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Who We Are and Where We Come From

2020 Stanford Native Graduates


We acknowledge that Stanford sits on the ancestral and unceded land of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. This land was and continues to be of great importance to the Ohlone people. Consistent with our values of community and diversity, we have a responsibility to honor and make visible the university’s relationship to Native peoples.

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. Three years later, John Milton Oskison was the first Native American to graduate from Stanford. 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 350 undergraduate and graduate students representing more than 50 tribes studying at Stanford.

Ours is a community of similarities and differences. Over the years, the Native American community at Stanford has brought together people from a wide range of affiliations and a hundred different tribal backgrounds—all with different talents and experiences.  Once here, students explore different interests, become involved in a range of activities and participate in the community in many important ways. In our diversity we find strength as each individual brings a new gift, talent or perspective to the group. Though we may be very different in terms of background, viewpoint or level of involvement, each of us make up a part of the whole that is our community.

We invite you to join with us at the American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawai'ian Program/Native American Cultural Center (AIANNHP/NACC)—students, staff, faculty, alumni, families and friends—and share your unique abilities as we strive to make a difference throughout Native America.

The Native American Cultural Center's mission is to champion Indigenous excellence, foster leadership development and promote wellness.  The NACC anchors events, programs, lectures, performances, meetings and conversations around Native issues.  It is a place to learn, to grow, to relax, to celebrate, to meet friends, to find support, to get advice, and to nurture community.  It is home to Stanford’s 400 Indigenous-identifying students representing 50 nations and islands, and a welcoming place to others on campus and beyond.


Click here to watch a Virtual Tour of the NACC!

Photo and video credit: Jalen Ellis, Stanford High School Summer College/Summer Session, 2017.