In Memoriam: Arthur Taylor

Monday, December 2 2013

The University of Idaho is greatly saddened by the death of Arthur Taylor, Ed.D, indigenous affairs officer at the University of Idaho, on Nov. 28, 2013.  The university community’s thoughts and condolences are with Art’s family and the entire Nez Perce Tribe at this difficult time.
Art began working for the provost at the university in 2007, developing culturally sensitive and mutually beneficial protocols for relationship building, communication and academic projects between the University of Idaho and various Native American tribes including directing 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.
Don Burnett, University of Idaho interim president and Katherine Aiken, University of Idaho interim provost and executive vice president said in a joint statement, “The loss of Art Taylor is profound, not only for his students but also for his peers and the entire university community.  Art was a true champion of Native American access and inclusion in higher education and a tireless advocate for native research and native ways of knowing and teaching as fully integrated research methodology and pedagogy in higher education. The importance of inclusion, access and expansion of our constructs of knowledge, teaching and learning live on at the University of Idaho because of Dr. Taylor.”
Art worked closely with students at the Native American Student Center, who called him “Uncle Art.” His passion for education, tribal traditions and programming helped bridge home and the University of Idaho for Native American students.  Art became a Vandal alumnus in May, earning a doctorate in education.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and literature from Washington State University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University. He completed a second master’s degree in cultural and educational policy studies from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Education.
Previously, Art served as the assistant director of multicultural student programs and services at the University of Notre Dame; secretary and assistant secretary-treasurer of the  Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee; and the Tribal Council’s senior citizen’s liaison, education liaison, chair of the natural resources subcommittee, intergovernmental affairs subcommittee, and land enterprise subcommittee.  Art developed and coordinated the Nez Perce Tribal Youth Council and represented the tribe in all areas of tribal sovereignty relating to both national and international treaty rights.
A rosary, memorial service and viewing will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Nez Perce community center, Pi-Nee-Waus, in Lapwai, Idaho. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 10 a.m., at the Pi-Nee-Waus. Dinner will follow.