About Four Rivers

The Four Rivers Institute’s Mission is to provide Native American students with a unique combination of educational opportunities that will enable them to become effective leaders within their communities and out in the world beyond the reservation. To achieve this purpose the Institute will empower and inspire students to become agents of change, with wilderness experience and professional adventure skills training at the heart of the nine-­month program.

A student completing the program will have gained the qualifications needed to be a professional wilderness guide. Graduates will possess multiple licenses and certifications that encompass a set of highly marketable skills. These skills will be equally relevant towards a college education or to developing a career in eco-­tourism, and furthermore act to strengthen graduate participation in their communities.

Four Rivers’ curriculum is designed to have far reaching effects on inter tribal economic development and the broader implementation of this program is designed to interface with national and global eco-­tourist economies. All students will earn internationally recognized certifications in Wilderness Emergency Medicine, mountaineering and rock-­climbing, Wilderness Search & Rescue, Whitewater Guiding and Swift water Rescue, Wilderness Navigation, and Wild lands Survival, among others. In addition to gaining necessary technical skills they will gain human relations skills that include group dynamics and problem solving, service leadership, and the acceptance of diverse people from diverse communities.

Through their wilderness experience and related coursework Four Rivers Institute graduates will be instilled with a life-­long sense of responsibility for the stewardship of the natural world as well as a deep understanding of their obligation to foster that sense of responsibility in others. The skills, perspectives and attitudes students at Four Rivers Institute acquire in the program will enable them to serve as leaders and agents of change in tribal, low-­income and underprivileged communities.