Indigenous Center Director Named

Vernon Miller will draw upon experience in student affairs at Cornell University and tribal affairs as a leader of the Omaha Tribe

Vernon Miller has been named the first director of the university’s new Indigenous Center and will assume his role on March 8.

“We are excited for Vernon to join the Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion team. We look forward to reinforcing his efforts as he supports Indigenous students,” said Ellise LaMotte, associate dean of student diversity, inclusion, and success for the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.

Miller will develop and implement programming and support mechanisms with and for the Tufts’ Indigenous student population—including providing them a space to call their own in the new center. He will also work with the Tufts Admissions team to introduce more Indigenous students to Tufts.

Miller is a member of the Thunder Clan from the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa.

Prior to this role at Tufts, Miller was an area coordinator for Cornell University’s South Campus, working with upper-level and transfer students, and the residence hall director for Akwe:kon, Cornell’s American Indian/Indigenous program house. He was also an assistant director of Cornell’s Pre-freshmen Summer Program.

In 2016, Miller completed a three-year term on the Omaha Tribal Council, which included two years of service as tribal chairman. In that role, he was a member of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association and Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board. Miller concurrently advised the Obama Administration as a member of the Tribal Interior Budget Council for the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Tribal Technical Advisory Council, the National Institutes of Health Tribal Consultation Advisory Council, and the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee.

Miller has served on the executive board of the National Congress of American Indians. In addition, he recently served as president of the Omaha Nation Public Schools Board of Education on the Omaha Indian Reservation.

Miller has been one of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s National Racial Equity and Healing Fellows as well as an Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassador.

In its establishment this year, the Indigenous Center has joined the university’s seven other centers, including Africana, Asian American, FIRST, LGBT, Latinx, Women’s, and the Center for STEM Diversity. The centers are part of the Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion (DSDI), which serves as a resource for undergraduate and graduate students interested in thinking about social identities and the ways they impact the world.

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