NAU unveils noteworthy Native American Cultural Center

Interior rendering of the Native American Cultural Center

The Native American Cultural Center officially opened this week on Northern Arizona University’s campus in Flagstaff.

The center, which is the only facility of its kind serving all Arizona tribes, will serve as a point of contact for Native groups on campus. Offices and activities at the center will directly support student organizations, recruitment and retention. NAU is home to more than 1,000 Native American students from 105 different tribes.

Native American design features and sustainable principles guided the development and construction of the 12,540-square-foot building. The $7 million project was funded with $3 million in donations, including a $2 million gift from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and $4 million in general university funds.

The opening ceremony began with a program at the University Union Fieldhouse with remarks by NAU President John Haeger and a lineup of speakers that included Regent LuAnn Leonard, tribal leaders and other dignitaries. A ribbon cutting followed at the south entrance of the cultural center, after which visitors toured the new facility.

A silent auction featuring Native American artwork also took place at the center with proceeds supporting educational programming.