Tribes and a university improve ties

  Northwest Indian tribes have an ally in Washington State University, a supporter of Native American studies since 1970. Last November, 10 tribes and the university set up an advisory board to cooperate on education and research issues, such as saving Pacific Northwest salmon, formerly a critical part of many tribal cultures. The agreement creates "a partnership to improve life on reservations," says Aaron Miles, a WSU recruiting official and Nez Perce tribal member. The board will study how WSU can help develop reservation schools and nursing programs. The university, including the main Pullman campus and three branches, has 20,500 students, including 361 tribal members. The main campus sits on former Nez Perce land and is near other reservations, such as the Coeur d'Alene, the Yakama and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. Tribal chairmen sit on the board and meet with WSU president Sam Smith twice a year to define common interests.

For information, write Paul Orozco at Washington State University, Native American Student Center, P.O. Box 642314, Pullman, WA 99164-2314, or call 509/335-5847.