Since the early 1970s, Evergreen has developed a unique combination of Native programs, both academic and public service, that are not offered at other institutions of higher education. The uniqueness of this comprehensive set of programs is enhanced by the fact that the programs were developed in collaboration with local tribes. In keeping with Washington State’s Centennial Accord, Evergreen works on a government to-government basis with tribes to jointly develop programs that respond to the needs of tribal people in the Northwest.
The Native Programs planning unit at The Evergreen State College has a commitment to:
- Provide a quality higher education for Native American and other Indigenous students,
- Educate non-Native students on interacting in productive ways with Native communities,
- Partner in a respectful manner with Indigenous communities, and
- Honor the government-to-government relationship that our State institution has made with Washington tribal nations.
Our mission is best served by collaborating and coordinating among various programs on campus that share our commitment to Native education. Our planning unit is unique in that it coordinates the curriculum and needs of a variety of units, or programs that include: undergraduate, graduate, public service centers, and student support services. These units serve Native and non-Native students and Native nations in multiple ways.
Planning unit membership includes faculty (contingent, regular, and emeritus) and staff. Additionally, we actively partner with the Native Student Alliance.
The current members of the Native Programs Planning Unit are: Native American and World Indigenous Peoples Studies (NAWIPS) which includes Olympia daytime academic programs and courses, the Master of Public Administration - Tribal Governance program, Graduate Program on the Environment (offering the Master of Environmental Studies Degree), the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, First Peoples Advising Services, and the Reservation-Based, Community Determined Program. In addition, the area includes the Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies Initiative, which is a self-supporting, grant-funded curriculum and faculty development program. For more information on Evergreen’s Native Programs, see http://www.evergreen.edu/nativeprograms.
The Native Programs planning unit is inclusive of Native Studies but is not limited to specific disciplines or curriculum. Unique to our unit is its mix of academic faculty and public service center staff and programs (some fully or partially self supporting in terms of funding), and its focus on Native Studies, which inherently encompasses a wide range of liberal arts disciplines, including cultural studies, politics, social sciences, art, and environmental studies.
Because of Evergreen’s unique relationship to the tribes, Native Programs at The Evergreen State College have an autonomous institutional identity and approach to learning and research, which both enriches Evergreen and draws diverse students, staff and faculty. We welcome allies in staff and faculty who have Native Studies as a priority, to be part of our social community and planning discussions. We see this integration of Native Programs as supporting ongoing College-wide conversations about curriculum development , student engagement, and other cross-campus initiatives.