Zoe Higheagle Strong. Photo: Washington State University

Zoe Higheagle Strong named to Washington State University tribal position

Zoe Higheagle Strong, a citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe, has been named executive director of tribal relations at Washington State University.

Higheagle Strong, an assistant professor of educational psychology, also will serve as director of the Plateau Center for Native American Research and Collaborations and as special assistant to the provost at WSU.

“I am honored to accept this important position at WSU that recognizes the sovereignty of Native American tribes and is focused on strengthening the education, scholarship and advancement of Native American students,” Higheagle Strong said in WSU News.

Higheagle Strong will assume her position following the retirement of Barbara Aston in January 2019. But she plans to start reaching out to tribes before then.

“This fall and winter, I plan to visit the 12 tribes that WSU has a MOU agreement with in order to strengthen the relationship and develop a collaborative vision for the Plateau Center as we move forward,” Higheagle Strong said in WSU News.

The WSU campus in Pullman is located on ceded lands of the Nez Perce Tribe. The campus in Vancouver is on the homelands of the Cowlitz Tribe.

Over in Richland, the WSU campus is ceded lands of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The Spokane campus is on territory of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, bordering the Spokane Tribe.

"Each of the tribes that are signatory to the MOU are either located within the borders of what is today the state of Washington or their aboriginal territories included areas that are now within the boundaries of the state of Washington," the Office of the Tribal Liaison states. "Their presence on this land is since time immemorial."

The 12 tribes that have signed agreements with WSU are presently based in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

Read More on the Story
Zoe Higheagle Strong to lead WSU Native American programs (WSU News August 29, 2018)

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