Gonzaga University will bring a double-header to the tribal town of Inchelium this weekend – basketball and leadership, two disciplines for which the university is well known.
Several members of the Gonzaga men’s and women’s basketball teams will present the second annual Gonzaga CLP (Comprensive Leadership Program) Basketball Camp to some 75 third- through eighth-graders. The basic skills clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. Last fall, Gonzaga student-athletes conducted their first clinic in Inchelium, which is located on the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, approximately two hours north of Spokane.
CLP students coordinate the event and will present a leadership seminar for student officers in Inchelium’s middle- and high-school grades.
The partnership that made the event possible was formed two years ago when Gonzaga CLP students were invited to the reservation for a weekend retreat exploring leadership through Native American ways of knowing. To repay the tribe’s hospitality, the students brought Zags’ basketball to Inchelium last fall. The first clinic was a big hit for both the GU student-athletes and the Inchelium children.
“Today, I had more fun than any other day this semester,” one student-athlete said after the event last year.
“The college kids are their idols,” Inchelium Principal Virginia Elkington said after the event last year. “This was such a positive experience. I would love to see it happen again.”
Gonzaga’s Indian Educational Outreach Program (GIEOP) has been active on the Colville and Spokane reservations since 1998. In the GIEOP program, GU students mentor fifth-graders with science lessons and expose them to a college campus. Similarly, Gonzaga students’ experience with the Native Americans provides a culture that differs significantly from their own.
The brainchild of Gonzaga President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., the CLP began in 2002 and now serves some100 GU undergraduates.
The CLP aims to educate students in the discipline of leadership, and align that knowledge with their academic major, service learning and other leadership experiences at Gonzaga. It provides a formal, for-credit leadership curriculum and valuable leadership experiences for highly qualified undergraduates. Students are chosen for the certificate program in the fall of their freshman year through a competitive process.
For more information, contact CLP Director Josh Armstrong at (509) 323-6493 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.