NWIC students honor MLK by restoring salmon habitat

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a nationally recognized day of service where volunteers across the country give back to their communities to commemorate and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Students at Northwest Indian College (NWIC) served in kind by participating in an event coordinated by Lummi Natural Resources, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement, Washington Conservation Corps, and the college’s Indigenous Service Learning Office.

Dr. King once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

On Jan. 23, two days after the official MLK Jr. Day, 16 NWIC students gave a clear response to King’s question. Through their diligent efforts, they were able to plant 200 trees at Kwina Sough to restore salmon habitat.

Student Highlight: Jessica Harshman

Student’s love of traditional medicine inspires educational pursuits

Jessica Harshman, Lummi, is 19 years old. She started out as a running start student at Northwest Indian College (NWIC) and is less than a year away from receiving her direct transfer associate degree from the college. Jessica has dreams to take her education to the next level and to use her education to help the traditions of her tribe thrive.

“I want to become a well-educated tribal member so I can work for my tribe to help make it a better place,” Jessica said. “I also want to show others that it is possible to go further than high school. They can become anything that they choose to be, not just what others say they can be. I was always told that your education is something that nobody can take from you.”

NWIC department establishes committee to guide work

by Gail Julius, NWIC Traditional Plants & Foods Program Assistant

Northwest Indian College’s Cooperative Extension Office currently has three community education programs that serve the Lummi Community: Cultural Arts, Financial Literacy and Traditional Plants & Foods.

The department recently decided to form the Lummi Wellness Committee (the name may change after first meeting), which will guide the work of the department in the Lummi Community. Each member will provide new insight and fresh ideas that will allow the department to better meet the needs of the community.

Committee members were invited to join the group based on their knowledge and commitment to the Lummi Community and their familiarity with the families or students the department serves. The invitation was created by Edna Jefferson and Sunny Guillory.

Recipe of the Month: Cristoni with Sautéed Nettles

Gail Julius, a Lummi Tribal member and Northwest Indian College Traditional Plants & Foods Program Assistant (part of the Cooperative Extension Office), has committed to providing the community with a healthy recipe each month.

This month she is giving readers a modern recipe that uses a traditional food: nettles. She has also provided some tips for harvesting the potentially painful produce.

“Let’s take the ‘sting’ out of nettles and get healthy now – go nettle crazy this spring and enjoy the benefits of its valuable nutrients,” Julius said. “Stinging nettles are an excellent source of nutrients, and with so many delicious recipes, you cannot go wrong including nettles in almost any dish or drink you can think of.”

NWIC students descend on D.C.

From the inauguration, to an environmental rally, to tribal higher education funding, students got involved in the political process

The last month has been busy for Northwest Indian College (NWIC) Students, especially those who – while keeping up with their school work – decided to hop on planes headed across the country to join and observe the political process.

Students sit down with lawmakers
In early February, NWIC students headed to the nation’s capital for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) winter student congress meeting, during which “AIHEC Capitol Hill Visits 2013” also took place.

The Capitol Hill visits gave students the opportunity to sit down with and tell their stories to lawmakers and their representatives, and to ask for continued support for tribal higher education.

NWIC student Aissa Yazzie (Navajo) said the idea of speaking with these lawmakers was more than a little intimidating.

NWIC’s fall 2012 President’s, Dean’s lists

Congratulations, Northwest Indian College students for your outstanding work so far this academic year. Students who made NWIC’s President’s and Dean’s lists for fall quarter 2012 are included below. 

In order to make the President’s List, students had to complete 12 or more credits (not including classes graded S/U, F or I) and earn a grade point average of 4.0. The following students made the President’s List:

Sweet Potatoes: For your Indian or your face

Gail Julius, a Lummi Tribal member and Northwest Indian College Traditional Plants & Foods Program Assistant (part of the Cooperative Extension Office), has committed to providing the community with a healthy recipe each month.

This month she is getting sweet on sweet potatoes and the nutrition they can contribute to our diets and nourishment they can provide our skin.

Lummi Elders help tackle community health questions

On Nov. 6, Northwest Indian College’s Lummi Traditional Plants & Foods program hosted a dinner and roundtable discussion called “Reclaiming our Local Food System, Back to the Basics.”

Program staff invited Elders from the Lummi community to discuss three questions: 
• What does feeding the people look like to you?
• What ways do you see families working together to feed the community?
• How do you want to be involved?

NWIC Highlight: Student determined to teach Native youth

Alisha Sellars, Shuswap/Secwepemc from British Columbia, is 21 years old, a mother of a 2-year-old son, works full time, and is a full-time Northwest Indian College (NWIC) student working toward becoming an elementary or early-education teacher.

“I’m hoping to teach in Native communities because, growing up, I only saw one Native teacher,” Sellars said. “I think it’s important for Native teachers to teach Native children because they share a sense of culture and have an extra connection to the kids and I think that extra connection helps the kids.”

NWIC men's basketball team is not afraid of tough competitors

NWIC took on the University of Alaska Anchorage on Dec. 15 and 16.

On Dec. 29, the Northwest Indian College (NWIC) men’s basketball team went toe to toe with Montana State University (MSU) in a David-and-Goliath-style match up. The NWIC Eagles were defeated 101-70, but they played a strong game and demonstrated, once again, that they aren’t the kind of players to shy away from a challenge.

While the MSU Bobcats is a Division I NCAA team representing more than 11,000 full-time-equivalent students, NWIC Eagles is a small, unaffiliated team. NWIC is a tribally-chartered school headquartered on the Lummi Nation with approximately 851 full-time-equivalent students at its seven locations on reservations throughout Washington and Idaho.