Daniel Wildcat: Haskell University deserves adequate resources

A historic photo of Haskell Stadium at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas. Photo from Facebook

Daniel R. Wildcat, a member of the Muscogee Nation and a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University, sees a brighter future for the tribal college in Kansas despite a lack of adequate funding:
A new visionary campus masterplan is almost complete. The campus that we - the United States of America and our tribal nations - require and deserve will cost at least one hundred million dollars to build. There will be fitting homes for a business and tribal management professional school, the environmental science program, a research center, interdisciplinary programs that will be models of project-based learning and exercises of Indigenuity, and new spaces for students that strengthen Haskell’s learning-community character.

We must enact this education vision for our tribal nations and youth for a host of reasons. First, the historic 118-year-old Hiawatha Hall stands at the center of campus in its current state as an uninhabitable boarded-up HAZMAT site. A beautiful building that should be a shining star for the campus has stood unusable for over a decade - a wasted space and a disgrace.

Haskell’s baccalaureate environmental science program is located in the sixty-year-old Sequoyah Hall, where classes are held in remodeled, but still inadequate, high school labs and classrooms. Imagine a baccalaureate science program where: storage space for equipment and supplies is inadequate, no student study or team project work areas exist, and faculty lack their own office/research spaces. Such is the case at Haskell.

In addition to the inadequacy of Sequoyah Hall, Pontiac Hall and Minoka Hall currently serve multipurpose functions, but are so decrepit that the cost-effectiveness of renovation compared to new construction is debatable. This is to say nothing of the inadequacy of the instructional spaces in the School of Business (Blue Eagle Hall) and Parker Hall the home to both the Indigenous and American Indian Studies program and School of Education, which offer baccalaureate degrees.

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Daniel R. Wildcat: Haskell University Deserves Better (Indian Country Today 2/29)

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