January 23, 2023
Testimony Needed: Native American Scholarship Program
For years, the Washington Student Association has attempted to pass legislation similar to the prosed legislation by Rep. Lekanoff. Following passage of similar programs in other states, we are seeing real movement of the program this year. The Native American Scholarship Program will provide tuition to any student who is a member of a federally recognized tribe or nation. It will also provide up to $14,000 in a living stipend to assist in the coverage of basic living needs for students. Finally, it will provide up to $500 for textbook and school needs. There is also a section on apprenticeship programs.
Native Americans have faced historical traumas that have had a lasting impact in many facets of life, including educational attainment. Historically, education was used as a “reformation” tactic to strip away Native identity and culture to whitewash the indigenous population. It was used to destroy a nations own first people by separating Native Children from their families. This legislation acknowledges the historical use of education as a weapon, the opportunity to establish truth and reconciliation regarding boarding school traumas, and facilitate change and remove stigmas of how Native Americans view education.
The Office of Government Relations is looking for one to two students who might be willing to discuss how this legislation would impact them. Personal experiences with any basic living cost insecurity or struggle to cover the cost of tuition are encouraged to share their story and how this legislation will impact you.
The legislation will be heard publicly in the House Postsecondary Education and Workforce Committee on Friday, January 27th, 2023 at 8:00am.
Testimony will be held virtually and in person and will likely be limited to 2 minutes per person. If you are interested in joining ASUW in supporting this legislation, please reach out to Alex Davidson via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text (253)-906-2539. We are happy to help craft your testimony.