On June 26, 2024, the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency (SPIPA) Workforce Development Program held a memorable graduation and outreach event at the Star Center in Tacoma, WA. The day was filled with inspiring moments, cultural reflections, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The event began with a warm welcome drum and song by Danny Leonard from the Puyallup Tribe, setting a tone of unity and celebration. This was followed by a heartfelt blessing, paving the way for the keynote address by Hwequidi Hanford McCloud of the Nisqually Tribe. McCloud’s speech focused on the profound history of education within Native communities and emphasized the critical importance of pursuing education in today’s world to uplift and empower Native American communities.

Attendees enjoyed a delicious barbecue dinner, creating a festive atmosphere as they explored various vendor booths. These booths offered valuable resources for those looking to continue their education, overcome employment barriers, or seek new trades. The vendors included:

    The event not only celebrated the achievements of the graduates but also provided a comprehensive platform for community members to connect with educational and career resources. It was a day that highlighted the power of education, community support, and cultural pride. Those who seek SPIPA Workforce Development Services are encourage to call 360.426.3990 or visit spipa.org for more information. 

    graduation stage
    Squaxin Island Tribal Community members getting started on First Annual Color Run

    South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency Workforce Development Program Hosts Inspiring Graduation and Outreach Event