Power, Purpose, Planning at Native Student Success Summit

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2018-06-29T14:24:49+00:00 March 20, 2018|News|
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Power, Purpose, Planning at Native Student Success Summit

  • Presenters for the 2017 Native Student Success Summit

Free and Open to All

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
8:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
Highline’s main campus

Summit Threads: #Power, #Purpose, #Planning, #Perseverance

The Native Student Success Summit is designed to inspire and empower high school* and college students to be successful in higher education and beyond. Registration is required.

During the free summit, participants will

  • Find encouragement and support with tools and resources for Native student success and leadership development.
  • Gain an increased awareness of ways to identify, articulate and work toward actionable goals for personal and communal success in culturally rooted ways.
  • Make meaningful connections and gain a deeper sense of community with other Native student leaders in Western Washington.

See the full program agenda and learn about the summit’s master of ceremonies, Tommy Segundo.

The summit for American Indian and Alaska Native students is the result of a partnership between Highline Public Schools and Highline College.

Participating as presenters and organizers are Native educators, professionals and community leaders from the school districts of Auburn, Federal Way, Kent, Renton and Seattle; Green River College; and Seattle Indian Health Board.

Sara Marie Ortiz

Sara Marie Ortiz

Sara Marie Ortiz and Dr. Tanya Powers are the founders and lead organizers of the summit, now in its third year.

Ortiz is a member of Pueblo of Acoma, a tribal community in New Mexico, and manages Highline Public Schools’ Native Education Program.

“There’s nothing quite like the Native Student Success Summit. We’ve worked hard to create an opportunity that isn’t just about college or career access and success for Native students alone,” said Ortiz.

“We see it as an expansive, immersive, challenging, intergenerational learning opportunity; a chance to connect with each other, ask tough questions, challenge norms, have critical conversations and feel truly supported at the summit and far beyond by a powerful network of Native scholars, professionals, artists, advocates and visionary Native change-makers. This has never been more urgently needed in these very complex times.”

 Tanya Powers

Tanya Powers

Powers is mixed heritage St. Lawrence Island Yupik/Siberian Yupik and Irish and is the director of Workforce and Baccalaureate Education at Highline College.

“This is our third annual Native Student Success Summit and we are pleased to have this event where we can nurture culture, identity and community,” said Powers, who recently defended her dissertation — “Giving Back, a Retention Influence of Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Women Community College Students” — at Seattle University, completing her doctorate in educational leadership.

According to Powers, the two were inspired by other successful Highline College events for students of color, such as the Black and Brown Male Summit, the Y.E.L.L. Female Summit and the Latinx Summit. Approximately 100 students are expected to attend.

Questions?

Dr. Tanya Powers: tpowers@highline.edu or (206) 592-3662
Sara Marie Ortiz: sara.ortiz@highlineschools.org or (206) 631-3162

*For high school students, lunch will be provided and local transportation assistance is available. Call for details. High school student should download and have a parent sign the photo release form and bring it to the summit.

Registration



Agenda


Read about the speakers.

8:30–8:50 a.m.: Registration
Location: Building 7

8:50–9:05 a.m.: Welcome
Location: Building 7

9:05–9:45 a.m.: Morning Keynote Speaker: Calina Lawrence (Suquamish)
“Purpose: Empowerment and Connection through Music and Activism”

9:45–9:55 a.m.: Break

9:55–10:55 a.m.: Sessions: Round 1

#Power
Session Lead: Roger Fernandes (Lower Elwha)
Facilitator: Nestor Enguerra
Location: Building 8, Mt. Skokomish room

#Purpose
Session Lead: Calina Lawrence (Suquamish)
Facilitator: Sara Marie Ortiz
Location: Building 7

#Planning: Highline College Campus Tour and Scavenger Hunt
Session Lead: Success Coaches from Highline School District
Location: Begins in Building 8, Mt. Constance room

#Perseverance
Session Lead: Melissa Meyer
Facilitator: Amanda Rambayon
Location: Building 2

10:55–11:25 a.m.: Lunch and Panel

Student and Elder Panel Lunch with Anna Cook, Jackie Swanson, Marvin Hannah and Eric Garay
Facilitator: Sara Marie Ortiz
Location: Building 2

Career Panel Lunch with Alex Tsosie, Kyle Schierbeck, Polly Olosen and Dr. Socia Love-Thurman
Facilitator: Maxine Alex
Location: Building 8

11:35 a.m.–12:10 p.m.: Sessions: Round 2

#Power
Session Lead: Roger Fernandes (Lower Elwha)
Facilitator: Nestor Enguerra
Location: Building 8, Mt. Skokomish room

#Purpose
Session Lead: Damen-Bell-Holter (Haida)
Facilitator: Dr. Tanya Powers
Location: Building 7

#Planning: Highline College Campus Tour and Scavenger Hunt
Session Lead: Success Coaches from Highline School District
Location: Begins in Building 8, Mt. Constance room

#Perseverance
Session Lead: Melissa Meyer
Facilitator: Amanda Rambayon
Location: Building 2

12:10–12:45 p.m.: Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Damen-Bell-Holter (Haida)
“#Purpose”

12:45–1 p.m.: Validation and Closing (for high school students who need to leave)

1–2 p.m.: Sessions: Round 3

#Power
Session Lead: Russell Brooks (Southern Cheyenne)
Facilitator: Dr. Tanya Powers
Location: Building 7

#Perseverance
Session Lead: Seattle Indian Health Baord
Facilitator: Rosa Garcia
Location: Building 22, Room 104

Master of Ceremonies: Tommy Segundo (Haida/Katzie)


Tommy SegundoTommy Segundo was born and raised in South Seattle. He comes from the Haida Nation of Southeast Alaska on his mother’s side and Katzie First Nation/Filipino on his father’s side. He considers himself very much an “Urban Native.” His Haida name is Glaadaay (Big Man Inside).

Segundo earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington (Seattle campus). He is an educator, formline artist, published author, and most importantly, a father and husband.

For more than 10 years, he has dedicated his professional career to working with Native youth in the areas of education and culture, two thing he believes would have the most impact on helping our people rise up. He currently serves as a liaison for the Renton School District’s Native Education Program and works at the high school from which he graduated.

Speaker Biographies


Speakers are listed in alphabetical order. More to come as speakers are added to the summit program.

Damen Bell-HolterDamen Bell-Holter grew up in the community of Hydaburg, a small village located in southeast Alaska. He grew practicing his culture and learning to live off of the land. Bell-Holter developed a love for basketball at an early age and excelled at the game as he got older. He left home to attend a boarding school (Mount Edgecumbe High School), motivated to chase his dream of playing basketball at the collegiate and professional levels. He then went on to Ketchikan High School and eventually signed a national letter of intent to play for Oral Roberts University while becoming the first graduate of the high school to play basketball at the Division 1 level.

After four years at ORU, Bell-Holter finished his career ranked in the school’s top 10 in rebounds, blocks and wins. He was All-Conference his sophomore and senior seasons. He was named a mid-major All-American his senior year. After college, he became a professional athlete and spent time with the Boston Celtics his rookie season, becoming the first Alaskan Native to play in an NBA game.

Bell-Holter has now played in Finland, Hungary, Italy and Turkey.

Away from playing the game of basketball, Bell-Holter created his own basketball camps as a sophomore in college in the hopes of giving back to Native American communities throughout North America. He has traveled to over a dozen communities in the US and Canada. He has been able to work with thousands of Native American youth while instructing camps, giving workshops and providing keynote speeches.

He was chosen as a Nike N7 ambassador to aid and inspire the recreation and health of Native Americans.

At the Native Student Success Summit, Bell-Holter will speak on his personal journey. He will speak on his life growing up in Hydaburg to his growth as a basketball player and proud young Native man. Being a positive role model to the youth is very important to him, and he will share his personal experiences with substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide and how he was able to overcome these obstacles during his own youth.


Russell Brooks Russell Brooks (Southern Cheyenne) is the executive director of Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre. Brooks has spent the majority of his life among his Cheyenne people in Montana, but has made the greater Puget Sound area home since 2011, enjoying the artistic vibrancy of the Pacific Northwest.

Brooks attended Montana State University–Billings and received a degree in organizational communications and Native American studies. He worked with Northern Cheyenne tribal youth for years before making his way to Seattle.

He came to Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre after spending five years with the Quileute Tribe as events coordinator. He also managed the development of the Quileute’s tribal youth program and guided construction of a teen center.

He has long been invigorated by theatrical performances, taking several theater-based classes in college and attending plays wherever the opportunity presented itself. He was inspired at a young age to pursue filmmaking as long-standing Hollywood stereotypes he detested were being shattered by films such as “Powwow Highway” and “War Party,” films shot in Montana during his early teens.

Brooks is also a filmmaker and became a founding member of the award-winning Olympia Film Collective in 2012. He now serves on its board of directors.

He made a practice of scouting local theatrical plays for possible actors to include in upcoming films, believing strongly filmmaking’s best actors often come from theatrical backgrounds.

He wishes to continue creating opportunities for Native artists and actors in the performing arts, as well as for Native storytellers to unleash their creativity across mediums, blending opportunities to tell their stories and finding the necessary support to bring their vision to the greater public.


Roger FernandesRoger Fernandes is a Native American artist, storyteller and educator whose work focuses on the traditional arts, legends and teachings of the Coast Salish tribes of the Puget Sound region of Western Washington. He is a member of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe.

Fernandes has a degree in Native American studies from the Evergreen State College and a master’s degree in whole systems design from Antioch University. He also studied graphic design at the University of Washington. He has focused on learning, creating and teaching Coast Salish art for the past 20 years.


 Calina LawrenceAn enrolled member of the Suquamish Tribe, Calina Lawrence was born and raised within her Indigenous culture in Washington state. Her vocal journey began at a young age, lending her voice to the preservation of Suquamish traditions. Her involvement in music has led her in activism in the cities of Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle. In 2016, Lawrence graduated with honors from the University of San Francisco, attaining her bachelor’s degree in performing arts and social justice, with a music concentration.

The art-ivist has recently spent time traveling the country in advocacy for Native treaty rights and the “Mni Wiconi” (Water Is Life) movement led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as well as the “NoLNG253” movement led by the Puyallup Tribe. Since graduation, Lawrence has released her debut single, “Alcatraz,” a folk song (January 2017), followed by the release of “Generations” (July 2017), a hip-hop track featuring 14-year-old Lil Deya. Most recently, she has released “Don’t Count Me Out” (December 2017) featuring indigenous vocalist Desirae Harp. Lawrence will be releasing her first album in 2018. Based out of San Francisco and Seattle, Lawrence travels the nation pursuing her career as a musician/activist in the genre of RezSoul, combining genres of traditional folk, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, soul and spoken word poetry.


Melissa MeyerMelissa Meyer is a proud member of the Tsimshian Nation, Eagle clan, from a northern fishing village in British Columbia, Canada, called Lax kw’alaams, or Island of Wild Roses. She has been married into the Nuxalk Nation from Bella Coola, British Columbia, to Mike Schooner, double headed Eagle Clan for more than 22 years. They have two children and live in Tacoma.

Meyer is a life coach, providing training and coaching support for wellness and healing for more than 14 years. She travelled throughout communities in British Columbia and the Yukon, empowering folks to embrace their well-being. Now she practices here in Washington under her new business name Aam Goot (Good Heart) Healing and Consulting.

Along with her children, Meyer is an active dance member of the tribal dance group, Tsimshian Haayuuk Dancers. She can often be found hiking the trails and parks of Washington and wild harvesting local plants and, weather permitting, swimming outdoors in lakes or the ocean.