MyKel Johnson


Tribe: Nez Perce Tribe (Niimipuu)

Hometown: Lapwai, Idaho

Degree(s) received from WSU, and major and/or minor:  Communication and Society major, and Tribal Nation Building Leadership student

Why did you choose WSU? I chose WSU because I received the Plateau and MOU scholarships from Native Programs. I also fell in love with our community and the endless support from the faculty.

What did you enjoy most about being a WSU student? I enjoyed participating in the opportunities for activism and social justice. I also loved being a member of clubs like Native American Women’s Association and the Native American Alliance.

What activities/programs were you involved with while at WSU? I was involved in a lot of the Native American clubs and served as a student ambassador for Native Programs as well.

Did any particular WSU program make an impact in your success as a student? Native American Programs was fundamental to my success at WSU. The Native Center was my home away from home. I could always count on the faculty to help with any issues I had. It was because of Native Programs that I stayed in college and remained resilient.

What was your biggest challenge to achieving your education and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge to achieving my education was feeling inferior to those around me. It was difficult coming from a school on the reservation to an educational institution like this. I overcame this when I reclaimed my identity and realized my Indigenous intellect is my strength. I realized that my peers were not superior. Rather, they were taught they were and society reinforced that.

Future plans: graduate school.

Advice for underclassmen: Take advantage of all the resources and opportunities you can while in college.