Northwest Indian College

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Northwest Indian College
Northwest Indian College logo.png
Type Tribal College
Established 1973 (1973)
President Justin Guillory, PhD
Academic staff
100 (33 full-time, 67 part-time)[1]
Undergraduates 641 (Fall 2015)[1]
Address 2522 Kwina Road, Bellingham, Washington, United States 98226
48°47′39″N 122°36′51″W / 48.79417°N 122.61417°W / 48.79417; -122.61417Coordinates: 48°47′39″N 122°36′51″W / 48.79417°N 122.61417°W / 48.79417; -122.61417
Campus urban/suburban Lummi Nation reserve
Affiliations AIHEC

Northwest Indian College, operated by the Lummi tribe of Native Americans as a tribally controlled institution of higher education, is located in Bellingham, Washington. Although the NWIC campus is located within the Lummi Nation in Washington state, the College is the only accredited Tribal College or University serving reservation communities of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.[2]


The NWIC mission is:

  • to promote Tribal self-determination through higher education and Indigenous knowledge.
  • to serve the postsecondary educational needs of Indian people living in the Pacific Northwest.[2]


The NWIC began in 1973 as the Lummi Indian School of Aquaculture, which was established to provide local technicians for employment in Indian owned and operated fish and shellfish hatcheries in the United States and Canada. In 1983 the Lummi Nation chartered the Lummi Community College to fulfill the need for a more comprehensive post-secondary education for tribal members.[3] The Lummi Community College campaigned for accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in 1988. The Commission affirmed accreditation in 1993, and Lummi Community College became Northwest Indian College.[4] Years of expansion and dedication resulted in the college gaining accreditation as a four-year, baccalaureate degree-granting institution effective September 2008 by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.[5]


Northwest Indian College is located on the Lummi Indian Reservation in Washington State, 20 miles (32 km) from the Canada–US border. NWIC has sites at numerous tribal locations throughout the state of Washington and at the Nez Perce reservation in Idaho.[6]


NWIC's president since 2012 is Justin Guillory, a descendant of the Nez Perce Tribe from the Nez Perce Indian Reservation in Lapwai, Idaho.[7]


NWIC is a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), which is a community of tribally and federally chartered institutions working to strengthen tribal nations and make a lasting difference in the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives. NWIC was created in response to the higher education needs of American Indians. NWIC generally serves geographically isolated populations that have no other means accessing education beyond the high school level.[2]


The purpose of Northwest Indian College "is fulfilled by providing on-reservation educational opportunities, including academic, vocational, adult, continuing, cultural, recreational, and in-service education leading to appropriate certificates and degrees (undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees when such degree programs are accredited) in accordance with the needs of individual tribal communities."[8]


The College maintains four core Lummi Beliefs:[8]

Our strength comes from the old people. From them we receive our teachings and knowledge and the advice we need for our daily lives.
We are responsible to protect our territory. This means we take care of our land and the water and everything that is on it and in it.
Our culture is our language. We should strengthen and maintain our language.
We take care of ourselves, watch out for ourselves, and love and take care of each other.


Scholarships are available through the American Indian College Fund (AICF) and the NWIC Foundation.[9]


  1. ^ a b "College Navigator - Northwest Indian College". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2016-09-22. 
  2. ^ a b c American Indian Higher Education Consortium
  3. ^ "General Information". Northwest Indian College. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "About Northwest Indian College". Northwest Indian College. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Northwest Indian College announces successful accreditation as four-year degree granting institution". Northwest Indian College. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Northwest Indian College Sites". Northwest Indian College. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Our Story". Northwest Indian College. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  8. ^ a b "Strategic Plan". Northwest Indian College. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Financial Resources". Northwest Indian College. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 

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