Less funding than previous years will cut the Native American outreach program nearly in half
Three days. That’s how much shorter Summer Training to Revive Indigenous Vision and Empowerment will be this summer.
Last year, between $13,000 from ASCOCC and $10,000 from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, STRIVE was able to take 13 students to COCC for seven days to acclimate them to college life, The Broadside reported on Sept. 10, 2013.
But ASCOCC’s donation was a “one-time funding,” and although other funding is coming from Warm Springs and the Minority Pipeline Grant, the trip will need to be cut to four days, according to Gina Ricketts, head of the Native American program at COCC.
“We could probably get by on $10,000,” Ricketts said. “[Cutting to four days] means less of everything: less food, less bus transportation, less salaries.”
It will also mean less field trips, which Ricketts regrets. But she and other leaders are deciding which aspects are most important. For instance, having elders from Warm Springs come out and teach students drumming is important, according to Ricketts, but taking students to Prineville reservoir to swim for an afternoon is not.
Ricketts describes STRIVE as having two aspects: The cultural aspect and the “get them into college” aspect.
STRIVE acclimates the students to a college environment and helps them feel like its a familiar place, according to Jefferson Greene, director of Culture and Heritage Youth Development at Warm Springs Reservation.
“It seems more attainable than some place that’s far off,” Greene said. “They’ve visited, they’ve eaten there, they can focus on their school and the classes.”
STRIVE also focuses on integrating students’ cultural backgrounds into their school experience. Students are led in Native American prayers before breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week they attend STRIVE.
For these reasons, Greene and Ricketts believe it’s important STRIVE continue. But they will have to develop a funding model if that is to happen.
“We do have to find a way to make this program sustainable,” Ricketts said.
Scott Greenstone | The Broadside