Yakama Nation Tribal School attendees Mercedes Andrews and Murphy K. Polk, became photographers during an Educational Talent Search (ETS) field trip to the University of Washington and documented the experiences they shared with peers while touring the UW campus. Mercedes is a senior this year and will attend Central Washington University after she graduates. She is interested in becoming an orthodontist, an endodontist, or a dentist. Go Mercedes! Murphy is completing his junior year and plans to earn his high school diploma next June from Yakama Nation Tribal School. A big thank you (Ka’wala-nu-sha-mash) to both ETS student photographers.
After touring the UW campus, Mercedes and Murphy along with 25 other ETS participants from Yakama Nation Tribal School, Wapato and White Swan High School headed to the UW annual Spring Powwow organized and run by First Nations, the Native American student organization on campus. The First Nations Annual Spring Powwow is the largest student run event on campus. It is free and open to the public, and brings in thousands of Native American and other Indigenous Peoples from Pacific Islands, Canada, and Central and South America to practice and share their cultures at the UW. Attending the UW Powwow was a wonderful way to demonstrate to ETS students that when leaving home for college, they can take their cultural identities with them. Underrepresented Minority student organizations on college campuses often provide space and opportunity for students to express who they are culturally.