M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awards NWIC $400,000 grant

Northwest Indian College (NWIC) was recently awarded a $400,000 challenge grant by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for campus technology improvements, which will help further bring the college’s technology into the 21st Century. 

The grant will support campus-wide technology infrastructure at the college’s main Lummi campus and improve distance learning capabilities throughout its six full-service extended campuses at reservations in Washington and Idaho. The college must raise another $325,000 to unlock the full challenge grant and to complete $725,000 in technology improvements.

“Access to technology in rural areas and reservations is more limited than most places in the U.S. This grant will help create more technological access for our students and the communities we serve,” Cheryl Crazy Bull, NWIC President said. “We recognize that this is a substantial gift from the Murdock Trust and we are honored to have the Trust join us as a partner in Native higher education.”

President Crazy Bull reflects on John Trudell’s visit

On April 25, Northwest Indian College was honored to host presentations by John Trudell in the afternoon and again in the evening.

Just under 200 people packed NWIC’s Cultural Arts Center during the 1 p.m. talk and Trudell was met with standing applause as he stepped up to the microphone. That enthusiasm carried through that presentation and through his 7 p.m. presentation, as well. When Trudell finished speaking that evening, NWIC’s packed Log Building filled with loud applause and shouts of appreciation.

The following is a reflection by NWIC President Cheryl Crazy Bull about Trudell’s messages and his life’s work.

NWIC students honored at AIHEC

Second-year student Aissa Yazzie named Miss AIHEC 2012

Aissa Yazzie (Navajo) was named Miss AIHEC 2012 during the American Indian Higher Education Consortium conference in March. Yazzie is a second year student at Northwest Indian College in the Bachelor of Science in Native Environmental Science program.
The Northwest Indian College (NWIC) men’s basketball players made headlines when they won the 2012 American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) basketball championship title, but they weren’t the only students to win titles at the annual student conference this year, held in March in Rapid City, South Dakota.

NWIC students won awards in art and speech, and Aissa Yazzie, NWIC Student Executive Board president, was named Miss AIHEC 2012.

There were 12 finalists for Miss and Mr. AIHEC. They were judged on their academic performances, their knowledge of AIHEC, their commitment to carry forward their cultures and traditions, and their commitment to their communities demonstrated through participation and service contributions, said NWIC Director of Assessment and First Year Experience, Cindy Cultee, who was also an advisor to the AIHEC Student Congress for 10 years.

Career fair speakers, exhibitors draw huge crowd

Activist and actress Q'orianka Kilcher caught her audience by surprise when she began singing All I Could Do Was Cry, by Etta James, during her presentations at the NWIC-NOAA Career Fair.
From April 23 through April 25, the Northwest Indian College (NWIC) campus was alive with enthusiasm, inspirational voices and curiosity about what options lie ahead.

During those three days, the NWIC-NOAA Career Fair brought together NWIC students – some from as far away as NWIC’s Nez Perce campus – with local high school students and community members. Attendees got the inside scoop from representatives of graduate schools, tribal and government organizations and businesses, and learned how to market themselves to potential employers.  

NWIC Earth Day events included beach cleanup, garbage sort

Northwest Indian College student Charlotte Penn pulls part of an old boat out of the water April 20 during an Earth Week beach cleanup organized by the college’s Indigenous Service Learning department and sustainability committee.While the sun warmed the skin and blooming flowers filled the air with a scent we only get to experience for a couple of months of each year, Northwest Indian College (NWIC) students walked Lummi shores with their heads down and large, black plastic garbage bags in hand.

The students, joined by NWIC staff and faculty and a Bellingham community member, were helping to clean up the beach on April 20 as part of Earth Day celebrations at the college, which took place April 19-23.

Arizona frybread is coming Lummi

The “More Than Frybread” movie sensation will play one night only in Whatcom County

On June 7, the “More Than Frybread” phenomenon will hit Northwest Indian College. On that day only, students, staff, faculty and the community will have a chance to view the underground Native movie sensation, visit with the film’s writer and director and show off their own frybread making skills during a frybread cook-off.

The film tells the funny and fictional story of the First Annual Arizona Frybread Championship competition between the 22 tribes of Arizona. Each sends their local champion to compete for the coveted title of Arizona Frybread Champion. 

The film closely follows five individuals from the Navajo, Hopi, Yavapai-Apache, Hualapai, and Tohono O’odham Nations as they journey from their homelands to the state championship held in Flagstaff, Arizona.

TL’aneq fundraiser brings in $98,000 for NWIC

TL’aneq, Northwest Indian College’s (NWIC) biggest fundraiser of the year was held on April 28. The event, which included a silent and live auction, raised about $98,000.

The money will be used to match a $500,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the college’s new Coast Salish Institute, which will cost $3.6 million. 

“TL'aneq is a wonderful mix of Coast Salish traditions and NWIC fundraising,” NWIC President Cheryl Crazy Bull said. “It is an opportunity for Natives and our friends and supporters to celebrate and bring resources to our students. We call witnesses from the participants who honor us by sharing what they observe with others across the country. We have welcome songs and a song of thanks for the work that is done during the evening to raise funds for our cultural education. ” 

Explore Your Future at the NWIC-NOAA Career Fair

Whether you're a high school student trying to decide your next move, or a college student considering graduate school, you won't want to miss this year's NWIC-NOAA Career Fair.

The career fair is a chance to meet potential employers, explore career options, get the inside scoop from graduate school representative and to get inspired.

Northwest Indian College (NWIC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have teamed up to present representatives from Seattle University School of Law, U.S. Department of State, BP Cherry Point Refinery, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Cascades Institute and NOAA's National Ocean Service, to name only a few (a full list of exhibitors can be found below).

The event will also include several inspiring speakers, including Q'orianka Kilcher and Temryss Lane.

Hollywood star, human rights advocate to speak at NWIC

Actress and human rights and environmental activist Q'orianka Kilcher will speak on Northwest Indian College's main campus on April 24 at 10 a.m. in the Cultural Arts Center (Building 7) as part of the NWIC-NOAA Career Fair. The presentation is free and open to everyone.

Kilcher, who is of Quechua-Huachipaeri decent, stared as Pocahontas in the 2005 film, "The New World" when she was 14 years old. In addition to acting, she is also known for her commitment to human rights and the environment. She frequently speaks about these topics and has been a featured speaker for organizations such as Amazon Watch, Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Kilcher isn't your typical young Hollywood star, said Steve Pavlik, NWIC Native American Studies instructor. She has devoted her life to environmental and human rights activism.

Living with AIDS, educating our communities

In 1993, when Shana Cozad was 21 years old, she was a pre-med student with a 4.0 GPA, had a baby son and her second boyfriend ever, who was also her second sexual partner ever.

Her boyfriend was someone she knew she could take home to her parents. He was a young man in a master’s program at her school and appeared to have his life put together. Still, Cozad asked the right questions about his sexual history: whether he had been tested for sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. He told her he was clean.

He stuck with that claim throughout their relationship, until the day she broke up with him. That’s when he revealed his secret.

“Well guess what,” he said. “I have AIDS and now so do you.”