Mentor Requirements

Central Michigan University's Native American Programs and Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe's Behavioral Health are working together to provide you with an interesting and important mentoring opportunity for the 2016/2017 academic year.

The Niijkewehn Mentoring Program inspires and empowers Native American elementary, secondary, and college students to become cultural and professional leaders in their Tribal communities and beyond.  Participating in this innovative program is a wonderful way to give back to your community by supporting and enhancing the cultural identities and school experiences of local Native American children.  You can also list your participation as a mentor on your résumé to show involvement in community service and your dedication to preserving and strengthening Native American culture for future generations.

We are looking for students who are willing to commit to up to 2 hours, one afternoon, every week to mentoring Native American children and youth in our local community.

Each student is required to complete the following:

  • Application 
  • 15-minute application interview
  • Background check
  • Mentorship and cultural training
  • Pre- and post-program survey of academic and social experiences
  • Personal interest sheet

Each college student will be paired up with one youth for the academic year.  The Niijkewehn mentoring coordinators will organize daily activities and lead program with assistance from the mentors.  You do not need to prepare anything before coming to the weekly activities that are held at local schools not far from CMU.  We do need you to come with a focus on developing a strong and meaningful connection with your mentee by drawing on materials and strategies discussed during your mentor training.  It is also important for you to have an upbeat attitude and actively work with your mentee to motivate them to increase their interest in culture, school and healthy behaviors. Depending on your availability, you may decide which school you would like to mentor a local youth in.  ​

We are also able to offer you CMU course credit for the time you spend mentoring if that would help you make your decision to participate in this program. If you need credit hours, especially over the 300 level, this would be a good option for you. It would be set up as a SOC 397 independent study class from 1 - 3 hours depending on your schedule. You would need to meet briefly with CMU Sociology Professor David Kinney to complete paperwork and to obtain a bump card for the course.​

Your participation as a mentor would be the major component of the independent study class along with some readings on Native American culture and education, and possibly additional work with the coordinators.  You would also meet briefly with Dr. Kinney a few times over the course of the semester to discuss your mentoring experiences. Once you have made contact with us regarding your interest in the program and we have had an opportunity to carryout an interview and background check, we will pass along your information to him if you are interested in earning CMU course credit for being a mentor as an independent study course.

Your first step to becoming a mentor is to come into the Native American Programs Office, Bovee UC 110 and complete a brief background check.  You may also contact                  989-774-3203 or email us at if you are interested in mentoring or have additional questions.

Check out our Niijkewehn Mentoring Program Facebook page, to see some of the exciting events we have done! 

Miigwetch (thank you)!

​We look forward to talking with you!