Archive for Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Former Haskell student trying to change rule permitting only federally recognized tribes for admission to university

June 14, 2011, 5:40 p.m. Updated June 15, 2011, 5:19 p.m.


Cedric Sunray is a Kansas University graduate now living in Norman, Okla. He’s also a former student at Haskell Indian Nations University.

But he couldn’t enroll today.

That’s because a rule prevents those from his tribe, and others, from attending the school because they are not recognized by the federal government.

Haskell is a legacy for those who attend it, and for many, its free tuition offers the only chance at a college education.

“We need Haskell,” Sunray said. “We need that access.”

Stephen Prue, a Haskell spokesman, confirmed the rule.

“We here at Haskell can only accept students who are enrolled members of federally recognized tribes,” he said.

Prue said those rules are out of Haskell’s control and are determined in Washington.

A representative from the Bureau of Indian Affairs could not be reached for comment. The BIA — with the Bureau of Indian Education — controls Haskell Indian Nations University.

Neither Prue nor Sunray knew exactly when the rule changed, but both said that it wasn’t always that way. Sunray said the rule used to be that a student had to be at least one-quarter American Indian by blood.

Sunray, a member of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, has documented several students from nonfederally recognized tribes who have attended Haskell at a website,

Sunray said 565 federally recognized tribes exist today. About 60 additional tribes are recognized by their state, but not by the federal government. Most of those are small, with an average of about 1,000 people per tribe, if you take out the Lumbee tribe in North Carolina, which has about 40,000 people, Sunray said.

“We’re talking about a very small number of people,” he said, but added that shouldn’t prevent them from being allowed access to schools like Haskell.

“There’s a lot of bitterness there, but, in the end, no one wants to do the right thing,” Sunray said.


katatnite 7 years ago

Can't get into Haskell? Consider yourself lucky ! Percentages show you probably would not graduate ( they have a graduation rate of nine percent) and if you did chances are the degree you might get from Haskell might not get you a job, ( I.E. The AIS degree) the food is awful, they have instructors only a couple of true professors, they have not had a president in two years, student safety is marginal at best. The saying you get what you pay for is true of Haskell. Count your blessings the government is doing you a favor !

ndnjoe 7 years ago

If I read correctly, he already has a degree. This would make him one of the very small percent that might have attended Haskell to actually get a degree.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

No you didn't read correctly. The article stated he is a Kansas University graduate.

Raider 7 years ago

I think it's BS that they can go for free to begin with. No problem with the school being ran by the BIA and only limited to Native American tribes, but the rest of us have to pay for our degrees, so why shouldn't they?

TheStonesSuck 7 years ago

Quite literally, the reason is because when the US Government "negotiated" for the purchase of Indian lands, part of the "bargain" was to provide for Indians' health, safety, welfare, education, etc. To break that deal now would only further the shameful practice of the United States double dealing Natives. Get it? In the alternative, I'm sure the tribes would be happy to scrap the deal. XD

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

In Raider's world, property rights are only for white people. And typically rich white people, at that.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

That makes sense. Is it limited to only those that live on the reservations or is it open to anyone with 25 percent Indian blood and a recognzied tribe?

The federally recognzied tribe is definitely a fair requirement.

geekin_topekan 7 years ago

I believe that 1/4th is the requirement at Haskell. Anyone with a certified degree of Indian blood can attend Haskell whether they have spent their life on the rez or in the big city lights.

frank mcguinness 7 years ago

I think that haskell would benefit with an open enrollment but allow members of tribes continue to receive free tuition and non natives paying a tuition.

geekin_topekan 7 years ago

Maybe some sort of legacy waiver? If your tribe was terminated, enrollment could be based on past recognition. If you can prove blood with ANY Haskell alumni, terminated or not, your enrollment is granted.


Mike Ford 7 years ago

I'm a non federally recognized Choctaw descendant with Biloxi and Cherokee ancestry. I have ancestors on the Dawes Choctaw rolls who rejected because they didn't remove to Indian Territory to get a tribal allotment after the nahollos stole our lands and gave us small portions back and let the rest of the nahollo sooners move in. What Cedric is speaking to is this.... in the twentieth century there were identifiable tribal communites in Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana, who looked Indian enough that segregation applied to them as it did to African Americans. Nanticokes (Hi Mike Wright), Pamunkeys, Nansemonds, Rhappahannocks, Waccamauws, Lumbees, Mowa Choctaws, and Houmas all had identifiable tribal identities and due to segregation their tribal children went to Haskell when White schools in their home states barred them from attending beyond sixth grade if at all. Many of these states adhered to separate but equal and had White, Black, and Indian schools. The irony is that these Indians who were segregated against by appearance and legislation (Virginia) fifty five years ago can't be federally recognized now by Indian hating republicans and their state's rights cronies. Many of these state Indians look more Indian than the lineal descendants with federal low blood quantum who attend Haskell now. Then again, blood quantum is a white thing meant to legally erase the Indian identity once the quantum is below a mathmatical standard. Of course this reeks of White Eugenics pushed in the early twentieth century to hasten the paper genocide of indigenous peoples by a thieving us government. and the Martinez case of 1978 gave the tribes the right to determine their own blood quantum requirements as part of tribal self determination. The previous 1/4 blood quantum was a BIA thing to eliminate the legal identity through paper genocide. If one looks at Haskell yearbooks from the late 1940's to mid 1970's one will see all of the tribes mentioned above plus terminated Brothertowns and Kansas Munsees. Non Indians realize the divide and conquer world you unleashed on Indian Country. This exclusion is the result. I wish happy amnesia to you all.

asittingup 7 years ago

I couldn't have said it better myself. To those of you who obviously don't know the TRUE history of the US government, educate yourself. Ignorance is what keeps us segregated as human beings. The US government has a trust relationship with the Indigenous people of this nation. Do not forget the US government signed treaties to ensure the welfare of our people.

IDK 7 years ago

Haskell is NOT free. Yes, it is tuition-free but there are fees a student has to pay:

On - Campus - Activity $35.00 - Academic Support Center $51.00 - Little Nations Academic Center $5.00 - Housing $56.00 - Food Service $68.00 Total = $215.00

Off - Campus - Activity $35.00 - Academic Support Center $70.00 - Little Nations Academic Center $5.00 Total = $110.00

This doesn't account for fees one might need for a specific class. And, Junior and Seniors are required to pay for their books. I believe that Haskell should increase the fees. There would be numerous benefits and one being more SERIOUS students.

CardHawkFan 7 years ago

Not to mention their once-proud sports tradition that many people are completely unaware of. This town has enough fanfare to embrace two universities and it should, especially since there are young men and women who get the opportunity to continue their education at HINU from right here in Lawrence.

Mike Ford 7 years ago

sooners came in before the tribal land was officially opened for theft in 1889 and claimed land their federal government stole for for pennies on the dollar due to the Dawes Allotment Act of 1887. Being a sooner historically implies that one is okay with pre emptive squatting on Indian land. Of course the people who founded Lawrence and Council Grove Kansas squatted on Shawnee and Kansa Indian lands in 1854 and 1859.

sbobandme 7 years ago

"Cedric Sunray is a Kansas University graduate" why is this person wanting back in Haskell? Looks like he has a degree. Tax payers can't afford for the current Haskell students to be there. To let them remain there for six , seven or more years or to admit them once they have a degree is ripping off the taxpayers. Graduates need to get jobs. Not keep going back to Haskell. My wife and I worked long and hard in Douglas County for years and not because we want to support people with degrees who want to return to Haskell or stay there for years.

haagerbomb04 6 years, 11 months ago

Those already with a bachelor's degree cannot be admitted to Haskell.

enoughalready 7 years ago

yes he has a Master Degree and one would think he would be using his efforts to change policy by helping other students to enroll if he really wanted to make that his mission. I don't see that policy changing it doesn't make sense for him to try and enroll. And there are many HINU students who are paying taxes right along with the few who constantly comment negatively about HINU. Not all students live on campus we pay taxes just like everyone else.

katatnite 7 years ago

I go school full time and live off of campus but I do not pay taxes like I would if I were working at the same job for the last 30 years. I'm a KU student but I have friends who are students at Haskell and I am guessing about 95 % of Haskell students live on campus because it is free for them. Free room and board, free cable, free food, etc. Other people's tax dollars do support Haskell. I am beginning to agree with them that Haskell no longer serves a purpose. Why is someone who has a master's wanting to go back to Haskell? Haskell is mainly a two year school. I don't see how they can call themselves a university when they have something like two four year degrees and the rest are two year degrees, what Haskell is is a junior college and not a place for someone with a masters.

Ndn4JC 7 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beeshlii 6 years, 12 months ago

Everybody is always against each other regardless of race. US took everything Indian had in early days and in return they promise the indians a FREE EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, and to top it off they created a reservation and imprison them. to this day and age we are still prisoners. I don't know why Cedric Sunray wants to go back to Haskell. maybe he can tell us, or maybe he is being paid to stir up trouble for Haskell. Why are some people against AIS? they are afirad. we are being educated how to take care of our native people, to get back what we lost, to continue being native americans. i think AIS is good.

katatnite 6 years, 12 months ago

@ beeshlii If Haskell's AIS program is educating you, I would say the whole department and all of the students in it are in big trouble !

beeshlii 6 years, 12 months ago

@Katatnite-its true that these once dumb indians are getting smarter. we are buying lands back that were once stolen from. we can't get it back free, to much politics to go that route. we might even get Lawrence back. why would "the whole department be in " "big trouble"?

will2017 6 years, 11 months ago

Please re-read the article. I have a BS from Haskell and I clearly understand what the author was implying. However, the people who claim to be so smart on here do not even understand simple text. The author is saying if Cedric Sunray (who went to both Haskell and KU) wanted to go to Haskell today he would not be able to because of the change in rules. He is not trying to get back in to Haskell and has no need to do so just as I do not because we have reached a level in education where Haskell can no longer benefit us. Please read before you comment. Thanks. William Lavine.

ssakcaj 6 years, 11 months ago

How do you know what the author was implying? You don't. Does Cedric Sunray have a desire to return to Haskell? We don't know and can't say one way or the other just based on this article. And how do you know that the levels of education he has received are enough that he would no longer benefit? You don't. You also might want to read, and think before you comment...

will2017 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually the author wasn't even implying it. The author came straight out and said it. You only know what you read about Haskell. Once again. William Lavine.

will2017 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually the author wasn't even implying it. The author came straight out and said it. You only know what you read about Haskell. Once again. William Lavine.

haagerbomb04 6 years, 11 months ago

If you already have a bachelor's degree you CANNOT be admitted to Haskell!!! You can't even double major there!!! Cedric Sunray is bringing non recognized tribel members' situation to light. He is not trying to go to Haskell because he could not even if his tribe was federally recognized.

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