Beginning in the late 1980s, American Indian and Alaska Native students, faculty, and supporters have been calling for a dynamic cultural space, a first-rate academic program, and an assistant dean to oversee recruitment and retention efforts and to advocate for the issues related to American Indian and Alaska Native students.

Though these initiatives are ongoing, after nearly 15 years of Native student protests and lobbying efforts of university affiliated individuals and Champaign-Urbana community members, the Native American House (NAH) opened in 2002 and moved into 1206 West Nevada Street in 2003, and into 1204 West Nevada Street in 2006. 

In 2003 the Committee on Native American Programs was formed and, in part, was charged with integrating a core program that included academic, cultural, and student support. The committee initially reported directly to the Chancellor, but during the 2004-2005 academic year, the Committee on Native American Programs and the Native American House was transferred to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2009, Native American House joined the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, where it continues its committment to support Native and non-Native students at the University of Illinois.