RDI Native Programs

Research, Discovery & Innovation Programs

Arizona State Museum. The Arizona State Museum, established in 1893, focuses its programs, collections and research on the indigenous cultures of the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico. The museum holds the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of American Indian basketry, pottery, textile collections, and other artifacts.The museum is guided by the Southwest Native Nations Advisory Board, which is made up of two representatives from each of the 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona.

Institute of the Environment. The Institute of the Environment (IE), launched in 2008, is comprised of a team of scientists, staff, and students who specialize in climate adaptation, renewable energy, environmental stewardship, and environmental arts and humanities. IE aims to identify and advance innovative solutions to environmental challenges in Arizona and around the world.

  • The Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions. The Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) draws on an interdisciplinary group of researchers who study, inform, and work collaboratively with  governmental, non-governmental, and private sectors to offer creative and unique approaches to complex problems related to climate change and its impacts.
  • Native Nations Climate Adaptation Program. The Native Nations Climate Adaptation Program (NNCAP) is housed under the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions within the Institute of the Environment. NNCAP is a partnership of multiple units on campus working with Native Nations to address environmental concerns, especially those related to climate change. An important resource of this program is the Southwest Tribal Climate Change Network, open to tribes, tribal organizations, agencies, and other interested individuals.  The network meets monthly via phone or webcam to share resources and information. For a list of NNCAP projects, click <here>.

Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. Founded in 1989, The Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy supports interdisciplinary research that links scholarship with relevant policy and decision-making. The Center specializes in issues related to environmental and Indigenous nations policies.

  • Native Nations Insitute for Leadership, Management, and Policy. The Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy houses the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy. The Institute works with Native Nations and organizations to increase their capacities for self-governance and sustainable community and economic development.  Launched in October 2012, NNI’s Indigenous Governance Database (IGD) is a continually growing resource collection of video, audio, and written materials relevant to tribal leadership, other tribal professionals, scholars, students, and policymakers searching for resources about nation building, sovereignty, governance, leadership, and sustainable economic and community development in Indigenous country.

NPTAO Collaborators

James E. Rogers College of Law Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program offers students education in the field of federal Indian law, tribal law and policy, and indigenous peoples human rights. NPTAO has collaborated with IPLP to facilitate a course in Federal Indian LawThe course, "Federal Indian Law and Policy: Tribal Sovereignty and the Legal Relationship Between Tribes and the United States" has been designed especially for use by tribal leaders, attorneys, college students, and anyone with an interest in learning about the history and development of Federal Indian Law. 

Office of Tribal RelationsThe Office of Tribal Relations is responsible for strengthening partnerships and advancing mutual goals between the University of Arizona and Native Nations. In addition to fostering relationships with tribal nations, the Office fosters positive relations with tribal nations in key areas such as economic development, academics, cultural protections, and preservation efforts to achieve shared goals. The Office prioritizes raising awareness and developing an understanding of tribal governance, enterprises, culture, and customs among University administrators, faculty, and staff. 

  • Native American Community Council. The Native American Community Council provides workforce development, student recruitment and retention, and research that are key to advancing mutually beneficial initiatives between sovereign tribal nations and the University of Arizona.