This summer, the University of North Dakota College of Nursing conducted three four-day tours across North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska, visiting American Indian reservations in an effort to recruit potential nursing students. Sponsored by the University’s Recruitment and Retention of American Indians into Nursing Program (RAIN), the tours gave students on the reservations a glimpse at the nursing program and all it has to offer, says program coordinator Deb Wilson. In turn, faculty and staff participating in the visits gain a better understanding of the reservations and students’ cultural backgrounds.
Native Americans and Alaskan Natives comprise about 6% of North Dakota’s population, according the U.S. Census Bureau, compared to less than 2% of the U.S. population as a whole. Federally recognized tribes in the state are the Spirit Lake Tribe (formerly the Devil’s Lake Sioux), the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.