Partnership With a Purpose: Cispus Learning Center and the Nisqually Indian Tribe

Chase Buffington, Director, Cispus Learning Center
Apr 01, 2021

On March 18, 2021, the Nisqually Indian Tribe and the Cispus Learning Center came together in the mountains of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to partner and build for the future. We believe knowledge is power and when you build emotion into a hands-on experience, it will stay with you forever. We hope to pass down the message that we are more than people, but also caretakers of the land.

On their visit, Nisqually Indian Tribe members team ventured to Kraus Ridge Road and found a cedar tree that had fallen down. A request sent by the Nisqually tribe to the US Forest Service started the process to allow the Cispus Learning Center to collect the tree for use at Cispus. The tree will become part of youth programming. It will be used to create custom works of art to learn customs, celebrate tradition and heritage, and build friendships. 

We are excited about the partnership with the Nisqually and hope Cispus becomes a place of healing for tribes and allows us to open our minds to programs reflecting the heritage and enriching the culture for future generations. We want to instill confidence, identity, and a feeling of home in nature for everyone whose journey takes them to Cispus. 


From left to right: Wayne Lloyd (Nisqually Building Director), Hanford McCloud (Nisqually 6th Council Member), Keith Brent (Nisqually Senior Project Manager), and Nikia Hernandez (GPNF - Forest Ranger). Photo by Chase Buffington.

  • tribes
  • native Americans
  • Nisqually
  • Cispus
  • outdoor learning
  • learning centers

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