Partnership for Schools - Indigenous Arts and Sciences Program

(EP/IAS) is an integrated effort between tribal communities and collaborators that shares a common vision of engaging youth in science and the natural world through service learning projects emphasizing ecological restoration and traditional Ojibwe values of the Lake Superior region. Native youth are encouraged to explore STEM careers to meet future workforce needs for managing tribal resources and to become knowledgeable scientific citizens capable of critical thinking and analysis of STEM-related issues in their communities. The approach is based on traditional knowledge as well as contemporary research and protocols of Native Nations, through a series of listening sessions and community dialogues. Information gathered through this collaborative process, including identifying the research agendas most important to tribal communities (for example, water stewardship and protection of the subsistence harvest) led to the development of multiple-day institutes, which included greater experiential opportunities for educators and intergenerational learning between students, elders and community practitioners. Earth Partnership has now established a northern office to assure that the dialogues continue.

Contact: Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong

POSOH: Place-Based Opportunities for Sustainable Outcomes and High Hopes

POSOH is a partnership between the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences with the Menominee and Oneida Nations to develop community-wide and cross-institutional collaborations that co-construct approaches to formal and informal science education. It values and infuses indigenous contributions to scientific knowledge and culturally diverse ways of knowing into science teaching and learning.

Contact: Hedi Baxter Lauffer

Tribal Youth Media

Tribal teens learn to make environmental movies that matter to their community.

Contact: Patty Loew

PEOPLE Program

The PEOPLE Program helps students successfully make each transition from middle school to high school and from high school to college.

Contact: Carl Wesley

Tribal Technology Institute, Information Technology Academy

In alignment with the UW-Madison’s 2014 Diversity Framework, the Information Technology Academy (ITA) is an innovative pre-college initiative for diverse students in the state of Wisconsin. With programs in Madison, Lac du Flambeau, and Oneida, ITA’s goal is to increase the enrollment rates of diverse students at the university.

Contact: Chris Kilgour