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.