Native Village
Youth and Education news
September 2010 Volume 2

Sapsik’walá Project graduates 16 Native Americans set to teach in Native schools
Condensed by Native Village

Oregon Jacintha "Jay" Stanley, Navajo,had never gone to a non-Native school. Then last summer she attended the University of Oregon. Through UO's Sapsik'walá Project, Stanley learned to handle tthe culture shock.  Now she has completed her journey by receiving a master's degree.

Stanley and 15 other Native students were awarded master's degrees in education outside the Many Nations Longhouse at UO. President Richard Lariviere, Patsy Martin Whitefoot, (Yakama) and the National Indian Education Association president addressed the graduates and their families.

"To me, success means knowing who you are and where you come from, so you know where you are going in the future," says Stanley. "I want to help my future students to have a good hold of their roots so they can build great futures."

After graduation, Stanley will tryitm to her high school in Kayenta, Ariz. to teach children in a Native school.

Sapsik'walá is a Sahaptian word meaning "teacher. Students who earn Sapsik'walá Project scholarships receive tuition and fees, a monthly stipend, and a book allowance.

The project trains Native American students to become professional educators. After graduation, they must return to their communities and teach at least a year in program that benefits Indian people.

"This year's graduates will be teaching in the fall at schools ranging from the Nixawii Tribal School on the Umatilla Reservation, the Muckleshoot Tribal School in Auburn, Wash. and other Indian schools in Oklahoma, Nevada, and Arizona," says Allison Ball, director of the Sapsik'walá Project.

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