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“We want to live in a tribal community where higher education is the norm and cultural identity is strong,” agreed Native student and teachers in the Center for Integrated Access Network (CIAN) Education Program. On July 14, 2016, through an introductory session on Native nation building, NNI executive director Joan Timeche and tribal services program coordinator Lindsay Riggs provided these CIAN participants with ideas and tools that could help make this vision a reality.
Joan and Lindsay also challenged participants to think critically about the education they are receiving as part of CIAN’s summer program at the University of Arizona, the bigger picture of what it means to be a member of a Native community or to teach Native students, and the responsibilities those dual roles entail.
CIAN is a multi-institutional research effort to reach out to students of all levels as well as educators to improve their understanding of and interest in STEM fields, specifically in optics & photonics. University of Arizona leads the program with and its partner institutions, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Southern California, the California Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, the University of California at Los Angeles, Norfolk State University and Tuskegee University.