University of Washington and area tribal leaders gathered to discuss issues of importance to indigenous communities at the fifth annual Tribal Leadership Summit at Mary Gates Hall on the UW Campus, Sept. 10.
The annual meeting highlights successful partnerships involving the UW and tribes, while envisioning future opportunities to collaborate on education, economic development, and research programs. This year’s Summit agenda focused on establishing rapport between new UW President Michael K. Young and regional tribal governments, and demonstrating the UW’s continued commitment to enhancing tribal relations.
Elected council members and representatives from 10 Washington, Montana, Oregon, and Idaho tribal nations attended the summit including Chinook, Cowlitz, Makah, Muckleshoot, Quinault, Shoalwater Bay, Squaxin Island, Steilacoom, Suquamish and Tulalip. UW students Helen Fillmore (Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California), a junior majoring in Environmental Science and Resource Management, and Aaron Naumann (Mi’kmaq Tribe), a fifth-year Ph.D. student in anthropology/archaeology, also participated and offered remarks.
During the Summit meeting, Patricia Whitefoot, chair of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Education Committee, and Washington state representative John McCoy presented President Young with a Pendleton blanket. This blanket presentation is used in Native cultures to convey honor, respect, and gratitude.
In addition to Whitefoot and McCoy, host committee members included former Washington state governor and UW Foundation Board member Dan Evans, as well as Husky Hall of Fame alumnus Sonny Sixkiller. Former UW Provost Phyllis Wise, UW Tacoma Chancellor Debra Friedman and UW Bothell Vice Chancellor Susan Jeffords also participated in the summit.
The event concluded with representatives from two more tribes signing the UW Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Michael Rogers, administrator and enrolled member of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, and Samuel Robinson from the Chinook Indian Nation added their signatures to the MOU that was originally entered into by UW and several tribal governments on Sept. 11, 2010.
Outgoing UW Provost Phyllis Wise, who served as Interim President during the 2010-2011 academic year, was also recognized by tribal leaders for her contributions to the University of Washington.
View a photo gallery from the event.
Photos by Ian Gonzales