Center for American Indian Studies
The Center for American Indian Studies (CAIS) serves as a resource and advocate for American Indian and Alaska Native individuals and communities. We also act as a resource for JCCC students, faculty, staff and community members who are trying to better their understanding of these cultures, societies and ways of life.
We welcome organizations academic institutes, Indian Nations, Indian communities and individuals (both Native and non-Native) who share our mission to seek to affect positive change in Indian country.
The AIHREA scholarship is available to college students of any age, gender, socio-economic status, physical ability, and so forth who are seeking skills, a degree and/or a career working to improve the physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives. While preference will be given to Native students, anyone, regardless of ethnicity, is welcome to apply.
The AIHREA scholarship can be used at any community college, tribal college, four-year college or university in the United States. Any academic major is eligible to apply. The scholarship money can be used for tuition, fees, books and required class materials.
AIHREA Student Summer Internship Program
The AIHREA Student Summer Internship Program allows high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students the opportunity to work on various community–based research projects with American Indian communities in Kansas and throughout the Plains region. During this 8-week paid internship, interns work with faculty and staff from both CAIS and the Center for American Indian Community Health at the University of Kansas Medical Center on research projects centering around American Indian health and education.
All Nations Breath of Life Smoking Cessation Program
The All Nations Breath of Life (ANBL) smoking cessation program is a free, no-cost 12- week quit smoking program designed specifically for Native Americans. In-person group sessions, as well as individual telephone counseling sessions are used. Sessions explore the traditional uses and cultural meanings of tobacco to many Native cultures, societies, and individuals. ANBL focuses on information pertinent to Native participants by providing culturally-tailored education materials to address physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual issues that come with quitting smoking.
Native 24/7 is an exploratory research project that addresses cultural heritage and identity of American Indian and Alaska Native people. The hope is that from working directly with community members and using their words, stories and experiences, a more authentic and meaningful view of Native identity will emerge. The knowledge gained will aid in the creation of a scale that will be used in multiple studies in order to identify which communities are affected by particular health disparities so that we can better tailor our interventions for those communities.
The Annual AIHREA O.N.E. Health and Wellness Pow Wow
The Annual AIHREA “Our Nations’ Energies” Health and Wellness Pow Wow is currently one of the only health and wellness pow wows in the United States. It combines a Native dance contest and drum contest with free health screenings. It also includes American Indian arts and craft and Native food vendors. The pow wow is held the first Friday and Saturday of may at the JCCC GYM and Fieldhouse.
The Samuel Sandoval, Navajo Code Talker Project
CAIS has been working with Samuel Sandoval, a Navajo Code Talker from World War II, for the past several years to develop a video documentary and written biography of his life and times as a code talker. The video documentary, Naz Bah Ei Bijei: The Heart of a Warrior (2013) is now complete and available at the JCCC Bookstore. The written biography is currently in the works and will be available in the next few years.