NASNTI program awarded over $36,000 for cultural preservation, financial literacy projects

Headshot of Jill Burgess director of USAO’s NASNTI grant program

NASNTI program awarded over $36,000 for cultural preservation, financial literacy projects


The Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions program at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma received over $36,000 for cultural preservation and financial literacy projects including a website to preserve and disseminate the Kiowa language, as well as develop financial literacy workshops tailored to the needs of Caddo and Grady county residents.

The website will serve as an online archive of Kiowa linguistic and cultural knowledge that includes easy-to-use, interactive video on Kiowa language, folklore and songs. The funds will be used to integrate the site into the Kiowa Clemente Course, part of a national program to expand the humanities to underserved populations. Students in the class will use video capture to develop additional content for the web, filming Kiowa elders teaching language and cultural lessons.

“This award allows us to enhance our students’ cultural and digital literacy while building critical cross-generational relationships necessary for sustaining tribal knowledge,” said Jill Burgess, director of USAO’s NASNTI grant program. “There is no other Kiowa language resource that provides this level of instruction with potential for circulation to audiences around the world completely free of charge. This funding will also allow our faculty to develop financial literacy tools that will be offered both on campus and in Anadarko.”

In 2017, USAO was awarded a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the NASNTI program. The program allows higher education institutions that are not tribal organizations to improve and expand their capacity to serve Native American and low-income individuals through grants and related assistance. With more than 45 percent of USAO’s student body classified as “high-need,” the NASNTI program has allowed the university to invest in technology and better accommodate individual learning styles.

To date, USAO has updated technology-assisted learning environments in target spaces; educated and supported faculty in the use of technology to enhance instruction; and impacted student academic success through lecture capture, recorded demonstration and student-centered active learning methods such as the flipped classroom and self-paced learning.

As part of the Title III program, the U.S. Department of Education issues NASNTI grants to assist nontribal universities whose student body includes at least 10 percent of members of federally-recognized tribal governments. The program helps in the planning, development and execution of activities that enhance the institutions’ capacity to support target populations. Funded projects include the purchase of lab equipment, renovating classrooms and libraries, curriculum development and more.

For more information, contact Burgess at 405-574-1317 or

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