Profile: Lexie Tom, Lummi

MPA 2014 Tribal Administration with the Lummi Tribe

Lexie was the 2014 graduate speaker for the Evergreen campus commencement. Her commitment to her community has shown through her work and her continuing education in MPA, Tribal Governance.

Like many of our students, Lexie has a full time position. Lexie works with Curriculum Development at Northwest Indian College. The flexible schedule and unique Tribal Governance concentration allowed Lexie to continue on her path for her community and career.

“I chose the Evergreen MPA program because it is the only program in the Pacific Northwest area that offers the Tribal Governance concentration. I am a Lummi tribal member who is pursuing an education for the betterment of my community. An MPA degree in Tribal Governance fit the needs of my community”. Lexie reiterated that the learning experience is best defined and created by each student, “When I first applied to Evergreen the statement that really stuck out to me was by Joseph DeLaCruz about self-determination: “No right is more sacred to a nation, to a people, than the right to freely determine its social, economic, political and cultural future without external interference.” This is so important for Tribal Nations today to understand. This statement speaks to the true meaning of self-determination. And it speaks to my experience here in the Evergreen MPA program. In classes we talk about what self-determination really means, and it’s different for each tribe. This curriculum was not designed to always give every answer we are seeking. As students it’s our responsibility to dig deep and find answers that suit our own tribes for ourselves”.