Art Taylor Indigenous Culture & Ecology Memorial Fund

Friday, January 3


In honor of the work, relationship building and raising cultural awareness Dr. Arthur Taylor, (Ta-Wits-Pal-Lu), performed on the University of Idaho campus and throughout the Pacific Northwest, a new memorial fund has been created to help continue his legacy of achievement to inspire us all to strive to make a difference. The Art Taylor Indigenous Culture & Ecology Memorial Fund will impact Native American student development on campus for generations to come.

Raised on the Nez Perce reservation, Dr. Taylor had a passion for education and his Nez Perce tribal culture. He was a proud advocate for public education and community involvement and this memorial fund is intended to further his goals and legacy.

Dr. Taylor had over 33 years of experience within education that started as a Nez Perce tribal youth delegate to the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) conference through receiving his doctorate degree in Education from the University of Idaho in 2013. His academic achievements also included a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Language and Literature from Washington State University in 2000, his first Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga and a second Master of Arts in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago.

After serving in many roles within the Nez Perce Tribe, Dr. Taylor was voted to serve on the Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee for two three-year terms. While on council, his positions included Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Education Liaison, and Senior Citizen Liaison. As an avid fisherman, he advocated for the continued legal protections of tribal traditional fishing, hunting, and gathering sites. He was Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and served on the Pacific Salmon Commission where he helped negotiate international salmon harvests for the Nez Perce people. He also was responsible for coordinating the Nez Perce Tribal Youth Council coming full circle from his early exposure to the need for youth leadership development. Dr. Taylor traveled wide and far and his infectious laughter and open personality helped him build true relationships nationally and internationally.

Dr. Taylor began his higher education career as the assistant director of multi-cultural program and services at the University of Notre Dame. His journey continued and legacy strengthened as he returned home and began working for the Provost and Executive Vice President as the Indigenous Affairs Officer at the University of Idaho in 2007. He worked to develop culturally sensitive and mutually beneficial protocols for relationship building; establish communication and academic projects between the University of Idaho and various Native American tribes; and directed the work to attain the goals of a memorandum of understanding established in 2001 with 10 tribes. He urged students, faculty and staff to learn about Indian Country, and he worked with many tribal communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Taylor lived the life he loved and now leaves us with a remarkable legacy of achievement that cannot be easily condensed, to inspire us all to strive to make a difference.

By giving to this fund, donors will honor Dr. Taylor’s memory and dedication to learning and creating meaningful community connections. With Anthony S. Davis and Jeremiah R. Pinto, Art taught the Native Hawaiian Culture and Ecology course, designed for UI Native American students to participate in ecological restoration service learning projects in Hawaii while learning about the culture, ecology and climate of the islands, and this fund will directly support the sustainability of that program.

To donate to The Art Taylor Indigenous Culture & Ecology Memorial Fund, go to www.uidaho.edu/inspire and click “Give Now.” Enter Art’s name in the search field and donate.