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Fun Fact: Who helped Normal College meet enrollment goals?

Indingeneous People conference 2008The Normal College, the original UNT, was founded in 1890. The young school needed 125 students enrolled by its third year to remain operationally viable.

Enrollment reached 131, thanks to the addition of which group of students?

A. Transfers from Texas A&M.

B. Native Americans from Indian Territory.

C. Women who didn’t want to attend all-female TWU.

D. The children of several families who founded the town of Argyle

The correct answer is B: Native Americans from Indian Territory, now Oklahoma.

Twenty-eight Indians from the Creek Nation enrolled at the Normal School, but records of their matriculation are sketchy. It is thought that the federal government or the Creek, also known as Muskogee, school fund paid tuition and fees.

The Creek Nation, was one of many western Native American groups to establish ownership of land in the western United States after the Civil War. The tribe built its capital in Okmulgee in 1867. Oklahoma became a state in 1907.

Meanwhile, 1,500 miles away in eastern Washington, the Spokane Tribe of Indians were settling on  federally granted land, building a similar community that eventually would be the birthplace of Sherman Alexie, author of the 2010-11 One Book, One Community selection, Flight

Alexie has written award-winning novels, essays, poems and screenplays about the Native American experience.

Enter to win a copy of Flight and an eco-friendly book bag by sending an email to InHouse with “Native American” in the subject line by 5 p.m. June 3. Winners will be selected at random from all responses, and InHouse expects winners to take the bag and the book to the beach or to a shady park, along with a picnic, a cooler and all those other books they plan to read this summer. Carpe diem.

Today, the Multicultural Center offers services and information for Native American students, which represent slightly less than 1 percent of campus enrollment, but one of the largest in a public Texas university. The Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies includes indigenous and environmental studies, and Native American culture is included in many syllabi.

Right, a young participant at the UNT-hosted 2008 International Indigenous Student Conference on Culture and the Environment. Below a drum circle at the 2009 event(Photos by Jonathan Reynolds)

(Source: The Story of North Texas, by James L. Rogers)Indigeneious People Conference 2009

Posted on: Wed 01 June 2011

Owning Excellence

Faculty and staff members have roles in transforming UNT into a nationally prominent university. Share your ideas on how you can help UNT to own excellence, keep students on track and improve graduation education.

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