Spotlight on Native American Student Association


Kaden Staley

NASA students gather around a fire circle during the decolonization photo shoot, We Are The 26%. Photo courtesy of Kaden Stanley.

Katarina Rothhorn

The Native American Student Association is an inclusive organization that strives to increase the appreciation and awareness of Native American culture, language and history, as well as provide support for Native American students. 

They are an active group on campus that has organized such events as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the Learning to Walk Together Powwow and the First Nations Food Taster. 

“Indigenous Peoples’ Day we got recognized, thankfully, this past year and it’s been almost like a housewarming gift because this is our day, and we’re able to celebrate it together,” Sophia Panek, sophomore Native American studies major, social media manager and historian for NASA, said. “It’s really been an honor to have been able to be a part of that and organize such events.”

While NASA plans a lot of events for campus and community members, the club is also a social group for people to gather. Their weekly meetings are split into two sections; the first hour is the general meeting where members chat and can join the meeting at any time. The second hour is the committee meeting which is more structured and is where most of the event planning takes place.  

Membership is not limited to students of Native American descent and students are welcome to attend and help participate in the planning of NASA’s events.

“The role of members in NASA is to attend meetings with respect and humility. If our members would like to, they are encouraged to participate in planning events and provide input on our different initiatives,” Bazile Panek, junior Native American studies major and president of NASA, said. “The input of all of our members is highly valued.”

Students interested in joining NASA can contact them by emailing [email protected] or following them on Facebook and Instagram at @nmunasa.