Pitzer College Article on the Program (We’re famous!…)


Pitzer Welcomes Native American Students to Pipeline Program

Claremont, CA (July 12, 2015)—Twenty Native American high school students arrived at Pitzer College today for a two-week residential program that is designed to prepare them for success in higher education—both academically and culturally.

The Pitzer College/WesternU’s Native American Summer Pipeline to College Program, co-sponsored by Western University of Health Sciences and run by Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center, will focus on the humanities and health sciences while helping students build academic skills for college. The Pipeline Program is the only program of its kind with a Native science component, which encompasses traditional approaches in areas such as the environment, marine life and food.

The Pipeline Program goes beyond the standard approach to academics. According to Program Director Scott Scoggins ’10, the Pipeline Program draws on Native American scholars and Elders’ wisdom to contribute cultural knowledge and traditional ways of learning within the academic environment. Two Canadian Elders—Rose Henry (Tla’ A’min Nation (Sliammon Territory)) and Joe Thorne (Cowichan/Nuu-chah-nulth)—are the program Elders-in-Residence, who offer students and mentors alike opportunities to learn from Elders in an informal setting. On July 24, the Elders will also co-lead a rally for Idle No More, a grassroots movement dedicated to building Indigenous sovereignty and protecting the environment.

“To succeed in life, you need to be strong in your culture,” Scoggins said. “We can’t prepare the students properly unless they’re backed up by their culture.” Scoggins himself is of Pipil Nahuat, Pocoman Maya and English ancestry.

The program, now in its seventh year, offers a new component this year called Generation Indigenous (Gen I), a White House initiative in collaboration with the Center for Native American Youth and the Aspen Center. To meet Gen I’s challenge to support college access and youth development, the Pipeline Program youth will create a booklet, “A Survival Guide for Native American Youth by Native American Youth.” The booklet will encourage students to express themselves through writing and tell their own stories. Five mentors, some of them former Pipeline students, will assist.

Other programming includes reflective essay writing drawn from the reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, an earth science class with Elder Kim Marcus (Santa Rosa Cahuilla) and Elder Barbara Marcus (Spokane), building a Tongva kiiy and rabbit loom with Tongva Elder Barbara Drake and an ever-popular media studies course on blogging led by Pitzer Media Studies Professor Gina Lamb. At Western University of Health Sciences, students will learn about the Thrifty Genotype hypothesis, population genetics and different health careers.

Students will also visit Wishtoyo Foundation’s Chumash Village in Malibu for a three-day camping experience in traditional Chumash homes called “aps.” They will study plant identification, marine biology conservation and land stewardship.

Over the years, Scoggins has seen once shy young people who often lack trust in academia transformed through their shared experiences in the program.

“I see strong young people with hope for the future, with confidence in an academic setting and with their culture backing them up to make them even stronger,” Scoggins said.

For more information, please visit:





Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

Cherish . . . our moments together @atiger89

perhaps students I meetYou all haven’t arrived yet, but you will be here in two days~! Then we will only have two weeks, time will fly. I hope our time together is memorable and…

. . . . .

. . . .

I was unable to finish this post before you all came. These times of course will be memorable.. but what else? Short? Difficult? maybe even exciting. How was I to know it would turn up like this. We are in our second week, tired, becoming close knit, and appreciative of what we learn together.

In some ways this experience is reminding me of my undergrad years, especially freshman year. Everything and everyone is new, its exciting to be in this place, to see new faces and hear about others’ lives. Each and everyone of us carry different stories and yet now in this second week we have created a family. That was fast. With such connection I believe it should be cherished and nourished for as long as possible. My wish is that throughout our lives we will grow closer and rely on one another from time to time. Know that if you need to talk to someone, advice on academia or social life, I will be here. And I’m sure the same is for my counterparts: Amanda, Chuck and Sean. Malibu Group Photo

Jenna hugs. Everyone joins in on the love sharing. ^-^

Jenna hugs. Everyone joins in on the love sharing. ^-^

2013 Pipeline Program 2013

Dear Pipeline Community,
I am honored to introduce to you the 4 mentors who we have chosen for the 2013 Pipeline Program session! Our mentors were chosen from a pool of very-well qualified applicants so they bring many good skills and qualities to the Program. These mentors will be responsible for taking care of your child/children during the Pipeline Program; please feel free to contact them with any concerns/questions you may have before and during the Program.
Anna Tiger (Diné)
Anna Mae Tiger was born in Santa Ana to parents Gloria Jensen and Michael Tiger, both of Native American full-blooded descent. Named after both her parents’ grandmothers, Anna Mae, she grew up enriched with the knowledge of the Dine (Navajo) culture. After losing her father at the young age of four, her mother raised her single handedly, in a small town called Apple Valley, a desert area of Southern California. Certainly watching her mother work hard, and play fair made her the young woman she is today. Proud of her culture, values and traditions she tries to exemplify everything that her grandmother and mother taught her. Taking classes at CSU, Fullerton and meeting fellow students of color helped Anna create a community of support and comfort. As the President of the Inter-Tribal Student Council, Anna created Native American events addressing stereotypes, tribal contemporary views of urban life, forum for discussing Native American identity and roles, and the impact of boarding schools. As well as outreaching to young Native American students in Reservation, Rural and Urban areas, networking with fellow Native Americans organizations at other universities, and displaying the cultural singing and dancing traditions new and old for the CSU Fullerton campus. One of her largest accomplishments is planning two successful Native American cultural events, the Powwow during the spring semesters, as well as the Indigenous Film Festival, in which her organization collaborated with a strong, encouraging and now great group of friends, MeCha de CSUF.
Amanda Leon
Amanda León has just finished her freshman year at Pitzer College in Claremont, Ca where she is a premed student majoring in Human Biology, with a minor in Spanish. Upon entering Pitzer College, Amanda found enjoyment in being an active participant in her school community. She spends her Saturdays at Pitzer tutoring the children of Pitzer’s dining hall staff, works in the Seaver Theater costume shop at Pomona College, and has acted as a host for Pitzer’s Diversity weekends. Amanda was recently selected to serve on the Pitzer Student Senate Diversity Committee and as a Mentor for the Chicano/Latino Student Association for the 2013-2014 school year. Currently, Amanda works as summer intern at UCLA Harbor Medical Center’s Neurology Department researching neurocysticercosis. She also volunteers at Whittier Presbyterian Hospital and works at the La Habra Community Center. Amanda, who is originally from La Habra, California, enjoys swimming, hiking and napping when outdoors. Her favorite hobbies include reading, sewing, and drawing; she loves good coffee and making new friends. Amanda is very excited to participate as a mentor in this year’s Summer Pipeline Program.
Charles Herman
Chuck grew up in Bethel, Alaska. He attended Ayaprun Elitnaurik, a Yup’ik Immersion elemaentary school where, until the third grade, the full school day was taught in Yup’ik and then from third grade to sixth grade, half of the day was in Yup’ik. He grew up fishing during the summers and dog mushing during the winters. He spent last semester studying Kiswahili and politics in Kenya and then the summer as a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at Berkeley. He is currently a rising senior at Pomona College majoring in Public Policy Analysis with a focus on Sociology.
Sean Begay (Diné)
I am half Navajo and half Filipino.  My dad is from the Kinlichi’nii (Red House) Clan.  I graduated from the University of California, San Diego with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Ethnic Studies and Sociology: Science and Medicine this past June 2012.  In 2011, I had the pleasure to conduct archival research on Navajo uranium mining for the Robert McNair Scholar Program and got to present my research at the University of California, Berkeley McNair Research Symposium.  After learning about how uranium mining has affected Navajo health, I gained an interest in healthcare.  Recently, I was accepted into Northern Arizona University’s American Indian Nursing Program where only 10 individuals are chosen for the program each year. As a future nurse (and hopefully Nurse Practitioner), I hope to make an impact on the Navajo people, not only in terms of providing direct healthcare, but educationally as well.
Please help us welcome and congratulate our new 2013 Pipeline Program Mentors!
 Scott Scoggins, Pipeline Director
The Pipeline Team

Pechanga Grant Awarded to Pipeline Program



Dear Pipeline Community,

We are happy to announce that we have recently received a generous grant from Pechanga’s Tribal Council to support this year’s Pipeline Program.

We are grateful for their support, as it means that we are able to continue to provide the Pipeline experience to our new and returning students; the 3-day camping trip at the Wishtoyo’s Chumash Cultural Village in Malibu, visiting the Hawaiian Gardens Powwow and Bear Ceremony, meeting Dr Lori Alvord, the first woman Diné surgeon, the SAT Prep intensive taught by a certified instructor, and the visit to FNX Studios.

This year’s Program will be a wonderful experience. Once again, we thank the Pechanga Tribal Council for their vision in supporting Native educational access and programs.

Scott Scoggins, MA

Pipeline Director

Official Press Release from the Native Arts and Culture Foundation

Media Contact: Amy M. Echo-Hawk; 360-314-2421, amy@nativeartsandcultures.org
Vancouver, Wash. – Through its California Bridge Initiative: Arts + Health program, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) has awarded four California non-profits $10,000 for projects to enhance the health of Native youth through art. The foundation awarded a total of $40,000 to the Cultural Conservancy, Dancing Earth Creations, the Native American Health Center of Oakland and Pitzer College.
“The organizations awarded 2013 California Bridge Initiative Arts + Health grants have planned innovative ways to address physical health and well-being of Native youth through the creation of artwork or participation in arts practice,” explained foundation Program Director Reuben Roqueñi.
To promote healthy indigenous communities, the Cultural Conservancy protects native lands, nurtures the revitalization of endangered songs and documents traditional knowledge. Their Native Youth Media, Arts and Cultural Health Project will reconnect Native youth with waterways and teach traditional arts including building tule boats, songs and protocols related to waterways and carving canoe paddles. Their goal is for youth to gain an increase in emotional health and cultural vitality through this project.
Dancing Earth Creations is a dance theater company committed to mentoring emerging artists and providing opportunities for the next generation of indigenous dancers to learn dance production, administration and every aspect of their art. Through the Waters of Wellness program funded by NACF, Native youth in four different sites in California will engage in dance and movement activities designed to promote exercise and discuss nutrition while learning about the preservation of Native waterways.
Oakland’s Native American Health Center provides the five-county Bay-area Native community with healthcare to maintain and build their physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being with respect for their unique cultural traditions. The foundation’s award funds their Resiliency Mural Project to provide Native youth with afterschool mentorship from mural artist Daniel Rodriguez. The muralists will draw thematic elements from the history of relocation and the occupation of Alcatraz on four murals while attending healthy lifestyle training.
Pitzer College, located in Claremont, Calif., is an interdisciplinary liberal arts institution with an emphasis on social justice, environmental sensitivity and intercultural understanding in its curriculum. Pitzer’s Native American Summer Pipeline Program is a two-week on-campus college life experience designed to inspire Native high-school with the motivation to graduate. Hosted in association with Western University of Health Sciences, Pipeline curriculum includes academic and creative writing, computer literacy, multidisciplinary arts workshops and a class on Health Sciences and Native American Community Wellness.
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation has awarded $1,382,000 in grants to 71 Native artists and organizations in 20 states. Created in 2009, after decades of visioning among the nation’s first peoples with assistance from the Ford Foundation and others, NACF is a national charity dedicated to supporting the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of Native arts and cultures. To learn more about the foundation’s grantmaking mission, visit www.nativeartsandcultures.org.
FMI: http://nacf.us/grantees/pitzer-college