Northwest Indian College receives $500,000 grant

Northwest Indian College’s Coast Salish Institute was recently awarded a $500,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the continued preservation and revitalization of the Coast Salish languages and cultures.

The NEH award offer requires a 2-to-1 match, and the college is in the process of raising the $1 million necessary to secure the  grant. The funds will go toward the creation of the college’s new Coast Salish Institute (CSI) facility, applied to its construction, fixtures, furniture and equipment.

The Coast Salish Institute is the cornerstone humanities facility on Northwest Indian College’s (NWIC) campus at the Lummi Nation near Bellingham. NWIC is in the middle of a $43.9-million capital expansion campaign to transform the college into a four-year university. To date, $35 million has been pledged and six buildings have been completed. Construction of the new Coast Salish Institute is expected to begin in 2012.

“The Coast Salish Institute serves as the education and resource connection between the college and the tribal people’s historical and contemporary knowledge,” NWIC President Cheryl Crazy Bull said in a press release. “This knowledge comes from both the experience of oral tradition and from the practical application of knowledge to daily life. Through the CSI, NWIC is able to acquire knowledge and provide opportunities for students to learn about and study their tribal ways of knowing.”

The cost of the institute’s new 12,710-square-foot building will be approximately $5.5 million. The facility will include a performance space, a video production room, classrooms and communication technologies that will enable distance learning.

Founded in 1983, Northwest Indian College is the only accredited tribal college in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. NWIC has full-service extended campuses at four Washington reservations (Tulalip, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Swinomish and Muckleshoot) and one in Idaho (Nez Perce). For more information, visit

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