PULLMAN, Wash. — Representatives of Oregon and Montana Indian tribes will sign an agreement Friday Nov. 13 and Tuesday, Nov. 17 respectively with Washington State University as part of WSU’s continuing commitment to provide access to educational services and opportunities for Native Americans.
The ceremonies will be held:
1:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in WSU’s Lewis Alumni Centre. Signing the document will be Garland Brunoe, vice chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, located in Central Oregon. Witnessing the signing will be WSU President Samuel Smith, Provost Gretchen Bataille, Assistant to the Provost Barbara Aston, and members of the President’s Native American Advisory Board.
Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Confederated Tribes of Salish and Kootenai headquarters in Pablo, Mont., on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Tribes chairman Michael T. “Mickey” Pablo will sign. Witnessing the signing for WSU will be Aston. She is an enrolled member of the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma, Wyandotte and Senaca.
In 1994, the Washington Legislature approved a bill requested by WSU making members of tribes — including those in Oregon, Montana and Idaho — whose original lands included portions of the state, Washington residents for tuition purposes.
The tribal leaders are signing a Memorandum of Understanding, which was initially signed by leaders of other tribes and WSU just over a year ago — Nov. 8, 1997 — on the campus in Pullman. The memorandum created the WSU President’s Native American Advisory Board to strengthen the relationship between the university and the signatory tribes at the highest levels, to increase access to the university.
In addition, the memorandum recognized “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 board provides advice and counsel to strengthen the partnership and promote a campus climate conducive to meeting the cultural needs of the Native American community, and encourages Native American studies and educational programs throughout the university. As appropriate, it reviews reports and recommendations from the Provost’s Native American Advisory Council and the university administration.
The current Native American student enrollment at WSU on the Pullman campus is 339, a 4.6 percent increase from 1997, when there were 324 Native American students enrolled. The 1997 enrollment was up 13 percent from the previous year.