I’ve been diligently working on starting a blog which I’ve titled 4 the love of the People. In this blog, I’d like share stories of success and not so successful, good and not so good, and positive and not so positive experiences of being an Indigenous woman growing up and living in an ever evolving community from a personal, professional, spiritual, and individual experience.
Today I am an education consultant and enrolled full time in the College of Education Department of Teaching and Learning, Cultural Studies and Social Thought doctoral program at Washington State University. While moving around in my childhood was not always a fond memory (changing schools and making new friends is not easy) I look back in hindsight and believe it has instilled resiliency in me. As a kid growing up in border towns where racism against Native Americans is common, I also want to thank my mother for her fortitude and personal sacrifice which blessed me with the experience and opportunity to live in the urban community where diversity is often celebrated. I believe my personal experiences are the catalyst that have helped me through the formal education and training I’ve achieved. Further, it is my belief as an Indigenous woman that the personal connections I have made with other Natives and non Native people from throughout Indian country and across America has been a blessing. I believe there is a common thread that we share, we love our families, our People (our ancestors, family, friends, and future generations) and consequently, the lands we come from. I believe through ancestral knowledge we continue to pray for a future that will ensure the success of all our children whether we are red, brown, black, white, or yellow, and orange (for the self tanners), and green for the earthy types. My point is, we are all human.
The experiences I have had are personal and not entirely unique given the fact that many Natives throughout the country have had to move away from the Rez for work the way my mother has done. I wish to share that the first half of my life was spent in the Southwest and for last 17 years I have made my home in the Pacific Northwest. When I moved home onto the Nez Perce reservation in 1993, my father and three younger sisters were living in Washington, D.C. Although I had visited D.C., during the time that my father worked for the National Education Association (NEA) I had no idea what I was going to be doing professionally as a career. Since that time I have embraced my life and the beautiful journey that the world of education as a field and discipline has provided me.
I would like to share that this blog is something I view through the lens of expression. I believe with each new day we learn from yesterday and opportunities have a way of presenting themselves through ordinary life experiences.
I hope what I share through my observations and experiences will inspire others to share their stories and personal experiences that could also provide a forum or dialogue on discourse that has long been defined by non Indians for Indians.
Ahe’hee and Imee’qis qeci’yew’yew (Thank you in Dine or Navajo and Big thanks in Nimiipuutimptki or Nez Perce)