Our Story

our history

With its main campus located on the Lummi Indian Reservation in Washington State, 20 miles south of the Canadian border, Northwest Indian College is the only accredited tribal college serving the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. NWIC grew from the Lummi Indian School of Aquaculture, founded in 1973, a single-purpose training program developed to prepare technicians for employment in Indian-owned and operated fish and shellfish hatcheries throughout the United States and Canada.

In 1983, the Lummi Indian Business Council recognized the need for a more comprehensive post-secondary institution for tribal members, and the college was chartered as Lummi Community College, an Indian-controlled, comprehensive two-year college, designed to serve the post-secondary educational needs of Indian people living in the Pacific Northwest. In June of 1988, Lummi Community College was approved as a candidate for accreditation by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWASC) and, on January 20, 1989, in acknowledgement of its wider mandate to serve Native people through the Northwest, Lummi Community College changed its name to the Northwest Indian College.

Northwest Indian College was granted accreditation at the associate level by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), effective September 1993. In 2010, NWIC became accredited at the baccalaureate level and now offers four bachelor’s degrees. The College’s educational programs have been approved by the US Department of Education, Veteran’s Administration, and the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board for the administration of financial assistance for eligible student. Northwest Indian College is a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the American Association of Community Colleges, and the American Council on Education.

Our President

Justin P. Guillory, PhD, was appointed as the President of NWIC in July 2012, after serving for more than five years as NWIC’s Dean of Academics and Distance Learning and Dean of Extended Campus Sites. 

Dr. Guillory’s previous professional experience includes serving as the site manager for the NWIC Nez Perce extended campus site on the Nez Perce reservation in Lapwai, Idaho, and as the graduate assistant/mentor program coordinator for the Native American Student Center within the Office of Multicultural Student Services at Washington State University.

Dr. Guillory is a descendant of the Nez Perce Tribe and also has African American and Hispanic ancestry.  He received a full-ride football scholarship to Eastern Washington University where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1998 after which he attended graduate school at Washington State University and earned a Master of Arts in Educational Administration in 2000 and consequently a PhD. in Higher Education Administration in 2008.

He is married to Sunny (Walker) Guillory, NWIC’s financial literacy coordinator. They have four children.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

NWIC is guided by its mission, vision, and core values, which are:

NWIC Mission Statement: 
  • Through education, Northwest Indian College promotes Indigenous self-determination and knowledge.
NWIC Vision Statement:  
  • We are committed to our students, the Tribes we serve, and advancing Tribal sovereignty for the protection and enhancement of our homelands and future generations.
NWIC Core Values:
  • Sәla-lexʷ: Our strength comes from the old people. From them we receive our teachings and knowledge and the advice we need for our daily lives.
  • Schtәngәxʷәn: We are responsible to protect our territory. This means we take care of our land and water and everything that is on it and in it.
  • Xwlәmi-chosәn: Our culture is our language. We should strengthen and maintain our language.
  • Leng-e-sot: We take care of ourselves, watch out for ourselves and love and take care of one another.
  • Xaalh: Life balance/sacred

Our Academic Programs

NWIC offers bachelor's, associate's, and certificate programs, as well as awards of completion in specialized areas of high need in tribal communities.

Bachelor’s Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts in Tribal Governance & Business Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Native Environmental Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in Community Advocates and Responsive Education (CARE) in Human Service

Associate’s Programs:

  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Public and Tribal Administration
  • General Direct Transfer Degree
  • Life Sciences
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Chemical Dependency Studies
  • Individualized Programs

Awards of Completion:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Initial Early Childhood Education Certificate
  • Short Early Childhood Education Certificate of Specialization
  • Tribal Casino Management
  • Tribal Museum Studies

Our Locations

NWIC serves students throughout the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and beyond. In addition to the main campus, located on the Lummi Reservation, the College has six full service extended campus sites located at Muckleshoot, Nez Perce, Nisqually, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Swinomish, and Tulalip.

Services and Learning

Contact Us

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Contact Information:

Northwest Indian College

2522 Kwina Road

Bellingham Washington 98226

Phone: (360) 676-2772

Email: info@nwic.edu 

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Northwest Indian College has made reasonable effort to provide accurate information on this website. However, the College reserves the right to make appropriate changes to all content, including forms, photos, calendars, policies, procedures, program requirements, courses, and fees without notice. All information contained on this website is subject to change without notice by the College President and the Board of Trustees.