Dean Azule is Pima Indian from Arizona and is coordinator of Native American Student Support Services at a Portland State University. Azule also coordinates the Healing Feathers project, a suicide prevention and awareness program for students.
Dean describes how his parents, after being ostracized at boarding school, made the decision to not stress the teaching of the Pima language to Dean. Later when starting school on the reservation, he was similarly ostracized by his peers for not knowing his native language.
School opened Azule’s eyes to a life away from the hard labors of farming and reservation life, and after a few bumps along the way, he got back on track pursuing a college degree. Today he works to inspire and help other Native students recognize and gain the benefits of a good education.