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Tribal Leadership Summit Archives

The Tribal Leadership Summit is an opportunity for University of Washington and tribal leaders to gather and discuss issues of importance to American Indian/Alaska Native communities.

The summit was instituted in 2007 within the framework of the Washington State Centennial Accord which recognizes tribal sovereignty and calls for government-to-government conversation around issues facing tribal communities.

2020 – 2021

The summit, held May 19, 2021, was the first virtual meeting held due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The goal for his summit was to have more dedicated time with UW President Cauce and other senior leadership and less presentations.

Tribal leadership and advisors focused on Phase I of the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ project and how we were mitigating the pandemic while still offering robust student services and programming.  The agenda also included a discussion on Phase II of the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ project and the timeline to project completion.  Students discussed how they were managing during the pandemic and focused on a resolution of support from the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) for additional support of the First Nations @ UW Annual Spring Powwow.


ATNI Resolution of Support

2019 – 2020

Cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic


The agenda for the 2016 summit held May 10 focused on water quality, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship.


The summit, held March 12, 2015, featured the grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration for wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House, the new longhouse-style facility on the UW campus. The summit’s agenda also included perspective and input from tribal chairs on proposed activities to strengthen UW and tribal partnerships, as well as updates regarding Phase II of the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House project, School of Business and American Indian Studies.


The summit focused on four programs under development or in progress on both the UW Bothell and UW Seattle campuses. A select group of UW Bothell faculty and staff presented on the development of the Tribal Leadership Network. The UW Seattle College of Education presented on the newly formed Indian Education and Teacher Education Certificate; the Foster School of Business discussed forming a Tribal Hospitality & Gaming Certificate; and the UW Professional & Continuing Education team presented on early childhood education, online degree and certificates, and tribes seeking online education.


The summit focused on establishing rapport between UW President Michael K. Young and regional tribal governments, and demonstrating the UW’s continued commitment to enhancing tribal relationships.


The summit focused on creating additional research, education and economic development partnerships between area Tribes and the University of Washington. An overview of a Tribal Bioenergy collaboration supported by the National Science Foundation was presented by UW faculty, Yakama Nation representatives and Native American graduate students as a model for University & Tribal partnerships. The 2010 summit also featured a conversation focused on creating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the UW and the regional tribes to formalize relationships, identify agreed upon priorities, and to sustain the relationships for years to come. Subsequently, on September 10, 2010, the UW and the tribes gathered to sign the MOU.


The summit introduced the concept of Community Based and Tribal Participatory Research in a presentation made by the UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, the Suquamish Tribe and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.


The summit focused on the recruitment and retention of American Indian/Alaska Native students, faculty and staff; a longhouse-style facility; activity in response to issues raised at the 2007 Summit; and the formulation of a Memorandum of Understanding.