Native American Initiatives

The GIC provides student support services to Native students at Penn. In collaboration with faculty, alumni and community members, the center helps identify and create resources to support and enrich the lives of Native students at Penn. In addition, the center works to increase understanding of Native issues on campus and beyond.

Natives at Penn, formerly known as Six Directions, is an organization for students interested in Native issues. The organization works with faculty and staff to increase Indigenous students at Penn. They also offer activities on campus to build Native community at Penn and to raise awareness of the needs of Native students at Penn and in Indian Country.

The organization was founded in 1994 by two alums Brian Brayboy and Desiree Martinez.

For more information, visit Natives at Penn website.


The field of Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) focuses on the cultures and histories of Indigenous peoples, locally and globally. In the northern and southern hemispheres of the Americas, there are more than 600 Indigenous nations (also called Indians, American Indians, and First Nations), each with distinct tribal identities, forms of kinship relations, and social and political alliances with other groups. Globally, NAIS scholarship includes research with and among other Indigenous communities in diverse worldwide locales (e.g., Australian Aboriginals, New Zealand Maoris, Caribbean peoples, etc.). Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania have devised a wide variety of course offerings and exciting opportunities for research projects that engage with Indigenous people from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

Native American and Indigenous Studies courses often offer cultural, political, epistemological, and methodological insights that can help students better understand cross-cultural and trans-national histories. Many NAIS courses are cross-listed in more than one department (e.g., Anthropology, History, Religion). Students and faculty are thus encouraged to approach case studies of Native American nations or Indigenous communities in different world settings using methods and theories drawn among and between different disciplines.

For more information, visit the Native American & Indigenous Studies website!

Penn is proud to be one of the 2012 hosts of College Horizons, a non-profit organization that supports the higher education of Native American students by providing college and graduate admissions workshops to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students/participants from across the nation. Penn has been a partner university with College Horizons for more than seven years and supports their increased recruitment efforts in Indian Country.

For more information, visit College Horizons website.

The Association of Native Alumni (ANA) promotes the interests and welfare of Native American alumni, strengthens and deepens friendships, encourages active recruitment and retention of Native faculty and students and furthers Penn’s commitment to the advancement of Native American higher education. For more information, contact Alumni Relations or call 215-898-6168.

Join ANA on Facebook!

We are committed to working closely with the Lenape Community. Community leaders often come to Penn to do workshops and speak on issues important to them. Students attend the yearly powwow.

For more information, visit the Lenape Nation website.