Daily Herald: UVU Important for Native American Summit

The partnership between the Division of Indian Affairs and Utah Valley University has provided important stability for the Governor’s Native American Summit, reports the Daily Herald.

Six years ago, UVU began hosting the Governor’s Native American Summit. Following the 13th annual summit, the Daily Herald talked with UVU and division officials about the partnership that has helped the event remain viable.

“The partnership with Utah Valley University is one that is incredibly valuable,” said Shirlee Silversmith, director of the Division of Indian Affairs. “It is a relationship that has grown into something that has become a tradition, a place where we can hold the summit in an institution that values education. It is something the tribes value as well — for their people and their children. To have this event on a campus for children to experience the classrooms and facilities, and watch other students going to school is great. We have always felt a huge welcome. Ken and his staff have been incredible. They have made the summit what it is. I value their input and support.”

Gov. Gary Herbert launched the Summit as lieutenant governor, and has continued to make it a priority to attend every year. He applauded UVU for their willingness to host it as well as their overall outreach to Native American students.

“UVU has a significant Native American program,” he said. “We thank the university for its efforts to make the Native American Summit what it has become.”

Along with the Summit session that focus on professional development, UVU also hosts a youth track that has more than 100 students from throughout the state attend.

“They bring junior high and high school students to the conference so they can rub shoulders with the others,” Ken Sekaquaptewa said. “They also have workshops of their own, including on careers, projects, things they could understand better about the tribes, their history and culture.”

You can read the whole story on the Daily Herald website. Photo in header is courtesy UVU.