Greg Masten hired as new NWIC director of development

This summer, Northwest Indian College selected Greg Masten, a member of the Yurok Tribe, as the new director of the college’s Development Office.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Northwest Indian College Foundation team,” Masten said. “I accepted this position because I believe very strongly in tribal sovereignty and empowering tribal nations and their members through education. This perfectly matches the mission of Northwest Indian College.”

In his new position, Masten’s overarching goal will be to support student success. He will accomplish this by working directly with the NWIC Foundation to plan, develop, coordinate, manage and implement various fundraising strategies and activities.

NWIC expands construction trades program to meet local need

Faced with an increasing number of local construction projects, Northwest Indian College (NWIC) and the Lummi Nation’s Tribal Employment Rights Organization (TERO) have teamed up to provide the community with more opportunities for advancement in the construction trades.

While NWIC has had a construction trades program on the books for the past two decades, the program has been offered in a limited capacity for periodic classes in recent years, said Fran Dodson, director of workforce development at NWIC. That’s in part because the college was without an adequate facility to accommodate the programs.

On Aug. 28, 2012, that changed – that’s when TERO signed an agreement stating the organization would partner with NWIC to rent a 7,500-square-foot facility at 1460 Slater Road. According to the agreement, TERO will pay to rent the facility and NWIC will pay all other costs, such as utilities, instruction and instructional and student materials.

Want to help revitalize Native food traditions?

Learn how while participating in food demonstrations, medicine making and plant walks

Studies show that returning to a more traditional diet can help Native Americans improve health and reduce problems such as diabetes. People from throughout Indian Country have put those findings to work and are contributing to the revitalization of Native food traditions.

Many of those individuals will gather to share stories about how they have successfully steered their communities back to traditional ways of eating during Northwest Indian College’s (NWIC) Institute of Indigenous Foods & Traditions first annual conference, Our Food is Our Medicine: Revitalizing Native Food Traditions.

“We are hosting this conference because we believe it’s important to honor the work that is being done to revitalize Native food traditions,” said Meghan McCormick, coordinator of the Institute of Indigenous Foods & Traditions, which is a program of NWIC’s Cooperative Extension Department. “Our traditional plants program receives requests every year to present at various conferences, and now it is an honor to host our first annual conference that will bring those involved with this revitalization together in one place.”

Grant will help NWIC increase food sovereignty in Swinomish community

Northwest Indian College’s (NWIC) Swinomish site recently received a $45,000 grant intended to help increase access to traditional and fresh foods in the Swinomish community. The grant was awarded by the First Nation Development Institute’s Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI).

“This funding will strengthen food sovereignty and self-sufficiency at the household and local level in the Swinomish community. Specifically, it provides the means for the community and students to develop a diverse demonstration garden at our site,” said Jessica Gigot, NWIC science faculty.

NWIC president moves on to new leadership role in Indian Education

Cheryl Crazy Bull to be succeeded by Justin Guillory, NWIC dean of academics

Cheryl Crazy Bull, who has served as Northwest Indian College (NWIC) president for nearly 10 years – during a period of significant growth at the college – will leave in August for Denver, Colorado, to fill the soon to be vacated seat of American Indian College Fund president and CEO. Dr. Justin Guillory, dean of academics at NWIC, was selected by the college’s Board of Trustees to take over as president upon her departure.

“Justin Guillory is a good choice for the next president of NWIC,” Crazy Bull said. “The Board looked for an individual who is inspiring and can motivate others, and Justin has shown that he can do that. The Lummi community and our college community were very welcoming to me and are very supportive. I hope that the same welcome and support will be given to Justin in his new role as NWIC President.” 

NWIC represents tribal colleges at nation’s capital

Northwest Indian College (NWIC) was one of two tribal colleges invited to present at the Campus and Community portion of the 46th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, an event that has been called the world’s largest cultural conversion. The festival was held on the National Mall in Washington, DC, from June 27 to July 8.

The Campus and Community theme at this year’s festival commemorated the 150th anniversary of the land-grant system, which was created by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 when he signed the Morrill Act, granting tracts of land to the states in order to endow public universities. 

NWIC cultural arts program expands reach

Nine years ago, Northwest Indian College’s Cooperative Extension Department hosted its first Weavers Teaching Weavers Conference at the college’s main campus, located on the Lummi Nation.

The one-day conference provided weavers with a venue where they could share and pass down their knowledge. The event was well received from the beginning – so well received that it was expanded to a two-day conference the following year and currently is a four-day-long event.

Now, after nine successful conferences at the Lummi campus, the event is expanding again, but this time it’s experiencing a geographical growth. This summer, Weavers Teaching Weavers will be held for the first time ever off of main campus. The event will take place in Warm Springs, Oregon, on August 16 and 17, and will be hosted by the Warm Springs Tribe.

NWIC rocket club takes 1st at national competition

For the second year in a row, the NWIC Space Center rocket team finished first in the First Nations Rocket Launch, this time in the engineering American Indian Society of Engineers and Scientists (AISES) challenge. The team also finished 12th out of the 41 teams that took part in the 2012 NASA University Student Launch Initiative competition.

At the First Nations Rocket Launch, NWIC was up against such noteworthy competitors as UCLA, the University of Minnesota and Haskel Indian Nations University.

NWIC will soon offer second bachelor’s degree

This fall, the college will begin offering a four-year degree in Native Studies Leadership

Starting fall quarter of 2012, Northwest Indian College (NWIC) will begin enrolling students in its second bachelor’s degree program, a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies Leadership. The college was approved in May to offer the degree by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The Native Studies Leadership (NSL) degree is a big step for the college, which currently offers an Associate of Arts and Science degree with a Native American Studies focus. That degree was designed as a direct transfer degree with an emphasis on culture and history. Students now have the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for a four-year degree rooted in tribal knowledge through the Native Studies Leadership degree.

The NSL is unique even among the tribal colleges and universities because of its focus on restorative knowledge, NWIC President Cheryl Crazy Bull said.

NWIC’s big athletics fundraiser tees off soon

On Friday September 14, 2012 Northwest Indian College (NWIC) Foundation will host the 10th Annual Big Drive for Education Golf Scramble, the college’s biggest annual athletics fundraiser that supports student athletes and athletic programs.

The scramble will begin with a 1 p.m. shotgun start, in which all golfers tee off at different holes at the same time. The event will be held at the North Bellingham Golf Course.