Washington State University acknowledges that its locations statewide are on the homelands of Native peoples, who have lived in this region from time immemorial. Currently, there are 42 tribes, 35 of which are federally recognized that share traditional homelands and waterways in what is now Washington State. Some of these are nations and confederacies that represents multiple tribes and bands. The University expresses its deepest respect for and gratitude towards these original and current caretakers of the region. As an academic community, we acknowledge our responsibility to establish and maintain relationships with these tribes and Native peoples, in support of tribal sovereignty and the inclusion of their voices in teaching, research and programming. Washington State University established the Office of Tribal Relations and Native American Programs to guide us in our relationship with tribes and service to Native American students and communities. We also pledge that these relationships will consist of mutual trust, respect, and reciprocity. Read the full text here.
WSU is a public research university committed to its land-grant heritage, its formal Memorandum of Understanding with Native American tribes in the region, and tradition of service to society. DTC is committed to ensuring that we build bridges with Native communities in the Pacific Northwest as part of a decolonizing process through which WSU can confront its roots as an instrument of settler colonialism.
The Washington State University Pullman campus is located on the homelands of the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) Tribe and the Palus people. The Tri-Cities campus is located on the shared traditional homelands of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. The Vancouver campus is located on the homelands of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Peoples of the Lower Columbia Valley. We acknowledge their presence here since time immemorial and recognize their continuing connection to the land, to the water, and to their ancestors.
Black Lives Matter.
DTC affirms this universal truth, and stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others lost through police brutality and pervasive, systemic racism. We understand that silence is complicity in the continuation of long-standing violence against Black people. We won’t be silent. Working in an institution built on the homelands of the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) Tribe and Palus peoples, and part of a predominantly white faculty and staff, we recognize that structural inequities permeate all facets of our lives, work, pedagogies, and productions. As media and digital technology creators, educators, artists, designers, coders and producers we see how the typical representations of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other marginalized communities uphold, reinforce, and perpetuate violence, systemic racism, and structures of inequality. We know that technologies are often perceived as neutral, when in fact they can and often do codify and systemize the prejudice of its creators. We are committed to revealing, challenging, and changing the inherent bigotry, racist structures, and biased systems (technological and otherwise) that uphold oppressive frameworks in our classrooms, labs, studios, and in the core of our department documents, policies, and procedures. Hate and racism have no place in the dialogue we foster and the world we seek to build.
As a department, DTC pledges to update our department mission and vision to not only commit to diversity and inclusion but also, and importantly, to explicitly incorporate anti-racist pedagogies, scholarship, and practices while decentering whiteness in all facets of the department.
- Ensure that the work of Black, Brown, and Indigenous scholars, artists, activists, and media producers is part of all of our classes.
- Build professional connections and partnerships with Black, Brown, and Indigenous industry, non-profit, and community groups to provide activities, internships, and mentorship opportunities for students.
- Support, organize, and participate in extracurricular activities on campus and regionally that broaden faculty and student understandings of racism and oppression.
- Provide support for Black, Brown, and Indigenous students to ensure their success and retention in DTC and at WSU.
- Strengthen faculty and staff recruitment process to ensure we reach Black, Brown, and Indigenous candidates across all positions and provide direct support including mentoring to ensure retention.
We recognize that this is a continual process. We are committed to listening and learning from others who certainly know more than us about structural inequities and to revise these pledges as we learn from our failures.