Skip to main content

Tribal Nations Tour to share message of higher education

August 10, 2012

Arizona State University will travel to northeastern Arizona during the week of Aug. 13 to encourage youth to consider higher education. Led by the ASU President’s Office of American Indian Initiatives, current ASU students and staff will provide outreach, academic guidance and college preparation tips to American Indian students, families and communities.

In 2011, ASU received a College Access Grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office to bring information about higher education to tribal communities throughout Arizona. As a result, ASU’s Tribal Nation’s Tour (TNT) traveled to 22 schools in 17 Arizona Indian tribal communities, including the Tohono O’odham Nation, Hopi Tribe, Cocopah Nation, Gila River Indian Community, Yavapai-Apache Nation, White Mountain Apache Tribe and other tribal nations. Through these visits, TNT has reached more than 2,400 elementary and high school students, and more than 380 parents and school personnel. 

TNT recruits current ASU students to travel to some of Arizona’s rural Indian tribal communities to share their experiences through personal stories, skits and a variety of activities to encourage young people to go to college.

Many of these ASU students come from the very communities that the TNT visits. 

“I go out on TNT trips to encourage students," said ASU junior Diedra Vasquez (Navajo/Tohono O’odham), an active TNT participant. "But the tours also helped me realize that we need to support the youth. Many are our brothers and sisters, and we need to work to get them here – to higher education.”

ASU has one of the highest American Indian/Native American student populations in the nation. In the 2011 academic year, approximately 2,000 American Indian students were enrolled at ASU.

ASU also is a leading university in the country for awarding graduate degrees to American Indian students. ASU President Michael M. Crow has built ASU’s success around a new model for the American research university that is committed to excellence, impact and access. Ensuring access to ASU’s excellent educational resources includes working with tribal communities to ensure higher education is not a dream but a real possibility.  

The ASU Tribal Nations Tour kicks off the 2012 academic year next week with a visit to the Navajo Nation. Twenty-one ASU students and staff will embark on a six-day tour of Navajo Nation-based schools including Chinle Junior High; Many Farms Community Schools; Rock Point; Red Mesa Junior High; Kayenta Middle School; Monument Valley High School; Shonto Preparatory; Kaibeto Boarding School; Tuba City Boarding School; and Tuba City Unified Schools. 

For a future visit by ASU to your school or community, contact Annabell Bowen, at 480-727-8325 or