Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin has named Katrina Werchouski as director of the Native American Indigenous Culture Center. Werchouski previously served as the coordinator of multi-cultural affairs and has acted as NAICC interim director for the last six months.
Werchouski is exactly the right person for this job, said Northland College President Michael A. Miller, who announced her promotion.
“She will nurture partnerships that support Native families and youth in a way that promotes attendance in higher education, creates support programs for Native students as they move through their post-secondary education and convenes Native elders and communities for the support of youth and for the health of Native communities,” he said.
Werchouski grew up in Red Cliff and earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental public policy and Native American Studies at Northland College. She went onto earn her master’s degree at Green Mountain College in Vermont in environmental studies and written communications.
“I decided to come back and work at Northland College because I wanted an opportunity to give back to the community,” she said. “My time as a student at Northland gave me great respect for the power of this unique community coming together to nurture students in such an important time in their lives.”
Established in 2011, the NAICC is an extension and successor to the College’s long-standing Native American Studies Program.
In the last three years with NAICC, Werchouski has been instrumental in the planning and support of Northland activities including Northland’s Annual Native American Awareness Days and Powwow, a Veteran’s Day flag ceremony, hosting groups from the Wisconsin Indian Education Association, and the Science, Technology, Arts, and Recreation (STAR) camp for area youth.
Werchouski also provided continued support for current Northland students, all while increasing collaborative efforts with tribal educational leaders, and improving campus collaboration and coordination, Miller said.
“The idea of being able to help create and maintain a diverse, healthy and vibrant community makes it all seem like a dream,” she said. “I am completely convinced that a major part of this is establishing a sense of place through a deep connection and understanding that comes before academics—and that bringing all of these components together can only be achieved by being a part of a liberal arts community such as Northland College.”