Native American Student Association raises support


Courtesy of Barry Moss

Salish School of Spokane sign guides students to the building in the Shadle Park area of Spokane. The Native American Student Association collected supplies for the school in 2016.

By Shandra Haggerty, Reporter

In an effort to keep its native language alive, the Native American Student Association is collecting art supplies for the students of the Salish School of Spokane.

The Native American Student Association is an organization under the American Indian Studies Program at EWU. The  Native American and non-Native students in the club alike pride themselves on their commitment to supporting the local Native American community.

Rebecca Standiford, NASA’s public relations officer emphasized just how important the school is to the community.

“The Salish School provides an environment for a lot of students that don’t fit in elsewhere,” Standiford said. “They’re bringing back something that could within our generation be extinct and it’s starting with our kids.”

In 2016, NASA collected school supplies for the Salish School of Spokane. This year, the K-12 school is in need of art supplies for its students.

In order to provide support for the nonprofit organization, NASA is collecting art supply donations at Longhouse, EWU’s American Indian Education Center building.

Not only does the Salish School of Spokane teach its students the importance of the Salish language, but it also offers free classes to the community.

“The language revitalization program they run is so important,” Standiford said. “That’s our language. That’s our culture.”

Being a nonprofit organization, the Salish School of Spokane relies upon community partnerships and contributions like this one.

At EWU, NASA aims to encourage Native American students to be involved in their education in order to be prepared for their future careers.

According to its EWU web page, NASA provides an environment for students who are passionate about the Native American community to socialize and communicate with their peers as well as to support Native American students. “Anything you can donate is super helpful,” NASA president Alexandria Tallis said. “It’s just a really great cause.”

With the delivery of supplies on Nov. 26, NASA is accepting donations until Nov. 20. Everything art-related, from brushes to bowls, is greatly appreciated.•

“By supporting the Salish School we can bring back an entire culture,” Standiford said.  “And what is more valuable than that?”•