The Šináata scholarship ensures that the entire cost of attending Whitman College will be covered for selected students who are enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). It may also be awarded to Native American students from other parts of the Pacific Northwest who have close ties to and have demonstrated active community involvement with the CTUIR.
The cost of attendance includes tuition, room and board, books, supplies and a transportation allowance. In covering the comprehensive cost of attending Whitman, the Šináata scholarship is Whitman’s most generous scholarship.
Applying for the Šináata Scholarship
Students who wish to be considered for the Šináata scholarship should complete the following steps:
- Submit the Common App to Whitman College. For Early Decision I, apply by Nov. 15. For Early Decision II, apply by Jan. 10. And for Regular Decision, apply by Jan.15. If any of these deadlines pose a problem, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be as flexible as possible.
- All enrolled tribal members should indicate their enrollment in the Demographics section of the Common App.
- Students who are not enrolled tribal members should share information regarding their connection to the CTUIR in the application or by contacting us at email@example.com.
- Submit their FAFSA to Whitman College. This can be submitted after the application deadlines cited above.
- Submit information on any additional scholarships, including tribal scholarships, to the Financial Aid Office. This can be done any time.
Any federal grants a student qualifies for will be used to meet the cost of attending Whitman. Similarly, any outside scholarship a Šináata scholar receives will go toward meeting the cost of attending Whitman.
For any questions about applying or completing financial aid materials, contact the Admission Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing Collaboration: Why Šináata?
The Šináata scholarship honors the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla peoples and represents the close and continuing collaboration between the college and the tribes. It builds on a number of other educational initiatives developed under the framework of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that Whitman initially signed with the CTUIR in 2017 and renewed in 2022.
Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, the cultural education arm of the CTUIR, proposed the name Šináata [pronounced shin-AHH-tah] for the scholarship. Bobbie Conner, the director, explained the meaning behind it.
“This name is in the original Cayuse language and was prepared and submitted by Dr. Phillip Cash Cash, linguistic anthropologist and CTUIR member, and means ‘to seek.’ This name was recommended to provide the CTUIR and Whitman College the opportunity to actively use an Old Cayuse term in modern time as a signal that the language is still in use. It also provides an occasion to align the ancient practice of vision seeking with the pursuit of higher education, seeking knowledge, enlightenment and insight.”
According to Dr. Cash Cash, the use of Old Cayuse terms “can only help elevate a greater awareness of the Cayuse language and how it contributes to the linguistic diversity of the Plateau cultural region. It must be understood that every opportunity to use our ancestral Cayuse language advances its status from ‘extinction’ into a new kind of language use. Such use bears cultural and scientific significance that cannot be overstated given today’s historical moment.”