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Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Indiana University affirms support for First Nations Educational and Cultural Center

Aug. 20, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University administrators expressed unqualified support today (Aug. 20) for the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center and outlined steps aimed at securing its future.

The IU Bloomington center will move to a new, more accessible location in Weatherly Hall at Ashton Center after operating for the past year and a half from Eigenmann Hall.

First Nations Center

The First Nations Educational and Cultural Center is now located in Eigenmann Hall but will move to Ashton-Weatherly.

Print-Quality Photo

"Indiana University recognizes the educational value of diversity and takes seriously its commitment to support groups that have been underrepresented in higher education and in some segments of the wider society," said Karen Hanson, IU Bloomington provost and executive vice president. "The First Nations Education and Cultural Center is and will continue to be an important part of our efforts to understand and celebrate diversity."

Established in April 2007, the FNECC has been housed in a temporary location at the end of a sixth-floor hallway at Eigenmann Hall, in a part of the residence hall that had been converted to offices.

The term First Nations refers to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian peoples. The mission of the FNECC includes addressing education of and about Native peoples; facilitating awareness of Native cultures, languages and histories; serving the needs of Native communities and enriching diversity at IU Bloomington.

"The FNECC is a key part of the diversity initiatives at Indiana University," said Edwin Marshall, university vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs. "Its success is important not only for Native students, faculty and staff, but for the entire IU Bloomington community."

Charles Sykes, executive director of multicultural initiatives, said the new location in Ashton-Weatherly will be more easily accessible for students, faculty, staff and community members who wish to use the center and its resources. In addition to the move, IU administrators will:

  • Appoint a part-time interim director to develop and implement programming for the center this year and continue efforts to appoint a permanent director.
  • Hire two work-study students for the FNECC, allowing the center to extend its hours beyond those worked by the current program assistant.
  • Develop a resource center to make the FNECC's collection of print and electronic materials available to users.
  • Seek support and input from faculty in developing linkages between the FNECC and IU courses.
  • Form a new advisory board to revisit the FNECC's mission and suggest how it can better serve its community.
  • Establish dialogue with Native American organizations and units on IU regional campuses.
  • Work with the admissions office on a strategy to increase Native American enrollment as part of the IU Board of Trustees' commitment to double enrollment of underrepresented minorities at IU Bloomington by 2013-14.

Next week, as students arrive on campus for the 2008-09 academic year, the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center will participate in CultureFest on Aug. 28 at the IU Auditorium. It also will host an open house on Aug. 29 from noon to 2 p.m. in Eigenmann Hall rooms 601 and 602, where the center will remain until the move to Ashton-Weatherly.

In July, locks for the sixth floor of Eigenmann were rekeyed in connection with entities other than the FNECC moving into and out of offices on the floor. Students and staff who used the FNECC were asked by e-mail to turn in their old keys and were notified that a system would be established for checking out new keys.

Since being established, the FNECC has worked with the American Indian Student Association, the Native American Graduate Students' Association and other groups to sponsor a Native Film Series, artist workshops and other events.

Other diversity resources at IU Bloomington include the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, La Casa/Latino Cultural Center, and the Asian Culture Center. For more information, see