American Indian Summer Institute

About our logo
Rabbit logo for American Indian Summer Institute
Trickster traditions often bring wisdom through their adventures and stories. Nanabozho is an Ojibwe trickster spirit that was sent by Gitchi-Manidoo, Great Spirit, to teach the people lessons. Nanabozho can take on many forms and we chose the rabbit because of their personality traits of cleverness and creativity. Looking to trickster stories we are able to learn how they can teach us how to walk paths unfamiliar and also to have fun along the way!

We are happy to announce the creation of our American Indian Summer Institute (AISI), which aims to get indigenous high school students acquainted with University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus, facilities, students, faculty, and staff. We want to foster an early sense of comfortability on college campuses that will make the transition into higher education that much easier for students. 

Founded in 2018, AISI seeks to improve college readiness, matriculation rates, and dispel misconceptions of universities (such as the University of Minnesota) among Native American students.

A 2018 report by the Postsecondary National Policy Institute reveals that the higher education participation rate of Native American students has been dropping in recent years and that only 10% of Native Americans attain bachelor’s degrees. It also reported lower completion rates for Native Americans, lower access to college preparatory or AP classes in high school, and less likely to have family who attended college. 

Students will stay in a residential hall on the U of M campus and spend six days attending classes and workshops about college prep, admissions, financial aid, professional development, ACT prep, cultural knowledge, and various academic areas. The ultimate goal for this program is to help prepare students for college, offer them a chance to meet other youth from around the state, and build their academic confidence.

2019 program info

Questions? Contact Fawn Sampson at aisi@umn.edu.