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Konaway Vision

Through an intergenerational family model, Konaway Nika Tillicum is a culturally responsive academic program that empowers Native youth to access higher education and navigate educational systems, encourages self-determination, and strengthens critical thinking by deeply connecting them to a community that values their aspirations and the resilience of our seven generations.

Konaway History

Konaway Nika Tillicum became a reality when Southern Oregon University teamed up with Rogue Community College and the University of Oregon and held a Native American Planning Symposium to develop an annual residential camp for Native American Youth. Native leaders from all over Oregon (including representatives from the nine federally recognized tribes) attended the symposium and gave their input.

Konaway Nika Tillicum, which means "All My Relations" in Chinook Trade Jargon, is an exploration of a broad range of classes, lectures, cultural experiences and recreational activities for Native American students.  

Konaway is a completely self-supported program, generating funds each year through grants, donations, and fundraisers. We attempt to provide scholarships for all of our students at $825 per child. Each household is required to pay a $75.00 fee upon student acceptance, which will reserve their spot in the academy. Many students may be eligible for state, federal or tribal funding. Please inquire with the appropriate agencies as to whether your child is eligible.

Students selected for the eight-day residential academy on the Southern Oregon University campus in Ashland will interact with other Native American students from throughout Oregon while being challenged by creative, imaginative instructors and activities. Students will spend time with tribal elders and tribal leaders during classes, lectures, and outdoor presentations.

The Program

Students arrive Saturday afternoon for check-in and orientation. On Saturday and Sunday students participate in outdoor cultural experiences. Classes begin on Monday and continue through Friday. Each student's daily schedule includes four one-hour and twenty-minute classes plus special presentations. Konaway Nika Tillicum students choose course offerings from Humanities, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Fine and Performing Arts, and Cultural classes. After-class programs coordinate with in-class activities to include supervised recreation as well as cultural events. Special events include attending an Oregon Shakespeare Festival play. 

Residential Life

A highly qualified administrative and residential staff closely supervise the small living groups. Close friendships abound at Konaway Nika Tillicum for Native American students from throughout Oregon. The last day consists of a presentation of graduation certificates and a closing ceremony for students and their families.

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Who Can Apply?

Konaway is for students in grades completed 7-12. All Native American students in that grade range are invited to apply.

How much does the academy cost?

Konaway is a completely self-supported program, generating funds each year through grants, donations, and fundraisers. We attempt to provide scholarships for all of our students at $825 per child. Each household is required to pay a $75.00 fee upon student acceptance, which will reserve their spot in the academy. Many students may be eligible for state, federal or tribal funding. Please inquire with the appropriate agencies as to whether your child is eligible.

Criteria

To be considered for Konaway Nika Tillicum, students must show a2015 KNT Brent 14 personal commitment to attend, participate and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students must have completed grades 7 thorugh 12. Students may be recommended for admission by parents, teachers, school personnel, tribal leaders or other knowledgeable adults.Students must also provide evidence of at least one of the following:

  • Leadership ability.
  • Special talent.
  • Ability in fine and performing arts.
  • Creative or productive thinking ability.

Application Process

Complete Applications Include:

  1. 100% completion of Application. Please note: Konaway Staff will not review applications if there is missing information. A complete application includes all of the components listed below. Please be certain the essay/student statement is complete.

    1. Student statement prompt: Please tell us why you would like to attend Konaway Nika Tillicum. 

  2. Most recent report card with at least a 2.5 GPA or equivalent in whatever form your school reports progress at school. If you have not received a spring report card yet, a fall report card will be adequate. Please upload this into the appropriate spot in the application. 

  3. One letter of recommendation. Letter must be from a current teacher or school administrator. Letter of recommendations may not be from family members, family friends or from the student themselves. During the application process, you will fill out the name and email of your recommender. Upon inputting their information, the system will automatically email the recommenders of your request for them to fill out a digital recommendation letter. Please let them know to be on the look out for the email with instructions. From our experience, sometimes it lands in the Spam folder.If your recommender does not utilize email or is having issues getting the email in their inbox, please have them contact our office and we can help. 

  4. The application deadline is May 11, 2020

Main Program (completed grades 7-12)

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Tuition Assistance Information

Tuition assistance is available through your local tribal organizations, Urban Indian organizations, Title V, Tribal Educational Departments, Indian Educational Programs and the Johnson O'Malley program.

If you are not affiliated with an Oregon tribe, please contact our office for a tuition assistance application