Indian Country Today reports in its January 3, 2011 edition that Nike and Oregon State University have entered a unique partnership to create access to sport for Native American and aboriginal youth as a means to improve their lives and establish positive changes.
The Nike N7 program “is about creating access to sports for Native American and aboriginal youth, and I believe our partnership with OSU men’s basketball is an incredibly impactful way to get the word out,” said Sam McCracken, general manager of the Nike N7 program in North America.
Nike has worked closely with Native American communities across the United States for more than 10 years to provide access to product and support for sports programs. McCracken, from the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes, developed the concept for the Nike N7 program in 1998. Nike signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Health Service in 2003 and 2009 to continue to bring inspiration and innovation to Native American communities. Nike also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Indian Education in 2010 to create messages around healthy lifestyles.
OSU sophomore basketball player Joe Burton is the first citizen of his tribe, the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, to earn a full athletic scholarship to a major university.