In late June, the Native American Retention Initiative and the Department of Native American Studies hosted the Native Graduation Celebration. This yearly event is an opportunity to recognize Native students as well as students from the Native American Studies Department that are graduating each academic year.
This year, approximately 20 graduates were recognized by a crowd of more than 200 family, friends, faculty and staff. Graduates were called onto the stage and bequeathed a Pendleton blanket, a traditional gift found in many Native American graduation celebrations.
The celebration was opened by local community member Danny Manning and later, the graduates were honored with a song from Nathan Blacksmith. The graduating students also got to hear from esteemed, retiring faculty member Ines Hernandez Avila.
We are thankful to all the community members that came out to celebrate these wonderful students and their accomplishments – congratulations to the class of 2023!