Collaboration between Whitman College and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has taken many forms over the past decades, including experiential learning opportunities for Whitman students, trips to the Tamástslikt Cultural Center, art workshops for youth of the CTUIR, and lectures and other educational programming provided by tribal members to the Whitman community. In 2015, the CTUIR requested that a memorandum of agreement be created to serve as a long-term guide for a partnership between Whitman College and the CTUIR.  The memorandum was signed in May 2017, and an advisory group was created to oversee Whitman's responsibilities in accordance with the memorandum.

The purpose of the Whitman College Advisory Council for Collaboration with the CTUIR (WCACCC) is to enable Whitman College to function as an effective long-term partner to the CTUIR in areas of common educational concern. The WCACCC shall be composed of administrators, staff, and faculty with knowledge of past collaborative initiatives with the CTUIR and with the capacity to communicate with a broad range of members of the campus community. At least one member of the President's Cabinet, one faculty member, and one student will be included in the advisory council.

The current members are: 

  • Cheysen Cabuyadao-Sipe '23, Chair, Indigenous People's Education and Culture Club (IPECC)
  • Kurt Hoffman, Professor of Physics and Chair of 2022-23 Climate Action workgroup
  • John Johnson, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Noah Leavitt, Director of the Career and Community Engagement Center
  • Jayden McGinty, '23 Treasurer, IPECC
  • Libby Miller, Maxey Museum Exhibitions and Collections Manager
  • Mary Raschko, Associate Dean for Faculty Development
  • Kris Surovjak, Interim Director of Admission Recruitment
  • Stan Thayne, Lecturer of Anthropology, Environmental Studies and Religion
  • Alzada ​J. ​Tipton, Provost and Dean of the Faculty

The WCACCC is charged with the following activities:

  • Respond to requests by the CTUIR to initiate projects involving Whitman College
  • Contact Whitman faculty and staff who might wish to contribute to collaborative projects
  • Assist Whitman faculty, staff, and students desiring to undertake collaborative projects with the CTUIR
  • Update the Memorandum of Agreement regularly or as needed and oversee Whitman's efforts to fulfill its responsibilities
  • Assist the Whitman Communications Department in any communications about CTUIR or its collaborative work with the College
  • All members of the Whitman College community collaborating or desiring to collaborate with the CTUIR are asked to communicate with the WCACCC. Faculty, staff, or students without prior relationships with members of the CTUIR should contact one of the members of WCACCC if they are interested in developing a project. The WCACCC will then ensure that the proper contact at CTUIR is made and facilitate an introduction. Faculty or staff with ongoing relationships with individuals or offices of the CTUIR should inform WCACCC about continuing or new projects. The purpose of this communication is to ensure a more unified and coherent effort by Whitman College to serve as a productive long-term educational partner with the CTUIR.
  • A signed copy of the Memorandum of Agreement may be found here: PDF of the signed MOA.
  • Events of 2018-19 involving Whitman-CTUIR collaboration.