PULLMAN, Wash.–An agreement designed to improve the quality of educational services and opportunities for Native Americans at Washington State University is set to be signed in ceremonies Saturday, Nov. 8.
The Memorandum of Understanding provides for the creation of an advisory board to President Samuel Smith, who will sign the document along with representatives of several Northwest Native American tribes, the Native American Alliance at WSU and Ku-au-Mah Alumni Society. WSU Provost Gretchen Bataille also will take part in the event.
The signing ceremonies are scheduled for 1 p.m. in Room 405 of the Lighty Student Services Building. The tribal leaders also will be introduced during half-time ceremonies at the Dad’s Day football game in Martin Stadium.
The agreement recognizes “established Federal policies under which Native American Tribal governments are treated as distinct legal and political entities,” and states that WSU and the signatory tribes wish to create a structure to strengthen the relations between them and improve educational services and opportunities.
The mission of the advisory board will be to strengthen the relationship between the university and the signatory tribes at the highest levels, to increase access to the university.
The board will provide advice and counsel to strengthen the partnership, promote a campus climate conducive to meeting the cultural needs of the Native American community and encourage Native American studies and educational programs throughout the university. As appropriate, it will review reports and recommendations from the Provost’s Native American Advisory Council and the university administration.
Current Native American enrollment on the Pullman campus is 324, up 13 percent from a year ago. In 1994, the Washington Legislature approved a bill requested by WSU making members of tribes (including those in Idaho, Oregon and Montana) whose original lands included portions of the state, residents for tuition purposes.
Editors and Reporters: The signing ceremony is an open event and coverage is invited. For additional information, contact Aaron Miles, WSU Native American students recruitment coordinator, 509/335-7852,