Visionary Leaders: Tribal Nation Building Leadership Program wsu native American Programs

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Visionary Leaders: Tribal Nation Building Leadership Program

WSU Native American Programs

In meetings with the WSU Native American Advisory Board to the President, dialogue has focused around essential learning outcomes for Native American and non-Native students with an historical and contemporary knowledge base of Native peoples, preparing them to make meaningful contributions to Nation Building among Native nations. As distinct sovereign governments, Native nations are engaged in protecting and exercising their sovereignty to assure not only the basic welfare of their citizens, but to shape a future of hope and prosperity for generations yet to be born.

The WSU Tribal Nation Building Leadership Program is being designed as a program within the Plateau Center for Native American Programs with skills and knowledge contextualized within a framework of tribal principles and values. A conceptual framework has been emerging incorporating such principles and values as key components of “Visionary Leadership.” The Nation Building Program is offered in conjunction with the MOU Tribal Scholarship Program, the Plateau Native American Scholarship Program, and newly admitted students from the Native American Health Science pipeline.

Scholarship as a principle and value embraces the pursuit of knowledge and the application of knowledge based upon principles of investigation that pursue excellence and truth. Such scholarship is both personal and communal. It is based upon an awareness, appreciation, and respect for natural law as understood and cultivated through traditional knowledge that has guided Native peoples for millennium. Such knowledge is based upon careful observation of the natural world and natural law, observed and understood through both head and heart pathways. Scholarship rooted in tribal values will always seek knowledge not only for the pure wonder of knowing and understanding the world around us and one another, but for meaningful application within our communities and tribes, meeting the challenges of contemporary life and for the wellbeing of future generations.
Membership: We are all members of ever expanding spheres of relationship: family, clan, tribe, community, state, and country. Within these relationship spheres, tribal values dictate that we be responsible, informed members of each of these spheres, prepared as stewards and guardians to bring leadership and service within each sphere.
Stewardship is the care for that which has been entrusted to us, beginning with our own person, our gifts, and our needs. Pursuing higher education is one of the ways in which we are stewards of our talents and potential. For students to be successful in their lives and in pursuing higher education, they must be able to care for and develop their selves and balance their lives as they pursue their education. This balance entails mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Through developing stewardship of self, the individual is prepared to share and role model the value of stewardship within their tribal community, caring for human, cultural, and natural resources for present and future quality of life of all members of the community, including the natural world.
Guardianship while closely related to stewardship, guardianship entails not just the care of resources, but the protection of resources. These resources are defined broadly, but most important for Nation Building is guardianship of sovereignty. Sovereignty assures the peoples’ ability to be self-governing, protecting their way of life, their land and natural resources, their elders and their children, their languages, their cultures, their way of being in the present and for those yet to be born.

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