“In a postcolonial indigenous research paradigm, research is defined as ceremony, and each activity in the ceremony is marked by acknowledging relationships that people have with each other and the environment, as well as the moral and spiritual-base obligation that they have for each other, the community, and the environment at large.”

– Shawn Wilson, Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods.

The Aseto’ne Virtual Institute is a Native centered online ten-week educational curriculum open to all college and university students. Learn about biomedical and health research academic and career opportunities with curriculum organized into three distinct one-credit tracks. Choose from Smudge Keeper, Fire Keeper, and Medicine Shield courses to journey through a set of skills and activities that will launch your interest in careers that empower you to enhance your community. The Aseto’ne Virtual Institute faculty have designed motivating lessons on cultural resiliency, Native mathematics, COVID in Indian Country, Native researchers, and many more. Keep reading to see the exceptional instructional tracks available for TCU students!

This unique program offers personal development, education, and research experiences centered around health and biomedical research both in academia and as a profession. The Aseto’ne Institute is delivered online where students will meet, engage and interact with research faculty and other partners through presentations, workshops, and activities while earning a stipend.


Aseto’ne Institute Teams and Journeys

Name Title Email
Reno Charette Project Director rcharette@aihec.org
Maggie Grandon Project Associate mgrandon@aihec.org
Lisa LaCroix Peer Mentor Coordinator


Tina Cooper VP Finance & Administration tcooper@aihec.org
Carrie Billy President & CEO cbilly@aihec.org
Kathy DePalma Grants Administrator kdepalma@aihec.org
Stacia Prue Office Assistant sprue@aihec.org
David Clarke Praxis AI david@prxai.com
Alex Feltus Praxis AI alex.feltus@gmail.com
Sophie Clarke  Praxis AI–Digital Learning Engineer sophemichelleclarke@gmail.com
Darold H. Joseph  Medicine Shield Professor  darold.joseph@nau.edu
Agnes Attakai  Medicine Shield Professor  agnesa@arizona.edu
Liliana Bronner  Smudge Keeper/FireKeeper Professor lbronner@unmc.edu


Faculty/Professional Mentors

Peer Mentors

  • Nicole Walksalong, Blackfeet
  • Angelina Keryte
  • Rajneesh Verma, TOCC
  • Jerald RedBuffalo
  • Diana McKenzie, BMCC
  • Raelynn Rider
  • Edna Wyena, NWIC
  • Misty Jackson
  • Linda Flanery, SWC
  • Autumn Cody
  • Nizhoni Draper
  • Crystal DeCoteau
  • Miranda Gollnow
  • Heather Denny
  • Stacy White


Guest presentations provided by SACNAS

Guest presentations provided by UND In-Med

Guest presentations provided by We Are Healers

(See the We are Healers website for a complete list of stories.)

Guest presentations from NNHRT

(See the NNHRT website for a complete list of webinars.)

Guest presentations from Stanford Life Design Lab

(See the Stanford Life Design Lab website for a complete list of resources.)

Each educational journey is the equivalent of a one credit college course designed at 1.5 hours of work per day across 10 weeks. A student may choose to combine these tracks to earn more credit hours. The Aseto’ne Network Project staff will assist the students in providing data on time spent in coursework and performance measures so they might seek credit from their home institution through options such as Independent Study or Seminar rubrics.

The Smudge Keeper educational journey contains 20-minute videos featuring content in Native mathematics, career guidance, study skills, and an introduction to Indigenous researchers. Smudge Keeper is supported by mentoring, a discussion board, weekly group video conferencing, and measured learning outcomes.

The Fire Keeper educational journey …

The Aseto’ne Institute is hosted on the PRAXIS AI learning platform. To access this platform, you must first apply to be a part of the Aseto’ne Institute. Then, with your log in information, use this link to access the Aseto’ne Institute platform and begin your educational journey!

The Aseto’ne Virutal Institute has ended in its current form. If you are interested in participating in Native centered biomedical and behavioral health educational programs, please reach out to our team and we will be in touch with current and future offerings.

Reno Charette – Program Director (rcharette@aihec.org)
Maggie Grandon – Program Coordinator (mgrandon@aihec.org)
Lisa LaCroix – Mentor Coordinator (llacroix@aihec.org)