Native American Student Support Services Newsletter    

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Vol. 1 No 1.

Spring 2004

Group photo from UMASS Pow Wow 2002


Welcome Back Students and Happy New Year!


Joyce and Michelle would like to wish all returning students a happy and prosperous 2004.  We look forward to seeing everyone in the NASSS office for assistance with academics, financial aid, housing and other university issues. 

This semester the Josephine White Eagle Cultural Center will host several Graduate students to speak about their programs of study.  In March Joan Avant Tavares, a Doctoral student in the School of Ed, will speak about “Why your Native Voice & Academic Success is Important”.  Also in March we have Kristen French to speak about “Storytelling and Education”.  Roderick Anderson will speak about “Contemporary Issues” Time and date TBA. The location will be the JWECC.



Email, What’s the Big Deal?


Many of our students have a UMASS email account that they neglect, if you are one of these students you need to get in the habit of checking your UMASS account on a regular basis.


Starting February 15, 2004 all active students are required to use their OIT email address to receive official UMASS communications.


The e-mail communications may include information on bills, holds, official UMASS policies and other university updates.


Students will be responsible for all information sent via email.   No excuses will be accepted, so if you’re not connected, get connected now!


The OIT (Office of Information Technologies) is located in Lederle Grad Research Towers, main entrance level, room A217.












































































































We will continue to offer workshops for our students.  So far, this semester workshops scheduled will include: Health Services, International Exchange, Library Tutorial, Time Management, and for all you seniors or anyone interested in an internship or co-op, Career Services. 


Please contact Michelle at the NASSS office, 577-0980 if you interested in participating in any of these workshops.


The ALANA Job Fair will be held FEBRUARY 11 from 5:30-8:30pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.



Last but not least, the NASSS staff will need students to assist them during the annual phone-a-thon taking place this March.  During the phone-a-thon we contact accepted students for fall 04’ and find out if they plan to attend UMASS.  We also inform them of our open house programs that take place during the spring, and answer any questions they may have regarding UMASS. 


Please contact the NASSS office if you are interested in helping out.



Looking for a Job?     The Visitor Center is looking for enthusiastic students to become a tour guide/admissions representative.  Duties will include giving prospective students a tour of campus and conducting student interviews with prospective students.  If you are interested, applications are available in the Visitor Center and the NASSS office.  The application deadline is February 13, 2004.


The New Students Program is looking for students to work during the summer as an orientation counselor.  They are looking for students who have high energy, enthusiasm, communication skills, friendliness and able to work as a team member.  Applications are available from the New Students Program located in the Undergraduate admissions Building.  Application deadlines are February 6, 2004.


More jobs are posted by the Student Employment Office located on the second floor of Whitmore Administration Building.  You can also visit them online at








































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Jean Simon, Principal researcher for her community, will also be our 2004 Tribal Historian in Residence.  Their ancestors from southern New England were sold into slavery in Bermuda in the 1600s.  A reception to welcome Jean Foggo Simon will be announced. 


CPNAIS is open to all UMASS under-graduates; we encourage Native students to apply.  You must have a major and cannot enroll in your graduating semester. 


CPNAIS supports Alternative Spring Break options such as last years trip with the Occaneechi Saponi in North Carolina.


For more information visit or

call Ron Welburn at 577-1607


CPNAIS provides students with a structured understanding of the historical and contemporary issues affecting the Western hemisphere’s First Nations.  Anthro 370, Contemporary Issues in Native America: The Northeast, is our mandatory course.  Its speakers for spring 2004 will be Linda Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag, 2/19; Tom Porter (Mohawk), 3/4/04; Trudie Lamb Richmond (Schaghticoke), 3/25; Cathy Martin (Mi’kmaq), 4/8; and Jean Foggo Simon (St. David’s Island Indians, Bermuda) 4/29.  The class takes place Wednesdays from 2:30-5:00pm in Tobin Hall, room 304.  All students are welcome.


The CPNAIS design reflects a commitment to Native Studies from an Eastern Algonquin point of View and frame of reference.






















Mark your calendar!  The 26th annual UMASS Powwow will be taking place on September 18 and 19 at the Campus Center Pond.


NASA and the Powwow committee have started the initial planning of the Powwow but would like some help with the remaining work.  In order to make this Powwow grand, planning has to take place now. 


Volunteers are always needed, so get involved and help your community!




Designed created by Native student   and Art major Andrew Leonard (02).













First day of classes                                January 28


Last day to add/drop

With no record                                      February 10


Monday class schedule                         February 18


Spring recess                                         March 13


Classes resume                                     March 22



with a “W”                                              March 25



Counseling period begins                     April 12


Counseling period ends                        April 16


Holiday/Patriots day                              April 19


Monday class schedule                         April 22


Last day of classes                                 May 13


Final exams begin                                 May 15


Semester ends                                       May 21















Last semester the computers in the Josephine White Eagle Cultural Center computer lab were down and unfortunately they were not fixed before students left for winter session break. 


Well, we are happy to report that all the computers will be fixed the beginning of spring semester.  Additionally, we have received several four-year-old computers from admissions and career services. 


We send thanks out to undergraduate admissions and career services for their kind donations. 


The dates and themes of the art showings for spring semester are as follows.


February 12, the theme is Speech


March 11, the theme is Reflection


May 5,


For more information or an application please contact Lauren Mapp at the cultural center (Wednesdays 11:30am-4:30pm) 545-4932.  Or email


As you may know the cultural center library has been restored to its original appearance, all leaks have been fixed. 


The library will now be the new location of our student art exhibits.  Freshman student, Lauren Mapp, has been organizing themes and dates for students to either display visual work or speak their art through poems and stories.


There will be an opening reception, date to be announced.



















              If you do not have a declared major you are required to go to pre-major advising in Goodell for any academic concerns.  NASSS offers academic counseling after you have met with your pre-major advisor.


If you are looking to change your room it would be more efficient for you to request a room swap rather than a room change so you can avoid the $100.00 fee. 


If you missed pre-registration and would like to add a class that may be full, try emailing or calling the professor before hand.  It helps to give a brief but concrete rationale for wanting that class (beyond “I need another class”).  It also helps if you do not already owe the professor work from a previous course.  Finally, if all else fails, remember it always helps to attend the class that you are interested in until the end of the add/drop period.  This shows the professor/instructor that you are truly interested in the course and you mean business.


Remember that many professors do not like to give incompletes and will only do so if they truly believe the student had a situation that warranted the extra time.  Honor that instructor’s belief in your ability by completing the work as soon as you can rather than waiting until the end of the next semester or blowing it of completely.  Incompletes turn into “F” after a full following semester. 


Think of professors’ as more than lectures, they may also be mentors and career advisors.  This is also true with many staff members on camps.


Keep appointments and call ahead to post-pone or cancel an appointment.  You may need them for a letter of recommendation for graduate school or employment in a few years. 


Keep in mind that faculty and staff members who seem to be nagging you now may actually be concerned about, and dedicated to your academic success and personal well being in the future.


Do not hesitate to take on a tutor, it is not a reflection of intellectual ability; it just means that you need some extra assistance in some courses.


Apply for your work-study positions early rather than waiting until the second or third week of school.  Consider employment in various areas of campus to expand your pool of potential letter of recommendations





Nikaya is looking to build a relationship with students who may be in academic jeopardy, or students who have social needs.  She is willing to answer questions regarding the university, help with assignments and give tips to make life at UMASS a little easier.


For more information e-mail:




Any student interested in participating in a peer-mentoring program should contact Nickaya Foster.  Nickaya is a senior psychology major and has been at the university for four years.  She has lived on campus in Chadbourne Hall all four years.  Nickaya would like to help any student learn the ways of the university.  She would also like to share her experiences and give advise to those seeking a little guidance.







Dear Community Members,


It has been some time since NASSS or JWECC have offered a newsletter.  We thought it be good to reintroduce the newsletter with hopes that you will find it helpful for staying abreast of events, workshops and services that we offer. I also hope you consider sending in contributions for the newsletter. We are looking for poetry, essays regarding a topic of mutual interest in Indian country, news, pictures, and drawings to enhance the look and feel of the newsletter. Please be sure to sign off on your work so that we can give you the credit that you deserve for your submission. It would also help to have your most direct access digits so that we can let you know when your submission will be appearing.  Right now, we have planned to have one issue per semester, but if the response is good we can either offer two issues a semester or an issue for each month.  If we go up to one a month then maintaining the newsletter can grow into a student work-study position.


Congratulations to our December graduate Lynn Clere and Jacqueline Campos. We plan to formally acknowledge your accomplishment at the upcoming NASA spring social and our next annual Pow Wow in September. Please be sure to stay in touch with us and to forward your permanent home address or new mailing address.  Also please know that you may contact us for letters of recommendation for employment and or graduate school.


I also want to congratulate our current seniors, you have accomplished much and have so many things to consider and prepare for as a senior. Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can assist you. I look forward to seeing you at commencement in May!   We have graduate students who have been and continue to make major accomplishments.  Please, feel free to forward news clippings and or announcements about your defenses, presentations, publications etc... We want to share the news with the rest of the community.  The same applies to all of the members of the UMASS Native community and the Pioneer Valley Native community.


We are in the mist in planning some exiting events for the spring and fall 2004 semesters (as you will read about in the newsletter).  Please send in ideas for other programming! We appreciate feedback and input. In addition, Prof. Welburn and I will be setting up a date to present an info session on our endeavor to raise endowments for our programs.  Most likely this will take place mid-semester. Please be on the look out for this announcement. 


Finally, continue to be on the look out for those mysterious Joyce’s trivia questions that may appear in memos, flyers or even the newsletter.  Two NASSS students won assistance with obtaining some of their books for the spring semester! (I will purchase the books for them so that the bursars and financial aide office do not consider this a financial award.) Future prizes may be movie passes, gift certificates for a meal at a local restaurant, CDS, or DVDS, etc… so read, attend and play!


Joyce Vincent

Associate Director

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February 19 – Linda Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag) Director, Hobbamock’s Village, Plimoth Plantation  - “Tracking Squanto Through Hidden Histories”: Interpreting Native Issues in a museum Setting


March 4 – Tom Porter (Mohawk)


March 25 ­– Trudie Lamb-Richmond (Schaghticoke) Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center


April 8 – Catherine Martin (MI’KMAQ)

                Sprit of Annie Mae”


April 29 – Jean Foggo Simon (St David’s Island, Bermuda Indian)  ’There Voices Are Not Silent” – The St. David’s Island




The Mohegan tribe will be hosting their annual social on April 25 from 1pm-5pm.


Finally, spring brings the beginning of the Powwow season.


 Dartmouth College and Cornell University usually host their annual Powwows sometime in May.


So make sure your academics are on track and get ready to POW WOW!



Please let Joyce know if you are interested. 


The Mashantucket Pequot will be hosting a few more socials this winter.  The dates or the remaining socials are February 14 & March 13, 2004.


The Aquinnah Wampanoag will be hosting their annual social the 3rd Sunday of April.



The NASSS office is working on bringing the female Native American singing group ULALI to UMASS in late March.  The date and time of their performance will be announced at a later date.


There will be a trip to Holy Cross, Cantor Art Gallery in Worcester on February 21, to visit the exhibit, Vision Quest: Men, Women, and sites of the Sioux Nation. 

























NASSS offered its first Alternative Spring Break trip last year.  Participants had the opportunity to visit the Occaneechee Band of Saponi in Hillsboro North Carolina.  In addition to performing community service they also conducted a college awareness seminar at the tribal council office.  They also spent time learning about Occaneechee history from various community elders and tribal council members. 




If you are in good academic standing (2.5 or better), have been active in NASSS/JWECC and CPANIS, and would be interested in being considered for this years trip (same location); please write a one page essay indicating why you would be interested in participating.  Don’t forget to include all skills your have to offer (i.e. driving, peer mentoring, carpentry, cleaning, etc.)  Please submit your essay to Joyce Vincent no later than 5 P.M. on Tuesday, February 17, 2004.  Due to planning and financial needs we must limit the number of participants to six.




APRIL 15-18



Harley Erdman in the Theater Dept. is producing and opera (or at least a “musical production”) about Eunice Williams.  He has made several trips up to Kahnawake, together with the composer and finally with the producer.  They have made good contacts (thanks to Brian Deer) and so far impressed people with their respectful manner and talent. 


One nice development is that, instead of trying to PC-himself to death by trying to speak FOR Kanienkehaka people, Harley and his collaborators are finding ways to bring people from Kahnawake down to Deerfield so that there can be more of a public dialogue


One project is to bring a group of student singers from the Kahnawake Survival School to UMass, April 15-18.  They will have an opportunity to perform at UMass, to see the next major workshop of the production (so Harley can incorporate feedback), and attend a panel discussion about it.


It would be good for the KSS students to spend time with our Native students at UMass and to get a taste of campus life.  Also it would be good for UMass students who are interested to attend the workshop and panel discussion as well























Native American Student Support Services

11 Bartlett Hall – 130 Hicks Way

Phone –413-577-0980           

Fax– 413-577-0950

Email –                                                                                                


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