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Who we are and where we come from

Ours is a history of working to improve the quality of life for American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Indigenous Pacific Islanders. Our community reaches out to new students and their families to help them adjust to life at Stanford–to help them realize their goals and prepare for the future. 

Our roots at Stanford date back earlier than the institution itself. Built on land originally inhabited by the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, Stanford University opened its doors in 1891.  Matriculating in 1894, John Milton Oskison was the first Native American to graduate from Stanford in 1898. Fueled by the spirit of social and political change during the 1960s, a group of Native students worked with the university administration to increase educational opportunities for Natives at Stanford. Since then, our numbers have increased, and students have continued to take an active role in increasing opportunities for our community at Stanford. 

Today, there are more than 450 undergraduate and graduate students representing more than 50 tribes and island communities studying at Stanford.

Highlights from the Community

Upcoming Events

52nd Annual Stanford Powwow

The 52nd Annual Stanford Powwow will be held May 12-14, 2023! 

Join us as we celebrate Mother’s Day Weekend at Eucalyptus Grove. For event information, please visit

Indigenous Excellence at Stanford: Histories, Voices, and Perspectives from the Past 50 Years

In continued celebration of the 50th anniversaries of the Stanford American Indian Organization and the Stanford Powwow, the Native American Cultural Center is thrilled to officially invite you to explore the history of our community at Stanford. Using the StoryMap platform, viewers will explore major moments in the history of Stanford’s Indigenous community through an interactive digital exhibit consisting of oral histories, student newsletters, rarely seen photographs, and original documents—all of which come together to retell the story of our beloved community. A project years in the making, Indigenous Excellence at Stanford: Histories, Voices, and Perspectives from the Past 50 Years, commemorates a legacy of activism, advocacy, ingenuity, and excellence that has come to define the Stanford Native community. 

Alumni News

Inaugural Stanford Indigenous Alumni Summit 2022

Stanford's first Indigenous Alumni Summit, originally imagined as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO) in 2020-21, was held on October 20th, 2022! A collaborative effort of the Stanford Indigenous Alumni Association (SIAA), Stanford's Native American Cultural Center (NACC), and SAIO- the Summit was offered as a hybrid event open to those participants who were able to travel to campus and others who preferred to participate online.

New Students 2022


Stanford Native Immersion Program (SNIP)—an off-campus, pre-orientation retreat for freshmen and new transfers, September 15-20—returns its participants to campus on “Move-In Day”

New Student Orientation (NSO) undergraduate events hosted by the Native Community in 2022 include: NACC (Native American Cultural Center) Open House, September 21; Frybread & Musubi Night, September 23; Volleyball & Ice Cream Social, September 25; and Welcome/Welcome Back BBQ, September 29.   

Graduate-specific welcome events include: the NACC at Graduate Orientation Activities Lunch & Information) GOALIE, September 23; Welcome/Welcome Back BBQ, September 29; and the Native Grad Students’ Welcome Dinner, October 6.

Stanford American Indian Organization's 50th Anniversary

SAIO 50 for 50

The SAIO 50 for 50 is a series of alumni spotlights to celebrate the Stanford American Indian Organization and Stanford Powwow’s 50th anniversaries.

Read more about SAIO's and Stanford Powwow's anniversaries here