Via ASUNews: Advocate for Native students honored at White House

An excerpt:

Three weeks ago Amanda Tachine received a phone call from a blocked number.

“At first I thought it might have been a telemarketing call and so I hesitated for a second,” Tachine said. “But something inside told me, ‘Mandy, you’ve got to pick up this phone. It could be important.’”

It most certainly was. The call was from the White House. They wanted Tachine and her family to come to Washington, D.C., and pick up a national award.

Tachine, a postdoctoral scholar at ASU’s Center for Indian Education, will be one of 11 young women honored Sept. 15 as “Champions of Change” by the White House in the Office of the First Lady. In addition to honoring the group for empowering their communities, the goal of the event is to inspire girls and young women to recognize their potential for leadership as educators, advocates, artists and entrepreneurs.

Among her other efforts with Native students, Tachine’s work on a two-tiered college-access mentoring program caught the eye of those organizing the Washington event.

The program will feature remarks by Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Tina Tchen, chief of staff to the first lady and executive director for the White House Council on Women and Girls; and NASA astronaut Serena Aunon. On hand will also be Tachine’s husband, her two children, her mother and her aunt.

“Amanda is a gift, and her work as a Champion of Change is fitting,” said Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy, President’s Professor, director of the Center of Indian Education and ASU’s special adviser to the president on American Indian Affairs.

To read the entire article, click here.

TEDNA’s Own Matthew Campbell Featured in Indian Country Today

An excerpt:

Matt Campbell Works the Dream Job at NARF


If you had asked Matthew Campbell when he graduated from Fort Lewis College 11 years ago if he ever imagined that he would one day work as an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, he probably would have responded with an “Are you kidding?” And yet, as he sits in his office at NARF’s Boulder, Colorado headquarters, he sees that destiny set him on his life course—that he is exactly where he is supposed to be.

Campbell, 33 and an enrolled member of the Alaska Native Village of Gambell, was born and raised in Denver. He did not get high grades in high school. He considers himself lucky to have gained entrance into the Durango, Colorado liberal arts college, where he earned a B.A. in Sociology. Campbell said he also struggled in his first year of college, but he did well in his second, third and fourth years.

After college, he did not know what he wanted to do for work. Thanks to his persistent mother, who must have seen a lawyer in him, Campbell took the Law School Admissions Test. But he did not study hard enough, and his scores reflected that. Campbell knew the upper-echelon law schools would never take him, so he applied at the lower-tier schools. They did not want him either.

In 2005, he received a flyer for the Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indians and Alaska Natives, offered at the American Indian Law Center (AILC) in Albuquerque. He called the AILC yet was told the deadline had passed. “They asked me to send my application anyway, and I got in,” he said.

Campbell describes the two-month program, which replicates the first year of law school, as “intense,” and it attracts recruiters from law schools all over the country. Not only did he do well, but he was also wooed by recruiters from three different law schools. Campbell ended up enrolling at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in Tempe. In addition to his J.D., obtained in spring 2008, he holds an Indian Legal Certificate, with an environmental emphasis.

Campbell sent his resume to NARF in 2012 in pursuit of a boarding school staff attorney vacancy. That was the job he interviewed for at the organization’s headquarters. But when NARF called him after the interview, it was to tell him he did not get that position; rather, it had him in mind for an education attorney position that had recently become vacant. Campbell, who understood how prestigious NARF is and how rarely it hires lawyers due to low turnover, did not need time to think about it. “I pretty much accepted on the spot,” he said.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

School-To-Prison Pipeline in Indian Country Symposium & Town Hall Meeting

What are the Problems?  What are the Solutions?

March 27, 2015
7:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Arizona State University
Armstrong Hall – The Great Hall
1100 S. McAllister Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281

PDF Event Flyer

The “School-To-Prison Pipeline” has been a crucial concern of parents, educators, tribal leaders, ministers, civil rights activists, lawyers and youth advocates for a number of years. Recently, it has become a major concern of the general public across our country due in large part to the spiraling statistics and the negative impact on children of color. Some advocates have defined the problem as a systematic way of syphoning children out of public schools and funneling them into the juvenile and criminal justice system. In fact, many civil rights lawyers regard the journey from “School-To-Prison Pipeline,” as the most critical civil rights issue facing our country today.

The one day event will feature panel discussions, a keynote speaker, and a town hall. The symposium and town hall will bring together individuals to discuss pipeline concerns, experts who have developed successful programs and projects across the country to address pipeline issues, and individuals and organizations from diverse backgrounds who are working toward solutions to this issue.  This symposium and town hall is currently the only American Bar Association sponsored event to focus exclusively on the “School-To-Prison Pipeline” in Indian Country.

To register, click here.

For more information, contact Jennifer Williams at or call (480) 727-0420.