Native American Studies Program (University of Michigan) records: 1972-2003
Summary Information
Title: Native American Studies Program (University of Michigan) records
Creator: University of Michigan. Native American Studies Program.
Dates: 1972-2003
Extent: 0.75 linear feet
The Native American studies began at the University of Michigan in 1972. In 1983 it was formalized as a program within the Program in American Culture. Records include material relating to the establishment and growth of the Native American Studies Program. Collection contains records relating to the Committee on Native American Studies, focusing particularly on the early planning and implementation of the Native American Studies Program and course information, documentation of campus cultural activities, and issues of the Native American Advocate.
Call number: 2010213 Bimu 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Natalie Bond, November-December 2010

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Materials were received from the University of Michigan Native American Studies program in August 2010 (Donor # 10395).

Access Restrictions:

The records are open without restriction.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Native American Studies Program (University of Michigan) records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


The University of Michigan's Native American Studies Program was conceived in the early seventies, following several years of lobbying on the part of the University's Native Americans students, as well as local Native Americans. Anthony L. Genia, was hired in 1972 as a Native American recruiter in the admissions office, and was primarily concerned with establishing a Native American program at the University. The University of Michigan Native American Student Association (UM-NASA) was established around the same time, holding its first organizational meeting on November 13, 1972. A Native American Advocate, Charles "Moose" Pamp, was hired by the UM Office of Special Services. He was to serve as "an aggressive exponent for Native American concerns throughout the campus and community," and would "open up new channels of communication...and actively represent Native American interests." (Native American Advocate, November 1972)

It was not until 1983 that the Native American Studies Program was officially established within the Program in American Culture. Since its inception, the Native American Studies Program at the University of Michigan has implemented several courses each year, including those in Ojibwe language instruction. There are several Native American student groups operating at the University as well, including American Indians at the University of Michigan, The Circle, the American Indian Science Engineering Society, the Native American Law Students Association, and the Native Caucus. These groups actively sponsor speakers and other events, and have put on an annual April Dance for Mother Earth Pow Wow in conjunction with the local Native community since 1972.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The records largely document the inception and early years of the University of Michigan's Native American Studies Program, beginning in 1972, as well as cultural and financial material from more recent years. The collection is arranged in a single series, Topical Files.

Two folders contain extensive information regarding the Ojibwa language courses, which have been offered regularly since 1973. The majority of documents relate to the growth of the program, specifically the expansion of Native American course offerings, the hiring of Native American faculty members, the dialogue between Native American students and the University over demands for a cultural center, and increased support services on campus for Native American Students.

The collection also consists of various budget and financial documents, as well as grant proposals. Several issues of a student publication, the Native American Advocate from 1972-1973, are included, in addition to non-University publications relating to Native American issues.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Indians of North America -- Michigan -- Education, Higher.
  • Minorities -- Education, Higher -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • University of Michigan. Native American Student Association.
  • University of Michigan. Native American Studies Program.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Topical Files [series]
Box   1  
Budget and Grant Proposals Native American Orientation Program
Box   1  
Budget and Finances Victor Masayesva and Gerald Vizenore Film Series 1991-1992 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Committee on Native American Studies 1972-1978 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Cultural Center 1975
Box   1  
E-mails (print-out), Memos, and Advertisements 1995-2000
Box   1  
Faculty (Native American) 1973-1975
Box   1  
LSA Mini-Course, Native American Political and Social Problems 1975-1976
Box   1  
Native American Advocate 1972-1973
Box   1  
Native American Courses 1972-1978
Box   1  
Native American Programs outside of UM 1972-1986
Box   1  
Ojibwa Language Courses 1973-2002 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Proposals for Pre-and Post-Doctorate Native American Scholars Program 1992
Box   1  
Publications regarding Native American issues 1972-1973, 1987
Box   1  
Supportive Native American Services on campus (Advocate, Counselor, Admissions) 1973-1975, 1992
Box   1  
UM Campus Cultural Activities 1973-2003 (2 folders)