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Native American Programs Many Nations. One Community.

WSU junior Ermia Butler brings awareness to Native American heritage

Native American Programs proud to see Ermia Butler’s work brought to the attention of the entire campus community. The following is taken directly from the WSU insider article and WSU homepage post written to show the hard work and dedication of our students.


From a young age, Ermia Butler knew she would pursue a career that would support her tribe, but she didn’t quite know what it would be.

An enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Butler grew up in Pendleton, Oregon, on tribal land, where she attended the reservation’s charter school. Her teachers, many of them college-educated, provided her with strong role models and helped her apply to college.

“I’m a first-generation student, but in high school I was supported really well,” Butler said.

In the United States, only 19% of 18- to 24-year-old Native American students are enrolled in college, according to data from the Postsecondary National Policy Institute. Overall, 41% of Americans in that age group are enrolled in college.

“For some Native students, if they do want to attend school and no one can help them, they have to figure it out on their own and struggle with the process,” Butler said.

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Communicating Health in an Era of Mistrust

The November 9th panel discussion, “Communicating Health in an Era of Mistrust,” focuses on culturally meaningful communication to promote vaccination, and will serve as a catalyst to engage the community in discussions and dialogues surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion, race, and social justice issues.

Launched in October 2020, the “Power of Voice” speaker series by the Edward R. Murrow College Of Communication celebrates how we express our unique style, personality, experience, and opinion by using our voices. At their worst, our voices disseminate misinformation, disinformation, and hate. At their best, we can use our voices to break down systemic barriers and open doors that may have otherwise remained locked.


2017 Grads


Welcome to Washington State University’s Native American Programs. Our offices work to increase Native American student recruitment and retention, and also coordinate with tribes to promote initiatives on campus that benefit Native students and encourage responsible research and interaction with tribes.


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WSU Land Acknowledgement

Washington State University acknowledges that its locations statewide are on the homelands of Native peoples, who have lived in this region from time immemorial. Currently, there are 42 tribes, 35 of which are federally recognized that share traditional homelands and waterways in what is now Washington State. Some of these are nations and confederacies that represents multiple tribes and bands. The University expresses its deepest respect for and gratitude towards these original and current caretakers of the region. As an academic community, we acknowledge our responsibility to establish and maintain relationships with these tribes and Native peoples, in support of tribal sovereignty and the inclusion of their voices in teaching, research and programming. Washington State University established the Office of Tribal Relations and Native American Programs to guide us in our relationship with tribes and service to Native American students and communities. We also pledge that these relationships will consist of mutual trust, respect, and reciprocity.

As a land grant institution, we also recognize that the Morrill Act of 1862 established land-grant institutions by providing each state with “public” and federal lands, which are traced back to the disposition of Indigenous lands. In 1890, Washington State received 90,081 acres of Indigenous Lands designated to establish Washington State University (see data). Washington State University retains the majority of these lands to this day. We acknowledge that the disposition of Indigenous lands was often taken by coercive and violent acts, and the disregard of treaties. For that, we extend our deepest apologies. We owe our deepest gratitude to the Native peoples of this region and maintain our commitment towards reconciliation.

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Contact Us

Native American Programs
PO Box 641046
Pullman, WA 99164-1046
ph. (509) 335-8618