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Pawnee Nation College Awarded NEH Grant,

“Supported projects include…an initiative at Pawnee Nation College in Oklahoma to integrate Pawnee language, history, and culture into the tribal college’s natural science curriculum.”

About the Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. On April 9th, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced $18.6 million in grants for 199 humanities projects across the country. A grant to Pawnee Nation College (PNC) was one of the twelve projects they highlighted in their press release. The $35,000 planning grant is titled “Enhancing Tribal Sovereignty through Humanities-Science Connections.” The grant is a collaboration with Dr. Mark Griep, an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Griep will collaborate with PNC over the next year to develop the curriculum for a natural sciences course that is connected to the regional Indian languages, history, and culture. At the end of the year, PNC and Griep will apply for a three-year NEH implementation grant to offer the natural sciences course.

This project has its roots in Nebraska. For the past five years, Griep has been collaborating with the science faculty at Nebraska’s two tribal colleges, Little Priest Tribal College and Nebraska Indian Community College, to connect their chemistry and microbiology laboratory experiments to tribal community topics. When the Nebraska collaborators published an award-winning paper about their project in 2016, it caught the eye of PNC President Michael Burgess. As a result, Burgess invited Griep to the PNC campus to discuss bringing the Nebraska method to
Oklahoma. During Griep’s second visit, he and Burgess met with members of the Pawnee Community to ask for their help in guiding the project that will connect their language, history, and culture to a natural sciences curriculum. This course is part of a larger economic development project about eco-tourism. The members of the community who were present at the meeting were enthusiastic about the project, so Burgess and Griep submitted a proposal to the National Endowment of the Humanities that has now been funded.

About Pawnee Nation College: The Pawnee Nation College seeks to meet the higher educational and cultural needs of the Pawnee Nation, other surrounding Indian nations, and all who have the desire to engage in a life of learning. The intent of the College is to foster an awareness of rich cultural diversity in the region and its inherent complexities and vibrancies, while at the same time encouraging students to fulfill their potential through challenging academic or training programs that prepare them to matriculate to four-year institutions or to enter the workforce. As a tribal community college, the Pawnee Nation College is dedicated to promoting social responsibility, service to the community, and research that contribute to the cultural, social, and economic well-being of the Pawnee Nation, other Indian nations, and the surrounding communities.

For further information about the project, please contact Pawnee Nation College at 918-762- 3343.


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