Clatsop Community College is the first higher education institute within the Chinook Indigenous lands to grant free tuition to Chinook Indian Nation members. On Saturday, May 6th, during the North Coast Inclusion Seminar hosted at the CCC campus, CCC President Chris Breitmeyer formally announced that the college will grant members of the Chinook Indian Nation free tuition in the form of a tuition waiver as done for other federally recognized tribes and that the Chinook Nation deserves the same respect as all other federally recognized tribes, a status that the Chinook Indian Nation has fought to achieve for over 20 years. Members of the Chinook Nation may take advantage of this tuition waiver by showing their Chinook Indian Nation membership card when applying and registering at CCC. A soft implementation of the tuition waiver was put into effect this past spring term with some Chinook Nation members taking advantage of it.
Rachel Cushman, Secretary/Treasurer of the Chinook Indian Nation Tribal Council, gave a welcome and land acknowledgement address at the beginning of the North Coast Inclusion Seminar followed by President Breimeyer’s announcement.
“A lot of institutions are granting in-state tuition to tribal members regardless of residency, so if you’re from one of the 574 federally recognized tribes, you get in-state tuition and access to grants; we don’t.” said Rachel. “By providing free tuition, Clatsop Community College will change the lives of so many Chinookans who have already eagerly signed up and will set them up for a future many thought they would never have. As a mother and an academic, this is an incredible victory.”
“It is our responsibility to do better by our indigenous communities and we are proud to support the Chinook Indian Nation in this way,” said President Breitmeyer. “We know we have done the right thing and encourage other higher ed institutions to follow suit.”