Building Excellence through Science and Tradition (BEST) is envisioned as an evolving, generative program that continues to develop programs and practices to meet the economic, ecological, and educational needs of area tribes, faculty and students, and South Puget Sound.
As a core component of education for UW Tacoma students, BEST will help UW Tacoma faculty and students to become more aware of contemporary NW tribes and more fully informed of tribal contributions, challenges, roles, history, and status, while providing a means to strengthen University ties with neighboring tribal communities. Moreover, over time, BEST helps to sustain indigenous knowledge bases and support tribal development by integrating indigenous knowledge into higher education programs.
BEST is also envisioned as the means to develop programs and practices that are mutually beneficial to tribes and the University. One such program is the Lushootseed Language Institute. This language program benefits tribal citizens by regenerating traditional language and traditions; and it also benefits UW Tacoma by strengthening relations with Salish language tribes and providing a conduit to the University.