Honoring and Appreciation Dinner Class of 2017 – Title VI

Honoring and Appreciation Dinner
Class of 2017 – Title VI
Klamath County Tribal Graduating High School Seniors
Held May 4, 2017 at Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon

Sponsored by:
Klamath Tribes Education & Employment Johnson O’ Malley Program
Klamath Tribal Health and Family Services
OIT Native American Student Union

Graduating high school is no small feat, and on behalf of the Klamath Tribes Education & Employment Dept., JOM, and Tribal Health Prevention Department, a dinner and honoring was held to commemorate this milestone.

Students and their families were sent invitations to attend, if they were able. Congratulations to all graduating Tribal Seniors from the Class of 2017.

Sepk’ecc’a! (Thank You)
We are proud of you!

Vice-Chairwoman, Gail Hatcher

The evening kicked off with opening remarks and congratulations from Klamath Tribal Vice-Chairwoman, Gail Hatcher, followed by a welcoming from OIT President, Dr. Nagi Naganathan. Ceremonies commenced with an opening prayer by Tribal Member, Linda Jimenez, and honor song by the Steiger Butte Singers. Following opening ceremonies, William Hess, of Klamath Tribal Health Youth & Family Services, facilitated the evening with assistance by the Klamath Tribes Education & Employment programs, and special guest speaker, Tana Atchley.

Following a wonderful dinner of salmon and chicken, with all the trimmings, each student was brought forward for introductions and recognition. They were presented certificates, a black graduation stole, hand-painted eagle feather pins, roses, and handmade tribal necklaces that featured their school colors.

Also recognized, by former OIT native graduate and current OIT employee, Chris Rubidioux, was the Native Graduates of Oregon Institute of Technology 2017: OIT Native College Graduates recognized were: Robert Huitt (not present), Hannah Armstrong (in photo below), and Joel Yellowl (not present).

2017 Graduating Seniors in attendance: Maria Reyes, Kiya Wilder, Dylan Armstrong, Josh Rasdal, Chris Lugo, Justin McNair, Sisalee Parrish, Jesse Kirk, Cierra Hescock

Parents, friends, and family gathered to honor the students and their accomplishments.
Handmade gifts and certificates were presented to each of the graduates.


Steiger Butte Singers provided the Honor songs and Tribal Member Linda Jimenez provided opening prayers.
Also in attendance for the honoring and presentations were: photo left to right:
Title VI Program Director of Klamath County- Dr. Sarah Johnston; Klamath Tribes Director of Education & Employment- Julie Bettles;
Title VI Klamath Falls Director of City Schools- Valli Lonner; Title VI Klamath Falls City Representative- Becky Barker; Oregon Institute
of Technology President- Dr. Nagi Naganathan; and Superintendant of Klamath County Schools- Dr. Paul Hillyer.
Klamath Tribal Member, Tana Atchley
Guest speaker for the event.

Tana L. Atchley was born in 1977 in Klamath Falls, Oregon. A Modoc, Paiute and Karuk member of the Klamath Tribes, Atchley grew up in Sprague River, a small community located on what had once been the Klamath Indian Reservation. The Klamath Indian Tribe of Oregon was terminated in 1954, and while Atchley was raised learning some of her ancestral traditions, many of them were no longer being observed during the years of her upbringing.

Growing up, Atchley attended school in Chiloquin, a community located thirty miles away from her home. When she was in the eighth grade, a local ballot measure passed that resulted in the elimination of county school buses, a turn of events that forced Atchley’s mother to homeschool her children for the year. Tana returned to the Chiloquin school system the next year, and completed her high school education in 1995.

A strong student, Atchley received an Underrepresented Minorities Achievement Scholarship from the state of Oregon, and used it to enroll at the University of Oregon, where she majored in Journalism. During her undergraduate years, Atchley also worked for the Oregon Social Learning Center and was very involved with the campus’ Native American Student Union as well as its Multicultural Center.

After graduating in 2000, Atchley found employment at her alma mater as an admissions counselor focusing on multicultural recruitment. The following year, she moved back to Klamath Falls and began working for the Oregon Institute of Technology as an admissions counselor. After budget cuts led to her losing that job, she decided to further her education, applying to the College Student Services Administration Program at Oregon State University.

Atchley began her graduate studies at OSU in 2003. While there, she worked with the Educational Opportunities Program and also served as the external coordinator for the Native American Longhouse. She spent the first half of 2004 as an interim coordinator and graduate assistant at the American Indian Initiatives Office, and she completed the CSSA program in 2005.
From there, Atchley secured a position as the assistant director of multicultural affairs at Lewis and Clark College. After a year at Lewis and Clark, she moved on to Portland State University, where she was an advisor for the school’s student activities and leadership program. Atchley stayed at PSU for seven years, working for the university during the school year and with youth camps during the summers. In the summer of 2009, she coordinated a tribal salmon camp, which facilitated the experience and sharing of tribal traditions among a collection of the state’s tribal youth.
Starting in 2010, Atchley began spending her summers with the Bridge of the Gods Summer Academy, a “pre-college bootcamp” for Native American high school kids. Initially an instructor and supervisor, Atchley later became the program’s director. She has likewise been closely involved with the Konaway Nika Tillicum Summer Academy, a cultural program created for middle school- and high school-age Native American students.

In 2013, Atchley left PSU for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, where she works as the tribal workforce development and outreach coordinator. In this capacity, she assists member tribes with initiatives meant to increase the number of tribal members pursuing careers in the protection of natural and cultural resources. She also manages internship programs, orientation programs, and camps sponsored by the commission.

Klamath Falls City School 2017 Graduating Seniors:
Klamath Union High School:
Armstrong, Dylan
Cox, Kiya
Hawk, Alex
Lugo, Chris (last name is now Case)
McNair, Justin
Melendres, Dakota

Eagle Ridge High School:
Caddy, Tatiana

Klamath Learning Center (GED and HS Dipolma):
Cerrillo Hernandez, Juan
Gresham, Dominic Douglas
Haskins, Tamrah
Henry, Kaylynn
Kirk, Jesse
Miller, Sanora
Moreno, Ariana
Moreno, Isidro
Munoz, Estevan
Ochoa, Sasha
Rasdal, Joshua
Snook, Conner

Klamath County 2017 Graduating Seniors:
Special Blessings to ALL our graduates here and abroad! Your families love you and we are all so very proud of you! Continue on your path.

All photos by: Taylor R. Tupper- Klamath Tribes News Dept.

Ms. Taylor R. Tupper
Klamath Tribes Public Information/News Dept.
Tribal Administration Office
501 Chiloquin Blvd, or PO Box 436
Chiloquin, Oregon 97624
email: taylor.tupper@klamathtribes.com
Phone: 541-783-2219 ext. 147