The Native Studies Leadership Program is the journey to self-determination and reclaiming our cultural sovereignty. Traditional knowledge is our canoe. It moves us away from the western genre that has shaped and determined a false sense of “who we are” and towards our original identity – an identity that is formed by sacred histories, language, origin stories, and the heroes who continue to defend our families and our homelands.
Students who aspire to become leaders in their own communities will bring their ancestors’ skills from traditional times into contemporary settings to achieve strong and sound sovereignty.
The Coast Salish people have values that are imprinted from an early age. These values of endurance, honor, integrity, respect, and humility allow leaders to make informed decisions based on quality knowledge that supports indigenousness, sovereignty, and theprotection of our homelands.
The Coast Salish are very intentional in teaching foundational knowledge to their young leaders. In this program, students developthe ability to differentiate between their inherent birthright and the acquired rights conferred by the federal government.
Traditional Coast Salish leaders made great sacrifices to defend their inherent sovereignty. Through the language and teachings of their elders, these leaders developed skills, values, and knowledge that ensured the survival of our inherent rights.
Native Studies Leadership (NSL), Department Chair