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Angela Bowen

Angela Bowen 

Job Title: Education Director - Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Suislaw

Tribal Afffiliation: Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw

1. Why did you choose the UO College of Education for your graduate studies?

I chose the U of O College of Education for my Master Degree because it was in the state and
because the Sapsik'ʷałá Program was being offered.  At that time, the College of Education was rated #3 in the nation.  In addition, both of my parents also attended the U of O for a short time years ago.  Since both of my parents were Teachers and also Principals, it influenced my decision to get into education.  My Dad also encouraged me to attend the program. 

2. Tell us about why the Sapsik'ʷałá Program is important, from your perspective?

The Sapsikwala Program is a graduate program that produces Highly Qualified Native American Teachers who are ready to teach in that capacity, in public schools after graduation. The program offers an option of paying back the grant-loan through time spent teaching in schools (as opposed to paying back money) that have Native American students.  This is an opportunity for college students who may otherwise may not be in a financial position at the time to afford graduate school. 

There are several reasons why the Sapsik'ʷałá Program is so beneficial:

  • Native American Students have the opportunity to go to Graduate School to become Highly Qualified Teachers, and the U of O College of Education gets more students
  • Oregon and the nation can benefit from more Native American Teachers as they can be a source of cultural support for Native American Students as well as a resource and example for all children
  • The federal funding is paid back by the student through time spent teaching, or by money 
  • The state schools have a greater opportunity to employ Highly Qualified Native American Teachers

3. What advice do you have for future American Indian/Alaska Native educators?

My advice for future American Indian /Alaska Native Educators is to:

  • Create a strong community of support wherever you teach if possible
  • Remember who you are in the face of challenges
  • Take pride in your education, you have earned it
  • Let your students be your motivation
  • Go ahead and accept leadership positions outside of the classroom
  • Do the best you can to balance your career with personal wellness 

4. Why do you choose to volunteer your time as the Chair of the Sapsik'ʷałá Program Advisory Council?

I volunteered as the Chairwoman because I have been through the Sapsik'ʷałá program as a student at the U of O and graduated in 2005.  I remember what that was like and I want students to feel supported in their program.  I want the communities to know what a great resource the U of O College of Education is in the way of Highly Qualified Native American Teachers.  I was a teacher and now I work for my tribe(s) the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw as the Director of Education. I was appointed by Governor Kitzhaber to the Oregon State Board of Education in 2012 and I served in that capacity for 4 years.  Graduating from the Sapsik'ʷałá Program with a M.Ed., teaching and keeping my focus on Native American Students has made it possible to serve in various capacities that make a positive difference for  communities and Native American students, whether they are Kindergartners or Graduate Students.