Contact Us

Commission for Native Americans


Carissa Tsosie
Library Specialist
Cline Library
PO Box 6022 Flagstaff AZ 86011
+1 928/523-4345 phone

Chad Hamill, Ph.D.,
Asst. Professor of Ethnomusicology
School of Music
PO Box 4060 Flagstaff AZ 86011
+1 928/523-3849 phone


  1. Purpose

    1. Overview

      On April 9, 2003 the Native American Commission (now Commission for Native Americans) was officially established at Northern Arizona University to advise the President on matters pertaining to Native American on- and off-campus needs, issues and opportunities. The Commission is charged with making recommendations to the President for developing, enhancing, or expanding new initiatives that will sustain Native American programs into the future. The Commission, in part, fulfills the University’s vision to be an integral part of the northern Arizona and Flagstaff communities and to serve rural Arizona, Native American peoples, and to seek partnerships in providing education, economic, cultural, and social opportunities for all citizens of the region.

    2. Functions and Responsibilities

      The Commission will actively engage and advise the President regarding Native Americans by reviewing all relevant reports and recommendations concerning Native Americans. It will also develop reports in which it will identify needs, develop strategies and implement tasks required to meet these needs. The goals of the Commission are to

      1. Provide a strategic direction for sustaining and expanding NAU’s role as a leading university in

        1. Educational opportunities for Native American students;

        2. Service and applied research to Arizona tribal communities including history, culture and contemporary issues of Native American peoples;

        3. Interdisciplinary academic programs that embrace contemporary and traditional knowledge, scholarship and research.

      2. Provide informed recommendations to the President regarding:

        1. Native American issues and concerns for the Flagstaff and statewide campuses;

        2. Native American opportunities and issues regarding capacity building of Native American peoples and their land;

        3. Active recruitment, retention and graduation of Native American students;

        4. Active recruitment and retention of Native American faculty, administrators and staff.

      3. Serve as a liaison to students, faculty and staff on matters pertaining to Native American academic and support services issues and concerns.

  2. Membership, Appointments and Qualifications

    1. Commissioners

      The Commission draws its strength from the participation of all segments of the university community that consists of a diverse group of students, administrators, staff, and faculty. At least fifty one percent (51%) of the membership should be comprised of Native American staff, faculty, and administrators. The total membership will not exceed 15 and twelve members will be selected at large by the nomination procedures (see item C, Nomination Procedures below). Faculty, administrators and staff interested in Native American education, research and public service are eligible to become a member of the Commission for Native Americans.

    2. Associates

      Are any staff, faculty, administration, students and student groups (clubs and organizations) interested in attending any of the CNA meetings. Associates can participate in meeting discussions, but are non-voting members of the commission.

    3. Nomination Procedures

      Candidates for the Commission may be nominated or self-nominated. The Commission for Native Americans will review the nomination(s) and make recommendation(s) to the President for appointments.

    4. Committee Membership

      Each Commissioner will serve on a Committee to assume assignments in addition to attending all Commission meetings. The Commission will appoint individual Commissioners to serve on a committee.

  3. Commission Co-Chairs, Committee Representatives and Administrative Support

    1. Co-Chairs

      The President will appoint the Co-Chairs who will preside over all Commission meetings and serve a two-year term. The duties of the Co-Chairs include

      1. Call meetings of the Commission and set agenda

      2. Distribute notices of upcoming meetings to the membership

      3. Maintain membership rolls of the Commission

      4. Prepare the annual commission report with the Institute for Native Americans

      5. Meet with the President on a regular basis

      6. Appoint chairs to Committees

  4. Term

    Each Commissioner will serve a two-year staggered term.

  5. Removal and Resignation

    A Commissioner may be removed from the Commission for Native Americans after three (3) consecutive unexcused absences from three regular Commission meetings during the academic year. A Commissioner may send an alternate to the meetings but the alternate shall have no voting privileges. A Commissioner may voluntarily resign from the committee by written notice to the Co-Chairs.

  6. Reporting

    The Commission Co-Chairs will provide regular reports to the President or as the need arises. The Co-Chairs will submit written quarterly reports to the President and as deemed appropriate provide reports to the President’s Cabinet and other groups concern with Native Americans. The President and Co-Chair and/or other members will meet at least monthly

  7. Meetings

    1. The Commission will hold regular monthly meetings during the academic year for a total of eight (8) meetings per academic year.

    2. Other meetings may be called as needed provided there is a quorum of voting members to conduct business.

    3. Meeting agenda and minutes will be e-mailed or mailed to each Commissioner.

    4. A majority of the Commission members in attendance shall constitute a quorum.

    5. Each Commissioner is expected to attend all meetings during the academic year. If a member will be absent, he/she must notify one of the Co-Chairs at least two business days prior to scheduled meetings to determine a quorum of voting members

Amendments to By-laws

A two-thirds vote by the total members of the Commission at a duly called meeting is required to amend the By-Laws, and any such action is subject to the approval by the President.