Native American Student & Community Center
The mission of the Native American Student & Community Center (NASCC) is to provide a "cultural home" where Native American, Alaskan Native and Pacific Islander students connect to other students, faculty, staff and community members in an inclusive and supportive environment. At the Center, students may build community, receive assistance in support of their academic goals, and explore and develop cultural identities and intercultural alliances.
On Saturday, April 6, 2002, the headline of the Oregonian read, "Native Americans catch dream of a cultural center."
The Native American Student and Community Center broke ground on Friday, April 5, 2002, nearly a decade into its planning process. This building project culminated many years of coalition building to establish a place on PSU's campus for Native American students.
The vision of the collaborators was to make NASCC a welcoming environment - a home away from home for Native American students. The intent was to create an atmosphere where students can connect to other students, faculty, staff and community members. This space would allow individuals to share their cultural experiences, maintain connections with Portland's Native American community and contribute critical thought.
Spaces with similar visions had already been established on other Oregon University System campuses, but not on PSU's campus. Oregon State University established their longhouse in 1971 and The University of Oregon founded their first longhouse in 1974.
The collaborative efforts of Native American students and alumni, the University, OUS building funds, private donors and foundations, the Native American Tribes of Oregon, and the metro Native American community culminated the construction of the Native American Student and Community Center. The center opened October 24, 2003 with a commitment to serve the many collaborators that contributed to the Center's development.
NASCC is located on the corner of SW Broadway and Jackson Street. It strives to provide a home on campus where Native American, Alaskan Native, and Pacific Island students find academic and social support. The Center welcomes the greater Native Community to PSU's campus, providing opportunities for shared learning and understanding.
The Center includes a ten station computer lab, offices for the Native American Student Services Coordinator, the Pacific Islanders Club, the United Indian Students of Higher Education, and PSU's American Indian Science and Engineering Society chapter. It provides rich opportunities to enhance the student experience through linking students with tribal leaders, Native American professionals, Native service organizations and traditional community activities.
Portland State takes pride in the development of the Center in collaboration with the Native American community. The construction and operation of the Center has enhanced PSU's partnerships with Oregon's nine tribes, Portland's Native American culture and service groups, as well as regional and national organizations serving Native people. The Center serves the ninth largest Native American population in the country.