Haskell Indian Nations University

Haskell Indian Nations University

Haskell Indian Nations University
Established 1884
Type Tribal College
President Venida Chenault
Haskell Board of Regents George Tiger, President
Students 1,000
Location Lawrence, Kansas, United States
Colors Purple and Gold         
Sports Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Softball, Volleyball, and Cheerleading
Affiliations AIHEC
American Council on Education
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Website Haskell.edu

Haskell Indian Nations University is a tribal university[1] located in Lawrence, Kansas, for members of federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States. Founded in 1884 as a residential boarding school for American Indian children,[2] the school has developed as a North Central Association-accredited university that offers both associate and baccalaureate degrees.[3]

Enrollment at the campus is nearly 1,000 students per semester, representing approximately 140 Tribal nations and Alaska Native communities.[4] Haskell is funded directly by the Bureau of Indian Education as a U.S. Trust Responsibility[5] to American Indian Tribes; it does not charge tuition. Students are responsible for paying semester fees.[6]

Twelve campus buildings have been designated as U.S. [10] Faculty and students built the Haskell Medicine Wheel Earthwork in 1992, and the Haskell-Baker Wetlands are important for migrating birds. The renowned Rinehart Collection is housed in the Haskell Cultural Center. Numerous sculptures and murals are located throughout the campus. Haskell also is a member of the American Council on Education, The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.[11]

The University hosts cultural and academic events that attract visitors (both American Indian and non-Indian) from across the country and abroad. Such events include the annual Haskell Indian Art Market,[12] the Stories-n-Motion Film Festival,[13] and the Haskell Commencement & Pow-Wow.[14] These public events are held along with numerous educational conferences, workshops, and presentations.


The history of Haskell Indian Nations University reflects both U.S. Indian policy and self-determination efforts by American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Haskell was founded during an era when the federal government believed that Native Americans needed to assimilate to majority culture to survive. Children were sent away from their families to Native American boarding schools.[15] There were documented abuses, as children were forced to cut their hair, learn Christianity and stop practicing native religions, and were forbidden to speak their native languages but to learn English. They were cut off from their families and their own cultures. Under harsh standards of the period, children were sometimes physically abused.[16]

Haskell has since developed into a Tribal-based university whose curriculum serves general Native American and Alaska Native goals. Since the late 1960s, some tribes have developed their own tribal colleges, located on their reservations and serving a specific tribal ore regional population. Haskell's alumni work in numerous areas to serve Indian Country and Alaska Native communities.


  • 1884: Founded as the United States Indian Industrial Training School, the school opened for 22 students, a number that increased to 400 within one semester. According to the university, the early trades for boys included tailoring, wagon making, blacksmithing, harness making, painting, shoe making, and farming, reflecting skills needed in their rural home environments. Girls studied cooking, sewing and homemaking. Most of the students' food was produced on the Haskell farm, and students were expected to work at the school.[4]
  • 1887: Name changed to Haskell Institute to honor Dudley Haskell, the U.S. Representative responsible for the school being in Lawrence. Under a semi-military system, students wore uniforms, marched to classes and exercised regularly.
  • 1889-90: Charles T. Meserve was appointed the fifth superintendent in Haskell's five-year history. His discharge of many employees including the principal teacher brought criticism from the president of the National Education Association, and his harsh treatment of the students caused them to send four protesting petitions to Washington. A Special Indian Agent, appointed to investigate, whitewashed the whole situation.[17]
  • 1894: 606 students from 36 states.
Students at Haskell Institute, 1908.
  • 1927: High school classes were accredited by the state of Kansas, and Haskell also began offering post-high school courses.[18]
  • 1965: Haskell graduated its last high school class.[18]
  • 1970: Haskell developed a junior college curriculum and associates' degree program; it changed its name to Haskell Indian Junior College.[18]
  • 1988: Planning began to develop the institution as a baccalaureate-degree granting university with curriculum to support it as a national center for Indian education, research, and cultural preservation.[19]
  • 1993: The Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Ada Deer, approved the plan, and the institution was renamed as Haskell Indian Nations University.[19] Haskell offered its first four-year baccalaureate degree program in elementary teacher education.[20]
  • 1998: Haskell began to offer baccalaureate degrees in American Indian studies.[21] Business Administration, and Environmental Sciences.[22] By that time, such specialized academic studies had also been established at mainline universities, following years of American Indian activism.


Haskell Institute
Haskell's Tecumseh Hall
Haskell Indian Nations University is located in Kansas
Haskell Indian Nations University
Location Lawrence, Kansas
Architect Unknown
Architectural style No Style Listed
NRHP Reference # 66000342
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[23]
Designated NHLD July 4, 1961[24]

The Haskell campus has 12 buildings that have been designated as U.S. National Historic Landmarks. In addition to its historic architecture, Haskell is recognized for its collection of public sculptures, murals, photographs, and paintings.[25] Examples include the well-known sculpture, Comrade in Mourning, by Allan Houser.

The Haskell-Baker Wetlands span approximately 640 acres (260 ha) on the south side of the Haskell campus. These wetlands are home to 243 species of birds, 21 species of fish, 22 species of reptiles, and 26 species of plants. This area serves as a feeding and breeding ground for the migratory birds that breed in Canada and migrate to Mexico and South America. The Northern Crawfish Frog is an endangered species and its critical habitat is the wetlands.[26]

Blalock Hall

Constructed in 1978, it was named in honor of Margaret Blalock, Chippewa, a Haskell alumna, and long-time employee at the college, who was committed to serving the Haskell students. It is a residential hall.[27]

Hiawatha Hall

The oldest building on the campus, it was built in 1898 to serve as a Christian chapel, supported by a United Methodist church. The church has been closed for decades. The federal government owns the building, which is one of the National Historic Landmarks. It was named after the historic Onondaga leader of the Iroquois Confederacy.[28]

Osceola and Keokuk Halls

These adjoined buildings also are known as "O-K Hall." Constructed in 1884, Osceola and Keokuk served as halls for men and women, respectively. Osceola was a famous Seminole warrior, whose name means “Rising Sun.” Keokuk, a Sac and Fox whose name means “Watchful Fox,” was not a hereditary chief, but recognized for his skillful leadership, force of character, and brilliant oratory. O-K Hall is currently a residential hall.[27]

Pocahontas Hall

Built in 1931, it was named after the daughter of Powhatan, paramount chief of the Powhatan confederacy. She married English colonist John Rolf, and they were ancestors to many descendants of First Families of Virginia. It serves as a residential hall for freshman girls.[27]

Pontiac Hall

Built in 1934, it was named after an Ottawa people chief. It is located immediately south of the main quadrangle.[28]

Powhatan Hall

Built in 1932 and named after the paramount chief of the Powhatan Confederacy, made up of 30 Algonquian-speaking tribes in coastal Virginia. Originally used for classrooms, it has been adapted as a residential hall.[27]

Roe Cloud Hall

Completed in 1997, it is named after Dr. Henry Roe Cloud, a member of the Winnebago Nation. He was the first American Indian superintendent of the Haskell Institute, serving from 1933 to 1935. Dr. Roe Cloud later served in the presidential administrations of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was a spokesman for American Indian issues and education throughout his life.[27]

Sequoyah Hall

Built in 1961, it was named for Sequoyah, the Cherokee who developed an alphabet and writing for the Cherokee language in the early 19th century; this was the first known independent development of a writing system. It lies on the eastern edge of the main quadrangle area.[28]

Tecumseh Hall

Built in 1915 as a gymnasium, it was named for a Shawnee chief who led an effort to repulse the European-American settlers from Indian territory west of the Appalachian Mountains. It houses the Campus Shoppe, offices of the Student Senate, Student Activities, and Indian Leader newspaper.[28]

Winona Hall

Originally constructed in 1897, it was rebuilt in 1962. The name Winona in Lakota tradition is for daughters who are the first-born child of the family. Winona Hall currently is a co-ed honors residential hall.[27]

Museums and libraries

Haskell is home to the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame, which recognizes noted athletes such as John Levi, Jim Thorpe, Moses Yellow Hair, and Billy Mills.

The Haskell Cultural Center and Museum provides exhibits of interest about indigenous history. Its archives include collections on Haskell and aspects of Native American history.

Tommaney Library provides a range of academic research resources in print, online and digital form.

Haskell Medicine Wheel Earthwork

The Haskell Medicine Wheel Earthwork is located south of the campus. It was designed by Haskell professors, students, crop artist Stan Herd, and tribal elders, and dedicated in 1992 as a response to the 500th commemoration of the "Columbian Legacy".

According to the Haskell Catalog, the medicine wheel earthwork

"symbolizes the scope and richness of indigenous cultures, from the beginning of humankind to the present. The circle is symbolic of the perpetual and sacredness of the spirituality of native peoples. The spokes are the four directions. The circle marks the astrological locations of the Summer and Winter solstice and represent the death, rebirth, balance and healing in Mother Earth. The bear claw represents the strength needed for the survival of indigenous people. The thunderbird located to the east represents the spiritual traditions of tribal people and points to the sacred circle and sacred fire contained within the Medicine Wheel Teachings."[29]

A replica of the medicine wheel is carved in the tile at the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum as a way of balancing the campus (with a medicine wheel on the north and south ends of campus).[30]

Organization and administration

The university president is Chris Redman. The University is one of 37 members[31] of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, an organization of Tribal colleges and universities.

Academic profile

After earning an associate degrees, many students transfer to the University of Kansas, other colleges, or join the workforce. Haskell offers four baccalaureate degree programs and four associate degrees in a variety of subjects. The university received a #9 ranking on the 2010 "Top 50 Dropout Factory" list from Washington Monthly in their College Guide.[32]

Indigenous and American Indian Studies (BA)

This program provides an integrated foundation of interdisciplinary knowledge and the practical skills needed to contribute to the development of Indigenous American Indian and Alaska Native communities and nations. The program is designed to prepare students for graduate or professional schools, or to enter the workplace after graduation.[33]

Business Administration (BS)

The School of Business offers the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with emphases in management or tribal management. The management track emphasizes traditional academic study of contemporary management practices and theories common to the management of human, financial, technical, natural, and other resources. The Tribal Management track explores contemporary and historical issues that particularly affect management of tribal governments and enterprises.[34]

Elementary Teacher Education (BS)

Education majors complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education; they must pass the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) and Elementary Education exam to be eligible to apply for Kansas provisional licensure to teach kindergarten through the sixth grade. Other states may have differing requirements.[35]

Environmental Sciences (BS)

This program provides a broad-based background to prepare students for graduate school or a career in environmental or biological fields. Courses offered include Biology, Ecology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Natural Resources, and Environmental Sciences.[36] It is intended to add substance to indigenous concerns about sustainability.

Student life

The more than 20 student organizations and clubs on campus,[10] provide students with chances to become involved in campus life and activities related to the larger community.


Haskell (HINU) teams are known as the Fighting Indians and their team colors are purple, gold and white. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC); while competing as an Independent for football. Men's sports include basketball, cross country, football, golf, track & field, and Cheerleading; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, track & field, Volleyball, and Cheerleading. The university has club sports in baseball and boxing.

Haskell had one of the best college football teams in the nation from 1900 to 1930.[37]

Notable people


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  2. ^ "HINU Commemorates 125th Anniversary". DiverseEducation.com. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  3. ^ "Haskell Informational Recruiting Video". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  4. ^ a b "About Haskell". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  5. ^ Slade, Lynn H. (May 20, 1999). "The Federal Trust Responsibility in a Self-Determination Era". findlaw.com. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  6. ^ "Financial Aid". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  7. ^ "The Haskell Cultural Center and Museum". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  8. ^ "Official website". The American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  9. ^ "The Indian Leader". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  10. ^ a b "Student Life". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  11. ^ "Haskell General Catalog, p. 4" (PDF). Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  12. ^ "Haskell Indian Art Market". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  13. ^ "7th Annual Stories-n-Motion Film Festival". Lawrence.com. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  14. ^ "Haskell's Commencement & Pow-Wow". VisitLawrence.com. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  15. ^ "ASU's Bibliography of Indian Boarding Schools: Approximately 1875 TO 1940". Asu.edu. 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  16. ^ Alan Schwarz, "Overcoming Addiction, Professor Tackles Perils American Indians Face", New York Times, 11 May 2013
  17. ^ Donald F. Nelson, To the Stars over Rough Roads: The Life of Andrew Atchison, Teacher and Missionary Chap. 4 (TidePool Press, 2008).
  18. ^ a b c "About Haskell, page 5" (PDF). Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  19. ^ a b "About Haskell, pp 5-6" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  20. ^ "About Haskell". Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  21. ^ 2.1, Spring 2001, page 77"Indigenous Nations Studies Journal,The American Indian Studies Program at Haskell Indian Nations University," in "" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  22. ^ University History" page 6""" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  23. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  24. ^ "Haskell Institute". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  25. ^ Henning, Sarah (2011-04-29). "Haskell Artwork". .ljworld.com. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  26. ^ "Wetlands Protection Organization". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f "University Residency Halls, p. 19" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  28. ^ a b c d [1]
  29. ^ Medicine Wheel" in the Haskell General Catalog, page 6""" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  30. ^ "Medicine Wheel". Haskell.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  31. ^ "Tribal College and University Roster". Aihec.org. 2013-10-22. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  32. ^ "2010 Dropout Factories". =Washington Monthly, 2010 College Guide. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  33. ^ "Course Catalog, page 76" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  34. ^ "Course Catalog, page 77" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  35. ^ "Course Catalog, page 92" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  36. ^ "Course Catalog, page 68" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  37. ^ Schmidt, Raymond (May 2007). "Shaping college football: The transformation of an American sport, 1919-1930".  
  38. ^ "Evelyne E. Bradley". Arizona Journal. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  39. ^ "ROE CLOUD, HENRY (1884-1950)". Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h "NFL Players who attended Haskell Indian Nations University". databaseSports.com. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  41. ^ "LAWS, Gilbert Lafayette, (1838 - 1907)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 

External links

  • Haskell Indian Nations University
  • Haskell Indian Nations University Athletics
  • Haskell Cultural Center and Museum
  • American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Tommaney Library