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Sapsik’ʷałá, which translates to “teacher” in Ichishkíin/Sahaptin, represents our program’s cultural values for self-determination of education for Tribal people. The Sapsik’ʷałá Program is based on the belief that Education Strengthens our People. Our program began in 2002 to address the dire need for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) teachers and to date has 89 alumni from 42 Tribes teaching in Tribal communities. Our program collaborates with all Nine Federally Recognized Sovereign Indian Nations of Oregon and the UOTeach master’s program to deliver a pathway for Indigenous people to become teachers within their communities, and to provide a cohort-within-a-cohort model for program participants to obtain Oregon teacher licensure and Indigenous methodologies for teaching. Under the guidance of our Tribal Advisory Council consisting of education representatives from the Nine Federally Recognized Tribes of Oregon, we aim to provide a culturally sustaining model to support Tribal Nations’ Indigenous and Treaty rights with an emphasis on growing our own Native educators.
Sápsikw’at xtúwit naamí tananmamíyau (Ichishkíin) – Education Strengthens our People
Interpretation and recordings by Arlita Rhoan and Suzie Slockish (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs)
The University of Oregon is located on Kalapuya ilihi, the traditional indigenous homeland of the Kalapuya people. Following treaties between 1851 and 1855, Kalapuya people were dispossessed of their indigenous homeland by the United States government and forcibly removed to the Coast Reservation in Western Oregon. Today, Kalapuya descendants are primarily citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and they continue to make important contributions to their communities, to the UO, to Oregon, and to the world.
In following the Indigenous protocol of acknowledging the original people of the land we occupy, we also extend our respect to the nine federally recognized Indigenous nations of Oregon: the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and the Klamath Tribes. We express our respect to the many more tribes who have ancestral connections to this territory, as well as to all other displaced Indigenous peoples who call Oregon home.