Welcome to the Plateau Center for Research and Collaboration at Washington State University! In 1999, the Native American Advisory Board to the President recommended that WSU create a “Plateau Center for American Indian Studies.” The vision of such a center was to facilitate the graduation of Native American students from the region prepared to be historians, social scientists, teachers, health care providers, department managers, scientists, elected officials, and scholars in their respective fields, serving their tribal communities directly in positions on the reservation or indirectly in key positions off reservation that impact their people and Indian Country.
Embodied in this vision was an emphasis on research and scholarship with a focus on the tribes of the Columbia Plateau Region and their unique cultures, histories, achievements, and contributions. While the “Plateau Center” at Washington State University is geographically located close to the “center” of the Columbia Plateau Region and the mission is focused on the tribes of the Plateau region, all is connected in Indian Country and the experiences and histories of Native peoples in this country and region are intertwined together through federal policies, marriage, alliances, struggles, trade, and living on this land since time immemorial. Therefore, the work of the center is not exclusive to this region or Plateau Tribes, but “centered” within the region and the people of the region.
In response to this vision, the Plateau Center is committed to a number of paths supporting research, scholarship, and collaboration. These paths include:
- Continuing Development of the Tribal Nation Building Program for undergraduate students, emphasizing leadership development, community service, internships, and undergraduate research
- Maintaining the Native American Graduate Center and providing support services for graduate students
- Developing the Plateau Affiliates program
- Hosting the Plateau People’s Portal
- Establishing orientation programs for incoming WSU graduate students regarding our services
- Providing trainings and resources for WSU researchers and student mentors regarding responsible, collaborative research in Native American and Native American student success
- Strengthening relationships and venues for responding to tribal research needs
- Serving as a resource to the WSU community
We maintain close collaborations with the following:
- WSU Center for Mestizo & Indigenous Research & Engagement
- The WSU Graduate School
- Pacific Northwest Alliance for Graduate Education & the Professoriate (PNW-COSMOS)
- WSU Museum of Anthropology
- WSU Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
- WSU Clearinghouse on Native Teaching & Learning
A list of readings on Indigenous Research Methods and related topics is hosted by the PNW-COSMOS website: https://pnwcosmos.org/references-and-recommended-reading/
A schedule of workshops related to mentoring and research can also be found at the PNW-COSMOS website: https://pnwcosmos.org/events/
The Plateau Center of Washington State University invites WSU faculty, administrative professionals, and staff to become Affiliates of the Center.
Learn more about becoming a Plateau Center Affiliate