Strategic Vision: Nez Perce Tribe
Nez Perce tribal members Laura Conner, William Antell, Stella Penney, and Lauren Arthur at NWIC's graduation ceremony, 2015. (Photo: Nez Perce Tribe)
In 1998, the Nez Perce Tribe officially designated education as a strategic priority vital to strengthening its ability to maintain Nez Perce's cultural life ways. To that end, in 1999 the Tribe aligned its 477 Plan with its overall education strategy to forge a partnership with Northwest Indian College (NWIC). The two soon established an MOA to bring "the delivery of higher education and community development services" to two Nez Perce reservation communities, effectively creating the first tribal college in Idaho. The arrangement provides "place-bound" tribal members— many first-generation college students— access to quality, culturally appropriate, local higher education they otherwise wouldn't have. In addition to Direct Transfer associate's degree, local students can pursue Tribal Governance and Business Management bachelor’s and Native Environmental Science associate's and bachelor's degrees through NWIC— two fields Nez Perce has deemed critical to developing its workforce to preserve its cultural life ways for future generations. To date, NWIC has awarded 125 degrees to reservation-based tribal members, helping to spark a 14% increase in higher educational attainment at Nez Perce since 2000.
CONNECT: Kay Seven, Adult Education Director, Nez Perce Tribe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Workforce Development: NEZ PERCE TRIBE
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