Students can thrive at native summit

By Joselin Alcantara - Staff Reporter

Native American high school and college students are invited to the Second Annual Native Student Success Summit. 

The summit will take place on Wednesday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Buildings 2 and 7.

Admission is free but participants must register beforehand on Highline's website under the Native Student Success Summit link, 

High school students will also need a parent-signed photo release form, which can be found on the summit link. 

High school students will also be provided with lunch and local transportation.

The founders of this summit are Sara Marie Ortiz, who manages the Highline Public Schools Native Education program, and Tanya Powers, director of Workforce and Baccalaureate Education at Highline. 

Ortiz said she was inspired to start this summit after seeing the success of other summits serving Latinx, Black, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students.

The vision for this summit is to create a space where students can connect with their tribes and the native community and learn about their roots, Ortiz said.

This year's summit is different from last year's because it is more focused on community, identity, and culture instead of just education, Ortiz said. 

Some of the keynote speakers will be Swil Kanim, a violinist, storyteller, actor and member of the Lummi Nation; and Matt Remle, a writer/editor for the Last Real Indians and member of the Standing Rock Lakota.

There will be an elders panel in order to honor them and have students connect with them, Ortiz said. 

The goal for this summit is to have "students feel supported, loved, have their voice heard and to feel connected to their tribes. To keep them going and hold them accountable to their responsibilities and make them feel honored," Ortiz said. 

Ortiz said she hopes that in the future Highline will have a Native American student center so they can have a space to come together, connect and learn about their culture. 

Students can thrive at native summit

Native American high school and college students are invited to the Second Annual Native Student Success Summit.

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