News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray applauded President Obama’s appointment of Patricia Whitefoot, a member of the Yakama Nation of Washington state, to be a member of the National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE). The NACIE is a fifteen member council made up of representatives from throughout the United States. It advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Education, and submits a yearly report to Congress on issues pertaining to Indian Education. Whitefoot will be the sole representative on the council from Washington state and the Pacific Northwest region. 

“Patricia has been a committed and effective leader over the course of 40 years of Indian education experience,” said Senator Patty Murray.  “She has demonstrated vast knowledge of the issues through her management of Indian education programs ranging from early childhood to higher education, as well as through her role as a tribal leader on the Yakama Tribal Council. I am proud to have Patricia representing the Northwest on this important council, and I am confident that she will be a powerful voice for Indian education in Washington state and across the country.”

Born and raised on the Confederated Tribal Lands of the Yakama Nation, Whitefoot is the Indian Education Director of the Toppenish School District and serves as the President of the National Indian Education Association. For over 20 years, she has been actively involved in the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians, and serves as the chairman of the ATNI Education Committee, which represents 52 tribes of the northwest region. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education at Central Washington University, and her M.A. in Education at Ft. Wright College of Spokane.