Amazon has donated $100,000 to Northwest Indian College to fund scholarships and support students in one of the few native environmental science programs in the country.
“We are incredibly grateful for Amazon’s generosity, which will likely not only open doors but also help equip students with the support they need to succeed,” said Justin P. Guillory, President of the Northwest Indian College, in a press release.
The funding will ensure critical curriculum and perspectives are more accessible to students so they can become better stewards of the environment in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, the school said.
“We are proud to support Northwest Indian College as we work together for sustainability and equity,” said Pearl Leung, senior manager of community engagement at Amazon. “We are so fortunate that Native Environmental Science (Northwest Indian College) graduates are willing to pass on Native knowledge combined with the latest science to continue important stewardship of our planet.”
The Native Environmental Science program is one of the only programs nationwide that combines traditional Native American knowledge and the latest science in a program that is respectful, responsive, and inclusive of Native cultures. It is designed to develop holistic skills to uphold contracts and inherent rights.
Drawing on indigenous systems of knowledge and traditional practice alongside new technologies and investigative tools, the program offers students the choice of specializing in environmental sciences or interdisciplinary concentrations.
“As a graduate and current faculty member of the Native Environmental Science Program, I am continually inspired by our students. We educate Indigenous scholars who are willing to bring respect for history, people and place, relationality, mutuality, confidence, capacity and communication to their future professions. I’m really grateful to be a part of the NWIC family,” said Aissa Yazzie, who is Dine’.
Founded by Lummi Nation, Northwest Indian College is one of only 37 tribal colleges and universities in the country. With its main campus on the Lummi Indian Reservation in Whatcom County, it is the only accredited tribal college serving the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
The college grew out of the Lummi Indian School of Aquaculture, founded in 1973 and chartered in 1983 as Lummi Community College. In January 1989, it was renamed the Northwest Indian College in recognition of its service to Native Americans in the Northwest.
The college now includes six full-service satellite campuses in Muckleshoot, Nez Perce, Nisqually, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Swinomish and Tulalip.
BEHIND OUR REPORTING
Please support this reporting
Natasha Brennan reports on the impact of Washington State’s tribes on our local communities, the environment, politics, traditions, culture and issues of justice for McClatchy media outlets in Bellingham, Olympia, Tacoma and Tri-Cities.
She joins us in partnership with Report for America, which pays a portion of reporters’ salaries. You can support this coverage at bellinghamherald.com/donate. Donations are tax deductible through Journalism Funding Partners.
You can sign up for their weekly newsletter here.