NWIC Building Education for New Millennium

Nov 15th, 1999 | By | Category: 11-2: Teacher Education, Tribal College News

Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, honorary co-chairs of the NWIC campus campaign, are shown with some of the tribal elders supporting the campaign.

Northwest Indian College (NWIC) has selected Dr. Jeffrey L. Boyd to direct the college’s Native Teacher Preparation Program (Oksale). Oksale (pronounced oxs-al-uh) is a Lummi Coastal Salish word meaning “teacher.” He expects the NWIC program to help solve one of the most critical issues facing Indian education today, the shortage of well-qualified Native teachers. In collaboration with Washington State University, NWIC offers a bachelor of arts in elementary education with K-8 teacher certification. NWIC is in the process of gaining approval for an independent program. The program is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Boyd relocated to the Lummi Reservation in Washington from Tucson, Ariz., where he received his doctorate degree in comparative cultural and literary studies in December 1998. Boyd also holds a master’s degree in American Indian studies as well as certification in both elementary and high school teaching. He is an enrolled member of the Menominee tribe in northern Wisconsin.

NWIC itself expects to benefit from the new teachers as the college continues to fulfill the role of providing higher education to several tribes in the region. The NWIC Board of Trustees and the NWIC Foundation Board of Directors have launched a major capital campaign to develop a permanent campus in several phases. The future success of the college depends on providing a residential campus with regional appeal. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded an extensive feasibility study.

The NWIC leadership set an aggressive campaign goal of $44 million; $36 million will be dedicated to the construction of a permanent residential campus. The main campus on Lummi Reservation will be linked to new education centers on tribal reservations throughout the Pacific Northwest utilizing the NWIC telecommunication satellite network. $6 million for new scholarships and endowed faculty positions will be raised. The remaining $2 million will complete the purchase of a 1,200-acre living laboratory in the Arlecho Creek basin and old growth forest by the Lummi Nation, The Nature Conservancy, and Northwest Indian College.

NWIC’s campus campaign officially began at a Wayne Newton benefit concert held April 15. Wayne and his wife, Kathleen, are the honorary co-chairs, lending their name and personal efforts to the campaign. The campaign has received a pledge of $100,000 from the Handsel Foundation and a $200,000 matching gift from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Seven tribal councils in the region have passed resolutions supporting the campaign. A circle of tribal elders named “Si>am Selalexw’, is forming to help honor donors and provide support to the campaign.

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