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Native American Students

Syracuse University is just minutes from the heartland of Haudenosaunee territory. We're invested in a relationship with our Native American neighbors that promotes cross-cultural dialogue, research opportunities, and stronger appreciation for Native American leadership, innovation, and contribution.

Native American students in their graduation caps and gowns at Commencement

Learn about resources and opportunities for Indigenous students at Syracuse University.




Quick Facts


  • Main Campus is in Syracuse, N.Y. (in Onondaga Nation territory), and just 45 minutes from the Oneida Nation.


  • Undergraduate enrollment is just over 15,000 – including 350 Native American students.

Native Students

  • Recognized for being geared toward the needs of Native American students (American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Winds of Change)

Syracuse University Scholarships for Native American Students

Haudenosaunee Promise Scholarship

Who qualifies?

Citizens of the Haudenosaunee Nation who reside on a nation territory

What does the scholarship cover? 

Cost of tuition, mandatory fees, and housing and meals (on campus, as outlined in the University’s Cost of Attendance), as well as optional study abroad opportunities. 

Learn more about the Haudenosaunee Promise Scholarship.

Haudenosaunee Honor Scholarship

Who qualifies?

Certified citizens of one of the historic Haudenosaunee nations

What does the scholarship cover?

Cost of tuition and mandatory fees, as specified in the Syracuse University Cost of Attendance, for each year of full-time undergraduate study. 

Learn more about the Haudenosaunee Honor Scholarship.

Syracuse University’s Indigenous Pathways Grant

The Indigenous Pathways Grant provides need-based aid to Indigenous students from across the United States and Canada. All Indigenous students with documented need (as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS/PROFILE are eligible.

If you (or your parent/grandparent) are Indigenous and officially enrolled in your state or federally-recognized tribe/Nation, you are eligible for Syracuse University’s Indigenous Pathways Grant.

For questions, please contact:

  • Tammy Bluewolf-Kennedy, Office of Admissions, Admissions Counselor/Native American Liaison or 315-443-4844   
  • Kim Radcliffe-Loor, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs, Assistant Director,

Online Resources for Financial Aid and Scholarships

It’s never too early to begin your search for scholarships and find out about financial aid. The means to fund your education and achieve your goals is out there.

General Information

Money Geek’s Ultimate Guide to FAFSA

Scholarship Search Websites





Scholarships and Opportunities for Indigenous Students

Indspire Native Bursaries 

SUNY Native American Western Consortium

North Dakota State University’s Scholarship Resource Guide

American Indian Student Services (AISS) 

Partnership with Native Americans 

American Indian College Fund 

Native Youth to College 

Money Geek’s Scholarships and Grants Designed for Native American Students 

Scholarship Application Organizer 

Tips for Completing More Scholarship Applications 

5 Items to Include in Your Scholarship Portfolio 

Culture and Community

Native Heritage Month

As part of Native Heritage Month, you’ll enjoy screenings of Indigenous films, comedians, lectures, social dances, and other cultural festivities that celebrate Native heritage. This event is hosted by Syracuse University, in partnership with other area colleges such as Onondaga Community College and Ithaca College.

Native Student Program

Beginning with a three-day orientation program, the Native Student Program supports students during their transition to Syracuse University and throughout their entire undergraduate experience. Students have the opportunity to attend workshops and receive academic counseling, as well as travel to places like Washington, D.C., to explore Indigenous history. Program participants gather weekly at the program's headquarters, 113 Euclid Avenue.

Indigenous Students at Syracuse (ISAS)

This student-run organization promotes awareness of, and provides a sense of belonging for, Indigenous students on campus. ISAS also educates the Syracuse University community about Indigenous issues and concerns. 

Indigenous Living Learning Community

Syracuse University’s residential learning communities support you in developing skills and attitudes that enhance academic achievement, help you make friends quickly and easily, and give you the tools to balance your academic and social lives. If you choose to live in the Indigenous Living Learning Community, you’ll live and work with other students while focusing on the traditions of Native peoples, particularly religion, history, aesthetics, and politics.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor

Syracuse’s Native American and Indigenous Studies minor, offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, explores the lives of Indigenous peoples from religious, historical, political, and aesthetic perspectives back to cultures that existed more than 11,000 years ago.

Ongwehonwe Alumni Association

Ongwehonwe, the Onondaga word for First Nation peoples, is also the name of Syracuse’s Indigenous Alumni Association, a group of more than 400 members representing every school and college at the University.


Lacrosse is very popular at Syracuse University. Women’s and men’s lacrosse are official sports.

The Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center

The Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center, located nearby at Onondaga Lake Park, is a collaborative project between Onondaga County, Onondaga Historical Association, Syracuse University and other educational institutions in the area, and the Onondaga Nation. It tells the ancient and enduring story of the Great Law of Peace from its founding to the present time. Students are encouraged to be involved with the planning and events associated with the Center.

Other Resources at Syracuse and Beyond

fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program

This program is designed to help you adjust to the academic, social, professional, and personal challenges of college life by providing academic resources outside the classroom. 

Connections Program

Connects you with experienced students for advice about settling into Syracuse, living with a roommate, opening a bank account, meeting new friends, and handling academics. 

National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Program Grant (NACME)

Provides scholarships to Native American students with financial need who are enrolled in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Scholarships for Minority Accounting Students

Provides competitive, merit- and need-based scholarships for outstanding minority accounting students, including Native Americans. 

Native American SUNY: Western Consortium

Created by the State University of New York (SUNY) to address the higher education needs of Native American communities, the program provides aid in the form of Haudenosaunee and general Native scholarships and grants. 

Distant Drums Scholarships for Part-Time Indigenous Students

Scholarships for Native adult students who are enrolled in part-time study at Syracuse through University College

Marathon Oil Corporation/UNCF Corporate Scholars Program

Scholarships and summer internships at various Marathon operation locations are available to Native American engineering majors. 

Native Alumni

  • Oren Lyons ’58, H’93, Turtle Clan Faithkeeper, Syracuse’s first Native graduate, and frequent lecturer at the UN
  • Ann Drumheller ’89, special assistant, Native American Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution and the first Native woman to letter all four years in volleyball
  • Stephanie Waterman, G’04, assistant professor at University of Rochester and the first Onondaga to earn a Ph.D. from Syracuse University
  • Brett Bucktooth ’06, Syracuse University All-American lacrosse player, National Lacrosse League All-Star, and member of the Iroquois Nationals and Onondaga Redhawks
  • Professor Michael Taylor, D’05, Author, Contesting Constructed Indian-ness, research affiliate at Colgate University
  • Robert Odawi Porter ’86, Senior advisor and Native American expert, Dentons Law Firm
  • Karla General, JD’10, Attorney, Indian Law Resource Center
  • Sarah Moses ’06, G’10, Staff writer, The Post-Standard
  • Leah Shenandoah ’06, Singer, songwriter, jeweler and multimedia artist
  • Amber Hill ’09, first known Native American woman to play in the NCAA tournament

Alumni Representatives

Native American alumni will assist you with the admissions process, campus tours, answers to your questions via e-mail, phone, or Skype, and at college fairs, high school visits, and interviews.

  • Melissa Jane Qillauruq Tabor, Inupiaq
    Kotzebue, AK
    Dual major Psychology and Religion, Gerontology minor ’11
  • Alexander Jimerson, Cattaraugus Seneca
    Irving, NY
    Public Health, Native studies minor ’11
  • Shara Francis-Herne, Akwesasne Mohawk
    Akwesasne, NY
    Psychology, Native Studies Minor ’11
  • Phillip Rohetiio White Cree, Akwesasne Mohawk
    Akwesasne, NY
    Architecture, Native studies minor ’12
  • Jenn Ullman, Salamanca Seneca
    Salamanca, NY
  • Justin Schaap, Salamanca Seneca
    Salamanca, NY


For questions and information or to contact an alumni representative, please contact:

Tammy Bluewolf-Kennedy
Admissions Counselor and Native American Liaison
Office of Admissions

Request more information