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American Indian Student Services

American Indian Student Services (AISS) recognizes the tremendous importance of focused recruitment and retention efforts geared towards urban and reservation American Indian students.

AISS provides culturally appropriate student support services designed to enhance the academic, personal and professional success of American Indian students attending Metropolitan State University.

Core values

  • Academic success
  • Cultural competence
  • Community connections
  • Family involvement


Campus resources

Voices of Indian Council for Educational Success (VOICES)

The American Indian student organization VOICES meets regularly and promotes the recognition of American Indian students on campus through cultural activities and social events designed to bring American Indian students together. Find VOICES on Facebook.

American Indian faculty and staff

On campus, there is an active American Indian community dedicated to making Metropolitan State accessible to American Indian students.

  • Pauline Danforth (White Earth Ojibwe): Community faculty in the Department of Ethnicity, Gender, History, Philosophy Studies and academic advisor in the College of Sciences
  • Nicholas Metcalf (Sicangu Oyate, or Burnt Thigh People—Rosebud Sioux Tribe): assistant professor, Social Work Department
  • Margaret Vaughan (Mi'kmaq descendant): American Indian Studies specialist in the Department of Ethnicity, Gender, History, Philosophy Studies

American Indian Advisory Committee (AIAC)

In 1988, Minnesota established a statute to ensure the educational success of American Indian students. Metropolitan State adopted the AIAC in 1988 at the request of 10 American Indian students. The committee consists of American Indian community, students, staff and faculty, and its role is to promote success for the American Indian students enrolled at the university. This document is created to adhere to Minnesota Statute 135A.12. The purpose of the AIAC is to:

  1. Address, advise, consult and advocate for the success of American Indian people,
  2. Examine necessary improvements and efforts across the university as it pertains to American Indian systems, programs and services as they affect the needs of American Indian students, and
  3. Recommend improvements of services, programs and curriculum to the president and the university.

The responsibility of the AIAC is to maintain instructional programs and student services to meet the unique needs of American Indian people, such as:

  • Recruitment/retention of employees and students
  • Graduation bylaws committee
  • Instructional practices committee of American Indian faculty
  • Support services committee
  • Nominating committee

The responsibility for the operations of the advisory committee shall reside with the president.

The AIAC shall consist of no more than 15 members. Officers of the committee will consist of: chair/vice chair or co-chair and secretary. Membership shall include American Indian staff, faculty, students, community members and ex-officio members.

Membership includes the president and vice-president of VOICES, plus ex-officio members including the president of Metropolitan State and the president's appointed delegate. Other students could serve as members-at-large.