Rolston St. Hilaire (left), New Mexico State University Plant and Environmental Sciences department head, gives a presentation to a group of Native American high school students. NMSU’s Indian Resources Development and Navajo Technical University have received a four-year, $250,000 grant to develop experiential learning opportunities for Native American students at New Mexico land-grant institutions. | Photo courtesy NMSU
Indian Resources Development at New Mexico State University, in partnership with Navajo Technical University, received a four-year, $250,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop experiential learning opportunities to increase retention and graduation of Native American students at New Mexico land-grant institutions.
“We believe that extending experiential learning opportunities to Native American students at tribal organizations will expand the formal instruction students receive in agriculture, food and natural resources as well as their knowledge and understanding of the history, traditions and cultural practices that accompany them,” said Claudia Trueblood, Indian Resources Development director.
Housed in NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Indian Resources Development and NTU were awarded the grant with support of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, American Indian Chamber of Commerce, Flower Hill Institute and the Navajo Nation Department of Natural Resources.
The project will offer experiential learning opportunities that foster connections between Native American students’ cultural background and their academic experiences along with relevant real-world internships, professional development and career exploration opportunities. Mentors from regional land-grant institutions, Tribal entities and Native professionals also will collaborate on the project.
“The internship project will support the mission of IRD and NTU in linking Native American students to experiential opportunities that can strengthen their skills and, in this way, contribute to the economic development and well-being of tribal communities and New Mexico,” said Charlene Carr, Indian Resources Development program coordinator.
For New Mexico Tribal Nations interested in hosting an internship experience, contact the Indian Resources Development staff at email@example.com.
Additionally, New Mexico high schools that serve Native American students and are interested in promoting higher education opportunities in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences to their students at land-grant institutions in New Mexico can contact Indian Resources Development staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU