Samuel Slater

Navajo Nation
Bethesda, MD

For the past four years, Sam has led the Navajo Nation Service Learning Trip, an effort his family plans and created with his high school in Washington, DC. In collaboration with his school, tribal government, and various agencies and individuals on the Navajo Reservation, Sam coordinates a two-week learning experience each year that teaches non-Native students about tribal history, innovation, sovereignty, government and culture through direct community service.

Sam’s initiative enhances what he describes as the educational system’s limited curriculum on American Indian history and culture. With the trip as an educational tool, Sam seeks to enhance his peers’ understanding of Navajo culture through meaningful shared experiences.

"American Indians as sovereign nations need partners outside of Indian Country. One of the most important aspects of nation building is the careful cultivation of allies."