The Native FEWS Alliance brings together the resources, expertise and experiences of multiple educational institutions and stakeholders who all share a proven track record in widening STEM pathways for Indigenous students while centering place-based Indigenous innovations at the nexus of food, energy and water systems.
The Alliance pathways (Figure 1) will be woven in two directions: planning ahead and looking back, constructing new pathways and using assessment to improve and expand them. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) serves as the Alliance backbone, and is the leading institution for Native Americans in STEM. The Alliance will build on AIHEC connections with Indigenous communities and pre-college outreach programs. The Alliance will also leverage the AIHEC network of graduate programs as well as its and its many connections with industry partners and career support organizations. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) will leverage its existing network of TCUs and programs that assist Native students in the transition to four-year colleges and graduate programs.
The AIHEC Backbone will ensure that the Alliance continues to have a central hub, an annual convening, and seamless web-based dissemination of best practices, research methods and results, curriculum and other teaching materials. Since in foundation in 1973, by the presidents of the nation’s first six tribal colleges, AIHEC has grown to represent 38 colleges in the United States and is the lifeline of these tribal colleges. AIHEC is a mature organization with a successful record of cultivating community support and fundraising to support its operations.