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Tribal Communities

A view of a bay with bright blue water in Hawai'i, taken from the Ala Kahakai Trail.

A biological, cultural approach to conservation begins at home – and online

Cayla “La” Crivello wanted to find a way to impact her community without having to leave it. What she found was Oregon State University Ecampus and an environmental sciences degree that she could complete without having to leave Hawai’i. And now? She’s engaging with her local and state government and working in conservation.

Samantha Chisholm Hatfield sits on a traditional tribal blanket in a traditional garment, holding a fan made of feathers.

Providing support comes second to understanding the needs of Native American students

Through Dr. Samantha Chisholm Hatfield’s own rigorous education and personal experience, she’s helped build a support network for Oregon State’s Indigenous students. And she serves as a point of connection for those students, including those who may never meet her in person because she knows how essential that feeling of belonging can be to student success.

A black sign in gold lettering that reads that Oregon State University, which serves Native and Indigenous students through online education and support

Serving tribal communities through online education

New trends are emerging in online education that require both our attention and a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. At Oregon State University Ecampus, we’re starting to see more traditionally diverse students choose online education. This, along with a leadership-driven commitment to repair and rebuild relationships with tribal communities, led to the launch of our Ecampus Tribal Communities Initiative in 2019.

Luhui Whitebear, the assistant director of Oregon State University's Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, stands amid a group of trees on campus.

Paying it forward to benefit Indigenous students

Luhui Whitebear has been closely connected to Oregon State University’s Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws in different ways during her academic career. While pursuing an anthropology bachelor’s degree online with Oregon State Ecampus, she would drop in whenever she came to campus to pick up books. Now, as assistant director of the Ina Haws, she is paying forward the guidance, nurturing and sense of belonging she received as a student.

Portrait of Marleigh Perez, director of student success for Oregon State University Ecampus

Building a sense of community among online Native American students

The college experience is difficult for many first-generation students to navigate. When you add distance learning to the equation, it can be so overwhelming that underrepresented students often drop out or are too apprehensive to even start. At Oregon State University Ecampus, Marleigh Perez is dedicated to changing that experience for students who learn online. She supports and advocates for Native American students who learn online with OSU.

Eddie Rodriguez, student success coach for Oregon State University Ecampus

Life experience helps success coach support Native American students

College students face a variety of challenges, from finding the right academic support to time management. As a first-generation college student and graduate, Eddie Rodriguez faced these challenges and others firsthand. Now, the sense of empathy and pride he feels as a success coach at Oregon State University Ecampus – including for students from Native American communities – inspires him to serve in this role every day.

Joe Peters, Oregon State Ecampus Master of Natural Resources graduate

A Native American tribal voice in a global online classroom

After earning a graduate certificate online with OSU Ecampus, Joe Peters enrolled in OSU’s Master of Natural Resources degree program. The Class of 2019 graduate says the online program became an opportunity for him to advance his career and offer a local Native American perspective to a virtual classroom of students worldwide.

Reclaiming tribal histories, one page at a time

A Grand Ronde tribal member, Native American anthropologist and educator, David Lewis is committed to shining a light on our nation’s forgotten and suppressed tribal histories, and sharing what he learns with the next generation of thinkers brings that work full circle.

Native American drum and drumbeaters

Oregon State offering enhanced support services to help Native American students earn degrees online

Oregon State University is increasing its outreach to Native American communities in Oregon and across the country by enabling tribal members to earn college degrees through OSU’s nationally ranked online programs. The new initiative is a partnership between Oregon State Ecampus – the university’s renowned online education provider – and OSU’s Office of Institutional Diversity Oregon State offering enhanced support services to help Native American students earn degrees online

Orman hugs a Native elder whom he met at the Oregon State University Native American Longhouse Eena Haws.

Environmental sciences online alum finds support, family with on-campus Native community

Orman Morton III felt at home at OSU’s Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws, building on the virtual connections he had made with the university’s indigenous community as an online student.