NAYA Renames High School “Many Nations Academy”
NAYA Renames High School Many Nations Academy
Students Choose Name Reflective of School’s Inclusive Spirit
PORTLAND, ORE. (August 20, 2019) – The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) today announced that its high school previously known as NAYA Early College Academy has been renamed to Many Nations Academy (MNA).
MNA Principal Lisa Otero stated, “Our school honors its students from wherever they come and however they choose to identify. All are welcome here to engage in a student-centered, relational educational journey, delivered through a Native American ways-of-knowing lens.”
Students developed and proposed “Many Nations Academy” as the best name to represent the inclusive spirit of the school, while honoring its focus on Native American values. At its June 2019 meeting, NAYA’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to re-name the 11-year-old high school.
The NAYA Many Nations Academy serves students that represent tribal nations from throughout the country, each with its unique history and traditions. The school’s mission to promote inclusion, tolerance, and acceptance of all has attracted youth from across the city of Portland who are drawn to the promise of incorporating a Native American worldview into the educational experience. The Many Nations Academy will continue to serve a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and diverse self-identifying student body.
At the time of its founding, the NAYA ECA was one of a number of “early college academies” created nationwide that followed a prescriptive educational model that blended high school and college curricula.
Since then, NAYA’s high school has focused on providing the rigorous, high school curriculum that gives our students the best educational experience possible, increasing our graduation rates. Staff, students, and the community felt the time was appropriate to select a name that better reflects the school’s mission and values and its vision for the future.
Many Nations Academy is a safe and welcoming high school academy that recognizes that today’s students do not necessarily identify as coming from just one community. Our project-based learning curriculum, small class sizes, and focus on relational learning honors the unique talents each student brings into our learning community.
NAYA Executive Director Paul Lumley stated, “NAYA is committed to providing students with an educational experience and academic training they need to succeed—giving them the confidence and community that will help them to contribute to an ever-diversifying global society.”