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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Native American Opportunities

Native American students have been prepared to provide speech, language, and hearing services to Native American communities since 1986. A legacy of this focus is the J. Richard Franks Scholarship for Native American Students in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. This scholarship is available to Native American undergraduate and graduate students who are committed to serving Native tribes and/or communities. For application information, contact Ella Inglebret.


Native American Programs News

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Native American Culturally-Based Resources

The Shadow of the Salmon is a multimedia curriculum developed by the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for use with students in the eighth grade. The 42-minute Shadow of the Salmon video can be viewed online.

The curriculum can be used to facilitate the development of language and literacy skills.


Contact Us

Ella Inglebret
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 1495
Spokane, WA 99210-1495

ASHA’s Native American Caucus

The Native American Caucus consists of American Indian/Alaska Native, as well as non-Native, speech-language pathologists and audiologists who provide services to Native clients. The caucus meets each year at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to discuss interests and concerns related to our professions. Students are encouraged to become involved in caucus activities.

More information can be obtained by contact Dr. Edgarita Long or Dr. Matt Gillispie.

Mission Statement for the Native American Caucus

The Native American Caucus is dedicated to the provision of quality speech, language, and hearing services to all American Indian/Alaska Native people who have communication disorders. Inherent to the appropriate delivery of these services is a respect for traditional values and the uniqueness of each individual.

  1.  To provide a forum where professionals:
    1. Network and discuss major issues that relate to the delivery of speech, language, and hearing services to Native Americans with communication disorders.
    2. Exchange information about the needs of Native American clients.
  2. To provide and share with others a base of knowledge that will help all professionals:
    1. Understand the cultural and linguistic need of Native people with communication disorders.
    2. Become more aware, sensitive and competent as they work with Native American populations.
    3. Increase the cultural and linguistic appropriateness of speech, language, and hearing services for all Native people.
  3. To encourage and support respectful and culturally sensitive research efforts that provide data on the assessment and clinical management of communication disorders in Native American populations with the understanding that such data:
    1.  Is collected following appropriate tribal protocols (i.e., committee and other tribal approvals).
    2. Is used appropriately (i.e., not generalized to different Native American populations).
  4. To support the expansion of opportunities for Native American professionals to serve as leaders and role models within the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology.
  5. To support the recruitment, training, and leadership development of personnel, especially those who are Native American, to serve Native Americans with communication disorders.
  6. To advocate for improved service delivery to Native Americans with communication disorders.
Action Plan
  1. Hold an annual national meeting during the ASHA convention.
  2. Provide a mechanism for communication among speech-language pathologists and audiologists who serve Native Communities
  3. Provide mentoring/counseling for students in training and those who are considering majoring in speech and hearing/communication disorders.
  4. Provide professional support and mentoring for members.
  5. Provide a speakers’ bureau of professionals to speak on issues important to the caucus and serve as a contact for and referral source for agencies in need of inservicing.
  6. Recognize and encourage achievements and accomplishments of members of the caucus.
  7. Maintain active relationships with ASHA’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and other groups (i.e., caucuses) engaged in efforts affecting culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
  8. Recruit Native Americans into the professions of, speech-language pathology and audiology, and into ASHA through personal relationships and presentations directed to junior high, high school, and university students and other potential candidates (i.e., educators, social and health care workers).
  9. Increase the membership of the caucus.