Welcome to the Plateau Center 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:
- Creating the Tribal Nation Building program for undergraduate students with an emphasis on leadership development, community service, internships, and undergraduate research
- Creating the Native American Graduate Center and support services for graduate students
- Creating the Plateau Affiliates program
- Hosting the Plateau People’s Portal
- Establishing orientation programs for incoming WSU graduate students regarding our services
- Establishing trainings and resources for WSU faculty and student researchers regarding research protocols in Indian Country
- Strengthening relationships and venues for responding to tribal research needs
- Serving as a resource to the WSU community
- Maintaining close collaboration with the College of Education Clearinghouse on Native Teaching and Learning and the Center for Mestizo and Indigenous Research and Engagement
- Maintaining close collaboration with the WSU Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
- Maintaining close collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology
These are new pathways in development. We look forward to their growth and development
The Plateau Center of Washington State University invites WSU faculty, administrative professionals, and staff to become Affiliates of the Plateau Center.
Learn more about becoming a Plateau Center Affiliate