The Native American Resource and Pacific Islander Resource Room, located in the Cross Cultural Center (K-1) on our Rocklin Campus, offers a variety of programs, services and resources to support and create a community for students who identify as Native American.

In an effort to build camaraderie and promote your student success at Sierra College and beyond, we can help you get connected through academic enrichment, mentorship, clubs, activities, financial aid and much more.

Wonoti Program

The Wonoti Program at Sierra College is open to all students and is specifically designed to increase the retention and success rates of Native American and Pacific Islander/Polynesian students.

Wonoti (a Southern Maidu word meaning “to cause to grow”) is a community dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences and opportunities of Native American and Pacific Islander/Polynesian students.

The Wonoti Program is informed by an indigenous worldview that seeks to emphasize tribal/village values and ethics. Wonoti was designed to educate the students in the program holistically (mentally, physically, and spiritually) while also educating the campus community about the aboriginal peoples of this land.


  • Strong support system and personal attention by counselors and instructors
  • Peer mentor tutoring
  • Cultural workshops and community/campus field trips
  • Mentorship with Tribal Liaison and other faculty/staff and community members

How to Apply

Fill out the Wonoti Program Interest Form.

To learn more, email the Wonoti Program at

Where to Meet Your Peers

Native American and Pacific Islander Club (NAPI)

Our club promotes and advocates greater awareness and presence of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders at Sierra College. We meet weekly each semester with the goal of exposing members to cultural, educational and social opportunities. We hold the Annual Sierra College Big Time and Indigenous Peoples’ Days Events, participate in community activities, attend conferences and offer educational presentations. Additionally, we invite artists, activists and scholars from the Native American community to speak at our campus.

Student Clubs

Student clubs are great opportunities to develop interests and socialize. A few clubs at Rocklin and Nevada County campuses include:

  • Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students
  • Political Science Club
  • Writers & Editors Association Club
  • Art Club
  • And lots more!

Student Engagement Centers

The Student Engagement Centers (SECs) offer intersectional programs and services that include but are not limited to cross cultural, LGBTQ+, and gender identities with historically marginalized, underserved, and underrepresented student-scholars. The SECs, which serve as brave spaces across our campuses and surrounding communities, provide student employment, leadership opportunities, and co-curricular programming that advance equity and inclusion of all student-scholars.

Native American-Focused Classes

Consider registering for one or more of these class offerings at Sierra College to learn more about your Native American roots, including the people, history tribal nations, languages, and cultural, artistic and social practices.

AnthropologyANTH 4Native Peoples of North America
AnthropologyANTH 7Native Peoples of California
HistoryHIST 25Native American History
Ethnic StudiesETHN 53Introduction to Native American Studies
Ethnic StudiesETHN 11Introduction to Ethnic Studies
Ethnic StudiesETHN 45Native American Policy and Law
Ethnic StudiesETHN 50Ethnic Images in Film
List of Native American focused classes offered at Sierra College

Community Resources

Land Acknowledgement

With respect, we acknowledge the Rocklin Campus of Sierra College as the traditional and unceded land of the Nisenan and Miwok peoples. The Secret Ravine, known in Nisenan as Hoyok, is home to an ancestral village site protected for generations by local tribal nations and their members. Sierra College commits to an ongoing relationship with the United Auburn Indian Community and other local tribes, and to respect the legacy of the first peoples of this land and their future generations who are an integral part of the Sierra College community.

Meet Your Support Team

Designated Faculty for Native American Students

Dr. Melissa Leal, Wonoti Program Coordinator, is Esselen/Ohlone, teaches Social Sciences and Anthropology, and is the Tribal Liaison at Sierra College.

Dianna Tiger, Wonoti Program Counselor, is Creek/Choctaw/Seminole and is also a counselor for the RISE Program, an academic support program for students attending college for the first time.

Matt Malepeai, Enrollment Specialist, is Samoan and works specifically with the Wonoti Program to assist in enrollment, registration, and recruitment.

Native American Student Equity Workgroup Members

Dr. Matt Archer teaches Anthropology and is a member of the Native American Student Equity Workgroup.

Dr. Tamara Cheshire teaches Anthropology and is a member of the Native American Student Equity Workgroup.

Ralph De Unamuno is Chicano, teaches History and is a member of the Native American Student Equity Workgroup.

Additional Student Support

Brenna Chapman teaches Art History. Please reach out to her with any questions about the Art Department.
Phone: 916-660-8097

Mindee Purscell is a Northern Nevada Paiute and is available to assist you with any Financial Aid questions you may have, including scholarships, grants and loans.
Phone: 916-660-7571

Flo Charlie is Samoan and co-leads the Guardian Scholars Program and NextUp Program, which provides services to current or former foster youth attending Sierra College.
Phone: 916-660-7465