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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


Spring 2023

52nd Annual Stanford Powwow

The 52nd Annual Stanford Powwow was held May 12-14, 2023 and brought tens of thousands of visitors to campus over Mother's Day weekend. 

NACC congratulates our fantastic students on yet another successful Stanford Powwow! 

Save the date for next years Stanford Powwow: May 10 - 12, 2024.

 For event information, please visit

New Students 2023


Stanford Native Immersion Program (SNIP)—an off-campus, pre-orientation retreat for freshmen and new transfers, will take place September 14-19, 2023! For information about SNIP 2023, contact Constance Owl at

New Student Orientation (NSO) undergraduate events hosted by the Native Community in 2023 include: NACC (Native American Cultural Center) Open House; Frybread & Musubi Social; Volleyball & Snow Cone Social; and Welcome/Welcome Back BBQ. Graduate-specific welcome events include: Welcome/Welcome Back BBQ; and the Native Grad Students’ Welcome Dinner. 

Honoring our Community Story

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

In celebration of the 50th anniversaries of the Stanford American Indian Organization and the Stanford Powwow, the Native American Cultural Center is thrilled to 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. 

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.