A Decade of Commitment to Tribal Communities
A Decade of Commitment to Tribal CommunitiesJosé Rios, Director, Multicultural Communications
Community leaders gathered to commemorate a decade of commitment to tribal communities at this year’s Native American Student Advocacy Institute (NASAI). Since 2007, NASAI has been a part of the College Board’s commitment to educational excellence and equity for all students, creating a venue to discuss new solutions, share best practices, and collaborate with colleagues to make a difference in the lives of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students.
This year more than 250 teachers, counselors, higher education leaders, policy makers, and others who are passionate about education convened on the beautiful grounds of the Tamaya to gain insights on successful programs and learn about great things positively impacting Native students. To mark the special 10-year anniversary, attendees took part in traditional cultural celebrations, like Pueblo storytelling, dancing, bread making, and rituals that embody the flourishing native culture.
Among influential voices heard in these important conversations were:
- Tanaya Winder (Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations), poet, writer and educator,
- Erik Stegman (Assiniboine from the Carry the Kettle First Nation), executive director of the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at the Aspen Institute, and
- Matika Wilbur (Tulalip and Swinomish tribes in Washington), acclaimed photographer, creator and director of Project 562.
Karen Frances-Begay, assistant vice president of Tribal Relations at the University of Arizona (UA) and past trustee at the College Board, was honored this year with the prestigious Dr. Henrietta Mann Leadership Award. As key representative and liaison between tribal leaders and the university, Karen has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to Native students. Through her involvement with organizations and initiatives, such as the National Indian Education Association and National Congress of American Indians, she has been able to continue her work to advance indigenous communities and clear a path for future generations of Native leaders.
For more information on the NASAI conference, visit nasai.collegeboard.org.