• Sweetgrass braid

Northland was founded with a unique ideal to fulfill the educational aspirations of both local immigrants and Native Americans—particularly the Ojibwe bands in the Lake Superior region. With Bad River, Red Cliff, and Lac Courte Oreilles tribes located within fifty miles of the campus, the College’s relationship and commitment has only deepened through our long history.

In 1927, the Bad River community entrusted the College with a sacred Spirit Stone, used both in rites of passage and in traditional religious ceremonies. The Stone was given to the College for safekeeping and prominently displayed on campus for many years. In 1932, the Bad River Band adopted the College’s second president, Dr. J.D. Brownell, as a full member.

Northland initiated and implemented a Native American studies program in the 1970s at a time when there were few programs. We’ve since created a Native American Museum on campus. We also support an active Native American Student Association and support and help coordinate year-round events including a Spring Powwow.

In 2011, we created the Indigenous Cultures Center to support and focus these activities under one umbrella—as a way to continue to honor the commitment we made at our founding and to support the interests of our students.

Mission of the ICC

  • Promote awareness and understanding of Native American and other indigenous cultures and languages.
  • Deliver college access and readiness programs for Native American and other indigenous youth.
  • Serve as a resource center and gathering place for the cultural exchange of ideas and experiences that address critical and emerging issues.
  • Support activities that preserve and develop the cultural traditions, ceremonies, languages, and arts of indigenous cultures.

Contact ICC

Northland College
ICC, Mead 116
1411 Ellis Avenue
Ashland, Wisconsin 54806