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Native Americans

A new memorial in Neah Bay, built on land donated by Ed Claplanhoo '56, his wife Thelma, and two other Makah families, commemorates area veterans and the presence of Spain on the Northwest coast as early as 1774. Photo Zach Mazur
Fall 2008

A memorial and a blessing

At the western edge of the Makah Nation village of Neah Bay sits a tidy new park. It marks the spot where 216 years ago Spanish explorers built the first European settlement in the continental United States west of the Rockies and north of San Francisco.

Fort Núñez Gaona–Diah Veterans Park, dedicated in May, was built on property donated by Ed Claplanhoo ’56, his wife Thelma, and two other Makah families in a unique partnership amongst the Makahs, the state, and the Spanish government.

Claplanhoo, a former Makah Tribal chair, had known of the historic significance of his property for many years, even marking it … » More …

Fall 2008

A new college guide

The market is full of books on how to get into and succeed in college, but few of those books are targeted at students who may be the first in their family to go beyond high school. Even fewer are targeted specifically to the needs of Native American students.

Two faculty members at Washington State University have sought to fill that need with a handbook titled The American Indian and Alaskan Native Student’s Guide to College Success, published in 2007.

The book is for students, but it’s also for “quite a range of stakeholders,” says Michael Pavel, the author and associate professor in the College … » More …

Fall 2002

Palmers want to give others hope for the future

Sometime in the near future Perry Palmer and his wife, Marcie, want to return to the Colville Indian Reservation. Young students there lack good role models, as well as incentives, Perry says. They need to be made aware of opportunities for advanced education and benefit from them as the Palmers have.

Perry completed a master’s degree in education at Washington State University in May. Marcie will finish her doctorate in counseling psychology next May.

Both are members of the Colville Confederated Tribes. They met on the reservation, where Marcie spent three years as a social worker for Child Protective Services, and were married there in … » More …

Fall 2002

Whispered prayers

On the floor of Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum, Native American children dressed in full regalia run off steam before the grand dance at the Pah-Loots-Pu Powwow this Saturday night in April. One of them is Red Bear McCloud, the 5-year-old son of arena director Russell McCloud, seated at the announcer’s platform in jeans and a crimson wind jacket. Father looks on at son unhurriedly. The grand dance is scheduled for 6 p.m., an hour away, but McCloud knows it will most likely be later. Always factor in Indian time—about half an hour more than what’s advertised.

“I grew up going to powwows,” McCloud says. He … » More …

Summer 2002

Early leader of WSU’s Native American students

Ki Tecumseh learned to work within the system—or stretch it

“Indian people don’t consider themselves to be a minority people.” – Ki Tecumseh

Growing up on the Yakama Indian Reservation, Kiutus “Ki” Tecumseh, Jr. learned to put his finger up to the wind to test the direction it was blowing. In his ideas and actions, he also likes to test conventional thought. A longtime public relations specialist with the Department of Energy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he is soft-spoken and measured in his speech. But people tend to listen to what he has to say, more than how he says it.

For example, in the … » More …

Summer 2002

Future teachers of color

The gap between minority teachers—about 6 percent—and minority school children—about 24 percent—is widening in Washington. As part of a move to remedy this situation, 176 high school and community college students attended the College of Education’s Future Teachers of Color conference at Washington State University in mid-February.

The conference has become very popular statewide, says Johnny Jones, the college’s director of recruitment and retention and coordinator of the program. The program has a waiting list of 120 students.

Since the FTOC program was created at WSU in 1994, undergraduate enrollment in the college has increased from five to more than 100. Fifteen FTOC graduates are … » More …