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The Inside this Issue: • President’s Message • A Message from the Director • Aim for the Adventure Extraordinaire • All Native American High School Academic Team • Congratulations! Marveline Vallo Gabbard • AIGC Power of Scholarship • Gates Millennium Scholars • Alumni Connection • And more…

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Table of Contents

The American Indian Graduate Volume 12, Number 2

Volume 12, Number 2 • Fall 2013


Message from the President Community and School Based Programs Grow Strong Leaders In Indian Country

by David Mahooty, President, Board of Directors

A publication of the American Indian Graduate Center 3701 San Mateo Blvd., NE, #200 Albuquerque, NM 87110 Phone: (505) 881-4584 Fax: (505) 884-0427 Website: Publisher Sam Deloria, Director


Message from the Director Indian Students Making Global Impact


Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone Aim for the Adventure Extraordinaire

by Stephanie Delgai


Editors Joan Currier Linda Niezgodzki Stephine Poston

by Sam Deloria

Production Editor Jim Weidlein

Feeling Blessed and Honored Educational Journey of a California Indian Miwok Woman

by Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire, Ed.D.


Design and Layout Carolyn S. Tate AIGC Board of Directors

An Innovative Step Forward Bridging the Gap in Breast Cancer Prevention for American Indian Women in Missouri

by Caitlin Donald

Grayson B. Noley, President Choctaw Melanie P. Fritzsche, Vice President Laguna Pueblo Rose Graham, Secretary-Treasurer Navajo


Research Provides Dream Job Alumni Profile: David Nichols, National Park Archaeologist

by David Nichols


Michael E. Bird Santo Domingo-San Juan Pueblo

ANAHSAT Award All Native American High School Academic Team Selected For the Academic Year 2013-2014

by Marveline Vallo Gabbard

Danna R. Jackson Confederated Tribes of Salish & Kootenai Walter Lamar Blackfeet Nation of Montana Joel Frank Seminole Tribe of Florida


Congratulations! Marveline Vallo Gabbard celebrates 15 Years of Service to Graduate and Professional Students! Continued on page 4

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Table of Contents



2013 AIGC Reception and Silent Auction AIGC Power of Scholarship Reception a Tremendous Success

Creating Leaders for the Future Brave Girls

by Daelene Coiz


Gates Millennium Scholars Gates Millennium Scholars Program Awards Scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native Students Across Indian Country

Student Speaker for Graduating Class A True Honor

by Danya Carroll


Alumni Connection The Alumni Connection

by Linda Niezgodzki



Generosity, Courage, Fortitude, Integrity, Honesty and Humility AIGC Alumna Sharing Lakota Virtues While in Public Service by Kimberly Yellow Robe

A Voice for My People “The Importance of An Education�

by Melissa Beard


A Meeting and Melding of Cultures The New Trade Network

by Reed Adair Bobroff


AIGC Scholars AIGC Scholars Hosts the 2013 Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Alternative Spring Break (ASB) by Stephine Poston



Traditional Healing and Therapy Research for Cultural Preservation

by Sierra Yazzie Asamoa-Tutu


Comparing Traditions China Dreams

by Concetta Tsosie

Cover: Top left: Stephanie Delgai on yak in India; Top right: Stephanie Delgai in Fiji with village women; Middle left: Concetta Tsosie at Great Wall of China; Middle right: Concetta Tsosie at yurt in Mongolia; Bottom left: Stephanie Delgai in Nepal Monastery; Bottom right: NACA students at New Zealand hobbit house.

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American Indian Graduate Center, 3701 San Mateo Blvd., NE, #200 Albuquerque, NM 87110, (505) 881-4584 phone, (505) 884-0427 fax Visit us On-Line! 2013 AIGC, Inc. All rights reserved. Published submissions and advertisements do not necessarily reflect the view of AIGC, Inc.

Message from the President

Community and School Based Programs Grow Strong Leaders In Indian Country by David Mahooty, President, Board of Directors


ver the years I have witnessed successful community and school based programs for Indian youth. This is good news because it provides Indian youth with options that enhance their overall education experience. From empowerment programs that promote self-respect and responsibility, to traveling programs that introduce global perspectives of varying cultures, there are plentiful and wide-ranging opportunities from which Native youth can explore, learn and grow. Our young people today face unique challenges. They are subject to bullying both on and off school campuses, with the presence of social media in their everyday lives. Some of these youth are members of tribes that have experienced unprecedented economic growth, and may be the first in the family to graduate high school or attend college. They have peers who have contemplated suicide or struggle with substance abuse. These challenges, when present, can be paralyzing to youth development and most certainly impact their education experience. Thankfully, there are far-reaching programs available to Indian youth that teach them skills to navigate these challenges. More importantly, these programs help Native youth realize their potential, and provide them with the tools and skills to make the most of their educational experiences. To highlight just a few: • The Santa Fe Indian School’s Leadership Institute manages the Brave Girls program, which serves high school females at the Santa Fe Indian School. Rooted in education and empowerment, Brave Girls fosters constructive youth development that inspires young Native women to make positive decisions and strengthen their physical, emotional and social wellbeing. The Brave Girls program exposes its members to training opportunities, as well as community service projects. (See the story in this issue.) • In 1996, the Brave Heart Society was established to provide cultural programs for Yankton Dakota

David Mahooty

women and girls. The traditional cultural society is responsible for the resurrection of the Coming of Age Ceremony (Isnati Awica Dowanpi) for young teen girls, as well as the annual “Calling Back the Spirit” Healing Retreat, which heals the trauma of abuse and addiction. The Society is also credited with establishing a community garden, which provides lessons in teamwork and responsibility for young women. • The Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque, NM organizes an educational leadership experience that takes young teens to Aotearoa (New Zealand) to experience a new country and new culture. NACA students learn about the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori. Participating youth develop civic awareness, citizenship and communication skills, all the while gaining worldly perspectives. (See the story in this issue.) • There is also the Dine lina (Life) doo Naataanii (Leadership) Academy. In this program young Natives are mentored by several former Miss Navajos and Dine’ consultants to learn etiquette and leadership skills and strengthen cultural values. Participants also gain knowledge about social ceremonies for the puberty passage of males and females. Continued on page 11

The American Indian Graduate


Message from the Director

Indian Students Making Global Impact by Sam Deloria


hen I was young, Indian people hadn’t been overseas (as civilians) in large numbers since the days of Buffalo Bill Cody. Now a student from a New Mexico Pueblo gets her Masters degree from Cambridge University; a Diné student in this summer’s Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) has as her main Facebook picture a wonderful shot of her and her mother in China having a great time; my college roomie emails me that he ran into someone who knows me – in the Hong Kong airport! And she turns out to be another Diné student who joined the Peace Corps after college graduation and, after making a video with AIGCS for incoming Gates Scholars, took off for Southeast Asia. One of Yale’s freshman Indian students gets himself a summer fellowship to spend some time with the Maori people in New Zealand. What’s going on? Of course, there was a post-Cody tradition for many years of Indian people venturing out on their own without much publicity – my nephew Philip J. Deloria has written about them in his wonderfully entertaining book ‘Indians in Unexpected Places’. But we didn’t travel much in my day because we didn’t have the money, and using what little we had to travel outside the U.S. would have been nearly scandalous; we would have been accused of taking a “junket”. I think one of the leaders in luring us across various borders in what I persist in calling “the modern era” (there are those who don’t consider the 70s to be a “modern” anything) was the late George Manuel, former President of the National Indian Brotherhood of Canada and originator of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples in the mid-70s.

Sam Deloria

The world-view in Canada, because of its membership in the British Commonwealth, was much more international than ours, and George Manuel felt comfortable visiting a number of Commonwealth de-colonializing countries and asking their leaders for advice and support. Later on, people from the U.S. ventured out one by one, like Marco Indian Polos. We even had Scott Bear Don’t Walk, a Rhodes Scholar! Since the days of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) and the subsequent very long process of developing the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by many individuals and organizations, the interaction among indigenous peoples has grown, and Indian people have found many reasons to go many places. It just seems to me, and to us here at AIGC/S, that a fundamental change is taking place in the perspective of Indian people in general and students in particular, and we are all for it. Maybe it is the influence of the internet,

I have not given up my long-held hope that we can someday start a system like the old Sister Cities, wherein we can open communications between U.S. and Canadian Indian and Native communities and those of indigenous peoples throughout the world, especially including the schools. 6

The American Indian Graduate

or that pestilential Facebook in particular (of which I am ashamed to say I am a devotee – at the orders of a former AIGC/S board president!). We are very much in favor of students (and others) traveling the world for many reasons: I think one of the most important benefits is that to do so will help to break down the sense of isolation that many people have, and the sense that they have been uniquely burdened by history. It is good for us to see where we stand relative to the other peoples of the world, including especially other indigenous peoples. The other side of thinking we are uniquely burdened: I have found a tendency of some Native peoples in North America to think of themselves as the elite of the indigenous world – more sophisticated and capable of bringing the others along, although I have found that not to be the case. We in the U.S. and Canada, and perhaps some of the other British Commonwealth nations, may have escaped some of the worst treatment that other indigenous peoples suffered, and continue to suffer today.

But we have much to learn from the other indigenous groups, even as we have much to share with them. I have not given up my long-held hope that we can someday start a system like the old Sister Cities, wherein we can open communications between U.S. and Canadian Indian and Native communities and those of indigenous peoples throughout the world, especially including the schools. This would make a lot of our people feel less isolated and hopeless and bring perspective to indigenous communities throughout the world. So this issue of our magazine will look at some students who are venturing out a bit. We hope you enjoy it and we hope you will send us information about other travelers we didn’t know about or didn’t mention. Thanks. âœŚ

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The American Indian Graduate


Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

Aim for the Adventure Extraordinaire by Stephanie Delgai


y name is Stephanie Delgai and I am from Ganado, Arizona, which is located on the Navajo Reservation. Growing up I attended public reservation schools and graduated from Ganado High School in May 2005. I was fortunate to attend the University of Arizona, with the aid of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I left the Navajo Reservation to start a 27-month journey as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in May 2010. Peace Corps presented me with an assignment in Fiji focused on Integrated Environmental Resource Management – I accepted their offer without hesitation. In the south Pacific Ocean, there is a “hidden paradise” called Fiji. The Fiji Islands contain up to 332 islands,

Stepanie Delgai riding a yak at Lake Tsongmo, India.


The American Indian Graduate

33% of which are inhabited by Fijians and Indo-Fijians. The two largest islands in Fiji are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, upholding 87% of Fiji’s total population (approximately 858,038). Fiji’s total area is 18,274 square kilometers, which is smaller than the state of New Jersey. I lived on Vanua Levu, known for the longest bay in the South Pacific and also famous for its spinner dolphins. The name of my village was Navakaka, located in the Cakaudrove province. Most Fijian communities are clustered in groups of 5-10 villages and usually collaborate on farming, income generation, cultural celebrations, and religious ceremonies. As an environmental volunteer, I lived in a rural village to promote environmental conservation. Before reaching our permanent site, we were grouped in five

different villages and underwent an eight-week training program while living with a host family. Training included cross-cultural workshops, community-based exercises, and a Fijian language course. We completed the pre-service training on July 8, 2010, and were officially sworn-in as U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers. After the swearing-in ceremony, volunteers departed for their permanent sites. Some were placed in the city and others in remote areas. I was stationed in a rural village not far

often laborious and time consuming. A well-balanced meal is rare and meat is a treat. Although life was simple in my village, the people were happy with what they had and appreciated things that I took for granted such as clean running water and electricity. I look back at my experience in the village and appreciate all the things I learned. I was fortunate to work with distinguished people, acquire a network of established colleagues and live in a remarkable com-

My Peace Corps experience taught me how to adapt, appreciate culture, conserve relationships, respect traditions, share knowledge, and build friendships. from a town called Savusavu. Now it was time to integrate with the villagers and adapt to my new lifestyle. Upon arrival to my village, I clenched my hands, looked out the taxi window and realized, “This is the road to my new home. I’m going to be living on a tropical island for over two-years!” My bure, a traditional bamboo house, was centrally located in the village with several houses positioned nearby. Before settling in completely, I had to meet the village chief and turaga ni koro (elected village leader) for a sevusevu. A sevusevu is a ceremony held between an outsider and village leaders. The outsider formally requests to enter the village and offers a small gift. During the sevusevu, people sit on the floor, exchange the proper Fijian words and drink yagona. This ceremony symbolizes respect and gratitude. Later that afternoon we completed the ceremony with three loud claps. I was now a part of their village. How was living in the village? Living in the village was almost like living on the reservation, except for the lush greenery, coconut trees and easy access to the beach. A river ran along the village, which boasted coconut tree plantations and an array of roots crops. The children are widely curious and eager to befriend newcomers. I believe the Fijian values are similar to the Navajo; hospitality, a desire for self-sufficiency, and aware of conserving natural resources. As a child, I would regularly visit my grandparents, who had no running water or electricity. I grew up understanding that people can have very little and still be happy, which is the same mentality that existed in the village. The village energy source is a gas-fueled generator, which supplies the village with four-hours or less of electricity every day. Children play with homemade toys, climb trees, and swim in the river. Absent from their daily lives are video games, iPods, and cartoons. Clothes are not a fashion statement but an essential. Hard work is

munity. Some of my major projects included grant writing, collaborating with government officials and organizations, creating a community development plan, leading workshops, starting a women’s co-operative, creating a village business proposal, teaching students and leading a girls group. Aside from my volunteer duties, I embraced the Fijian way of life: wake up, make tea, scrape coconuts, collect firewood, pick edible ferns in the forest, cook, weave a mat and pass time talking to friends. I can highlight all my achievements, but I can’t help think about the people who helped me. My support network comprised of family, friends, villagers, students, volunteers, and Peace Corps staff. Together, we made memories that will last a lifetime. Overall, my Peace Corps experience taught me how to adapt, appreciate culture, conserve relationships, respect traditions, share knowledge, and build friendships. My time in Fiji had ended, what was I going to do next? I returned home in the beginning of July 2012. I should have been exhausted from the 10-hour flight & nine-hour layover, but the anticipation to see my family restored my energy. The minute I walked out the airport lobby, I immediately saw a cheerfully colored banner, balloons, and smiling faces. Hours later, I was eating an intimate home cooked meal with those I loved. Later that month, my family held a huge welcome home dinner in honor of my return. During the celebration, I presented photos of Fiji, displayed mementos, and held a Q&A session. One of the popular questions I was asked, what are you going to do now? In response, I said, “I will be home for two to three months and then I plan to move to Nepal.” Once again, my family was shocked with my decision to move abroad. But before I embarked on a new journey, I spent three-months with friends and family, reorganized my belongings, and helped with family projects. In September 2012, I

The American Indian Graduate


Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

Stephanie Delgai, right, with host family in Fiji.

flew to Kathmandu, Nepal where I found an internship with a non-profit organization called, The Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation. I began my internship as a Volunteer Coordinator/Communications Intern, whose duties were to manage the volunteer program, update newsletters and blogs, promote the foundation using various social media, content marketing, help manage the jewelry program, welcome volunteers, and of course help where it was needed. Once again, I was happily taking part in community development, promoting environmental conservation and sustainability. As of today, I live in Kathmandu Nepal. This is a place full of friendly people, cultural diversity and social backgrounds that range from Tibetans, Chinese, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Indians, etc. Therefore, Nepal contains a unique mixture of people, food, and customs. One interesting coincidence, Nepalese and Navajos look alike, so often times I’m confused as a local. My ability to camouflage has allowed me to get better prices, less stares, free admission to temples and shocked faces when I speak English with no accent. Based on my 10-months in Nepal and two-week visit in India, I have seen a predominant use of indigenous practices, religious devotion, historical sights, and different forms of self-sacrifice. Sadly, like most developing countries, there is the desire to become westernized. This mentality is created by a false depiction of America and other foreign countries. When asked by a Nepalese, “why would you want to live in a developing country?” I respond, “I want to appreciate all parts of the world”. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to travel abroad, and at this moment Nepal is a perfect fit. Overall, my new surroundings offer a new perspective and insight to my future. I never expected to be a world traveler, how did it all begin? Honestly, I never thought I would leave home for


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an extensive period of time. Sure I did internships, but nothing longer than 90 days. At age 20, Peace Corps entered my mind. I thought, “One day, I want to look back and say I stepped out of my comfort zone.” This same mentality is what would push me to complete the Peace Corps application, say goodbye to loved ones and eventually board a plane. I’m very close to my family, so living abroad has been a challenge. Despite the distance, they have supported me through all my endeavors. Before my departure to Fiji, they threw me a bon voyage party. There were family members who visited me in Fiji, sent numerous care packages and participated in tons of video chats. I appreciate every family member and friend who helped me be where I am today. A message to my readers, I hope my story inspires you to step out of your comfort zone. I also want to emphasize that I grew up in an average household. I grew up in a place where culture is rich and opportunities are often rare. Therefore, I want to extend a word of advice, if you live in a small community, an isolated area, or a place with limited resources, please disregard the impossible. If something requires hard work, commitment and courage, it’s 100% worth pursuing. The Gates Millennium Scholarship was my ticket to receive a higher education. It opened doors and led me to believe anything is possible. Peace Corps also opened my mind to new ideas, friendships, skills and wonderful memories. I would like you to take a chance and aim for the adventure extraordinaire. I also recommend Peace Corps to those who are interested. Make the first step by checking out their website. I am also delighted to advocate education to Native youth. It would be a privilege to provide guidance and answer questions about college, Fiji, Nepal, Peace Corps, internships, etc. You may contact me on Facebook. My ID is Stephanie Delgai. Lastly, my future plans are to move back home and earn a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in international management. Once I complete graduate school, I plan to work abroad for a number of years, most preferably with USAID or UNDP. Eventually, I will settle in the States, have a family and reflect on my life. Until then, I will continue to embrace my home away from home. ✦

Message from the President Continued from page 5

• The Gates Millennium Scholars program sponsors Alternative Spring Break, which brings together 50 Gates Scholars from various college and universities each year to engage in a weeklong community service trip. Participants are exposed to different cultures and ideas, and are challenged to demonstrate initiative, teamwork, leadership and the rewards of lending a helping hand. (See the story in this issue.) These are just a few of the many programs that we should encourage our young people to explore. The bottom line is that Native youth-serving organizations are doing more than enriching the educational experience. They are preserving culture, instilling confidence in our youth to set and achieve goals, providing perspective from other cultures and arming the next generation with skills to succeed in their schooling and beyond. I am equally encouraged by the Indian youth participating in these programs. Their spirit and energy is

inspiring. Their curiosity and willingness to listen and learn is humbling. They approach these experiences with open hearts and minds and leave with profound gains in culture, education, social awareness, mental advancement, and worldly perspectives. Our future, I’m certain, is in very good hands. I would like to take this opportunity to inform the readers that this is my last Message from the President and say “farewell” to all. I have enjoyed my term and would like to welcome the new President of the AIGC Board of Directors, Grayson Noley. I wish him the best in his endeavors to take AIGC into the future! Welcome to new board members, Joel Frank and Walter Lamar and congratulations to newly elected Vice-President Melanie Fritzsche and SecretaryTreasurer Rose Graham. Thank you to all members of the AIGC Board and staff for their dedication and hard work for higher education of American Indian and Alaska Native students! ✦

The American Indian Graduate


Feeling Blessed and Honored

Educational Journey of a California Indian Miwok Woman by Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire, Ed.D.


s I begin my journey as an educator, I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but to reflect on the trials and tribulations that I encountered as a Native American woman completing a doctoral degree program in Educational Leadership. I am an enrolled member of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians, and one of few select students from my tribe who have completed a graduate degree; my desire to give back to my community is strong. I can attest to the hardships that American Indian students encounter, but I know that having support from the community can really make a difference. During the course of my undergraduate and graduate level work, I obtained financial support from a variety of scholarships, fellowships and grants. I relied on various college programs that assist low-income students. I am so thankful for all the help that I received and I know that this support made my academic achievements possible. The McNair Scholars Program and the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) are two resources available to underrepresented minority students. It was through these programs that I was able to meet and interact with Native faculty and staff members on campus, and as a McNair Scholar I was able to publish research on tribal enrollment and tribal conflict resolution.

Richard Alire (husband), Crystal & Mariah (daughter)

dances and eldersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; gatherings. As a young student I was my school districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s student representative to Indian Education. I recall my early experiences starting dancing as a California Indian Miwok dancer. I remember when my mother sat me down to discuss the importance of learning about my culture and history; under-

It was then that I understood my responsibility to be involved in education and give back to the tribal community and those same programs that helped me as a student. I reflect upon my early years, and know that my family had a significant impact on my education. My mother, Doreen Franklin, made sure that we were involved in Indian Education programs and we attended many meetings, conferences and community events. It seemed as if each weekend was full of big times,


The American Indian Graduate

standing what it meant for me to be Indian. It was then that I understood my responsibility to be involved in education and give back to the tribal community and those same programs that helped me as a student. Even today I know that it is these memories that keep me reaching forward.

On a more personal note, my family has encountered many losses. Just before I entered graduate school, my oldest brother, Jerry Franklin, joined the spirit world at the young age of 37 years old, and my mother gained full care of his two children who were in their early teens. My responsibility to help my niece and nephew was to be a positive role model and influence for them. From this loss I learned that nothing in life is guaranteed. But with the support and help of the community

Sacramento. For this I would like to thank him and Dr. Brounda, both of whom were instrumental in supporting my research study. I also thank my husband Richard and daughter Mariah. My current professional role is working for the Shingle Springs Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which allows me the opportunity to help clients in the community with their own college, vocational and career goals. I work directly

I feel truly blessed and honored to have been a scholarship recipient of the American Indian Graduate Center, and I will continue to support other Native students in higher education. you can continue to move forward and with clients on an individual basis, and achieve your life goals. This was a huge coordinate different educational events lesson to me and I hope I can send this such as campus tours, financial aid and message to others that may struggle with scholarship information. I also provide the loss of a family member. counseling on the career development A major motivator for me as a process and teach a weekly employment Native woman in higher educational is course. In this program I have been able the access to research and statistical data. to assist students with a range of needs The estimated rate of high school comand hope to continue encouraging othpletion among American Indian students ers with their own educational goals is about 50% (Faircloth, S., Tippeconnic and endeavors. III, John W., 2010). This statistic is In conclusion, I would just like to alarming and needs to change. For this say that I feel truly blessed and honored reason, I personally pushed forward to to have been a scholarship recipient of obtain my doctorate degree, to serve as the American Indian Graduate Center, a role model so that others would see and I will continue to support other that they too could achieve their educaNative students in higher education. My Crystal Martinez-Alire tional goals and not become statistics. It future plans include working within K12 also inspired my doctoral research titled and higher educational realms, to help “The Perceptions of Tribal Leadership and the Impact of develop curriculum that addresses American Indian stuEducation and Cultural Knowledge: Examining Tribal dent needs and help to bridge the gaps in education. My Leadership and Education within California Native hope is to ensure strong ethical leadership that is focused Communities.” The goal of this research was to idenon education for tribal communities. I have the deeptify the importance of tribal leadership and education. est respect and appreciation for giving back and helping While conducting my research I gained further insight other Native students succeed. ✦ into Native culture, tradition, historical trauma, and Citation: Faircloth, S., & Tippeconnic, III, John W. tribal governance, and since this was a qualitative study, (2010). The Dropout/Graduation Rate Crisis Among American I was enriched by feedback from community members Indian and Alaska Native Students: Failure to Respond Places and elders that included strong recommendations for the Future of Native Peoples at Risk. Los Angeles, CA: The changes within the K-12 and higher educational systems. Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civilies at UCLA. There is much more work to be done on this topic, and I plan to continue my future work in this area of tribal leadership and education. I received a great amount of support from Dr. Nevarez, Director of the Educational Leadership Program at California State University,

The American Indian Graduate


An Innovative Step Forward

Bridging the Gap in Breast Cancer Prevention for American Indian Women in Missouri by Caitlin Donald


y name is Caitlin Donald, and I am in my second year of the Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of Social Work program at Washington University in St. Louis. I come from the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma and I am an enrolled member of the Osage Nation. Additionally, my mother is of German descent. I grew up in a biraCaitlin Donald cial and bicultural household, so I have always believed that my role professionally and personally is that of a cultural liaison. As a bicultural person I value cultural literacy as a way to foster a greater sense of community Throughout my internship, I collaborated with and to facilitate conflict resolution and understanding. PECaD to station a mobile mammography van at the In essence, my bicultural upbringing has led me into annual Washington University Pow Wow, to increase the social work practice. availability of prevention services for American Indian During my second semester in graduate school, I women. The program provided mammograms to women served as a practicum student in building a relationshipover 40 years of age who reside in Missouri. Regardless centered collaboration for breast cancer prevention for of insurance status, the mammogram was provided at no American Indian women in Missouri. This program cost to the recipients. The program also provided local was born from the partnership between the Kathryn M. and national cancer support resources and preventative Buder Center for American Indian health materials. The medical team Studies at Washington University from PECaD reviewed the materiin St. Louis, and the Program als for accuracy. They were then for the Elimination of Cancer screened for cultural appropriateDisparities (PECaD). PECaD is a ness, and the content was adjusted partnership between several medito better serve American Indian cal institutions in the St. Louis women. Finally, a local American area. The mission of PECaD is Indian artist created a culturally to eliminate regional cancer disspecific logo for all of the materiparities by working with underals. Another local American Indian represented communities and the artist created feather pins to disorganizations that serve them. tribute to all women who received PECaD began working with the services at the van. Buder Center for American Indian In addition to the van, I worked Studies in an effort to gain awarewith American Indian women ness and address the service need to create cultural literacy trainProject logo by American Indian of American Indians in the region. ing for the medical practitioners artist Tina Sparks, Missouri


The American Indian Graduate

involved. The training facilitated an awareness of the local American Indian community while also providing insight into American Indian worldviews, health disparities, and notions of wellness. It also exposed the ways in which existing prevention services, policies, and procedures create barriers for American Indians. There were many challenges while developing this program. Strict medical policies prevented some of our recommendations of cultural adjustments to services provided from being implemented. Cultural misunderstandings arose within planning meetings. We struggled in finding current research on cancer in American Indian communities. It was important for me to recognize throughout this project that every stakeholder came into the project with a different set of values and priorities. I considered this when issues arose, and it helped me to act professionally and work toward a mutually beneficial solution. I had to continue to remind myself and others that no matter what the end result, this project would be an innovative step forward in prevention serAmerican Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) vices for American Indian women. In the end, we wereAd

So many women were walking around the pow wow arena with pink feathers pinned to their shirts and prevention materials in their hands. able to reach a final product that met most of the expectations for everyone involved, and despite challenges, everything went as planned. With just four hours to complete all of the scheduled mammograms, the medical screeners were booked from start to finish. So many women were walking around the pow wow arena with pink feathers pinned to their shirts and prevention materials in their hands. Throughout the pow-wow, the breast cancer prevention Continued on page 26

The Buder Center for American Indian Studies is a premier graduate program in Social Work. We are committed to preparing and supporting future American Indian leaders to practice in tribal and urban settings, making significant contributions to health, wellness, and the sustained future of Indian Country The Buder Center’s Program: 

Provides opportunities for full scholarships to American Indian/ Alaska Natives from the Kathryn M. Buder Charitable Foundation


Offers a flexible curriculum that allows you to customize your course of study Presents course work focused on American Indian culture and values

 

Assists with securing your practicum through our established network of sites within American Indian communities


Provides assistance in career and professional development


Offers dual degree programs with architecture, business, law, divinity, and public health

Molly Tovar, Director One Brookings Drive Campus Box 1196, St. Louis, MO 63130 E-mail: Phone: (314) 935-4510 Fax: (314) 935-8464 Website:

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Research Provides Dream Job

Alumni Profile: David Nichols, National Park Archaeologist by David Nichols


hat a great opportunity it is to be invited by AIGC to share my story of success, made possible with help from the American Indian Graduate Center. My story includes oft told tales; Trail of Tears and Grapes of Wrath. I grew up hearing stories from my grandmother about our Muscogee (Creek) Indian heritage and about her upbringing in Checotah, Oklahoma. They are amazing. My grandmother was two generations removed from that saddest of stories, the Trail of Tears. But she remembered details passed down through her family about the journey, and shared that history with my brother and me. Now fast forward. My mother was the youngest of 8 brothers and sisters. Grandma moved the family west during the Great Dustbowl event in 1930s Oklahoma, to the golden promise of life and work in California. My mom picked cotton until she was 18 years old. Out of the 8 children, she was the only one to get a college edu-

California, Santa Barbara. As it turned out, this degree was not particularly viable, aside from teaching. But as luck would have it, I was hired for a job in Hawaii as a computer consultant working for an archaeologist. He trained me in his field, and I became a field technician in archaeology. After 13 years of work in Hawaii, Guam, Micronesia, Australia and California, I finally decided this was going to be my profession. Traveling throughout the Pacific in my 20s and 30s was a great way to learn about and experience how colonized peoples, with various historical experiences with oppression, have experienced modernization and reorganization into modern times. My Native American heritage was a great advantage to the various companies I worked for as the indigenous people that I worked with felt far more comfortable interfacing with me rather than with the “faceless suits” that managed the projects from a distance.

“Do your research and studies in the area you want to end up working in. You may become the local expert for that area and end up getting hired there!” cation. After high school she joined the Navy and used the GI bill to get a teaching credential. She schooled us on our heritage, my brother and me, and made us proud of that heritage. We grew up respecting and understanding what it means to be someone of native blood of any origin, from any country. This made me curious about those that came before me - my ancestors on the North American continent. I wanted an undergraduate degree in anthropology, but understandably my parents didn’t recognize that as a viable field for financial success. I ended up with a degree in Mathematics from the University of


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After relocating to California and working in archaeology around the San Francisco area for several years, I applied to graduate school – a master’s degree program in Cultural Resources Management – at Sonoma State University in Northern California. I learned about the availability of financial assistance from AIGC through the Muscogee (Creek) Tribal Affairs office, and I applied for and received a generous scholarship that sustained me through my graduate education. I have always had an interest in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, and so throughout my studies and research, I focused my attention and efforts on the

David Nichols

archaeology of this region. I tell students all of the time, “Do your research and studies in the area you want to end up working in. You may become the local expert for that area and end up getting hired there!”This is precisely what happened to me. That portion of the Mojave Desert that I had been researching is a National Park Service unit known as the Mojave National Preserve ( index.htm). I became acquainted with Park Service personnel while working in the area, and was invited to speak to management about my research interests. As a result, I was offered a research project – my master’s thesis – by the Preserve, and afterwards hired as the Park Archaeologist! It’s been ten years now and I have no intention of working anywhere else. The Mojave National Preserve, at 1.6 million acres, is the third largest National Park Service unit in the lower 48 states. I was originally hired as the Park Archaeologist but have since become responsible for all historic properties within the Preserve as well. The history of this area includes ranching, homesteading, railroading, mining, and 12,000 years (that we know of!) of Native American presence in the area. I look at impacts to all of these site types and develop projects to arrest decay, decomposition, erosion, and any other factors that

may contribute to the loss of our combined heritage. Cattle grazing, violent weather events, vandalism, camping, hunting, off-roading are all examples of the types of activities that affect our cultural resources. Some of my preservation projects have included stabilization of a Mojave Indian habitation site that began eroding due to violent monsoonal rains; a large fire event had denuded the site of soil-retaining vegetation; the reroofing and strengthening of the walls of several circa 1910 desert homesteads that were in threat of imminent collapse due to general neglect and weathering; the reapplication of adobe and reconstruction of walls of 1867 US Army Ft. Piute; straightening and stabilization of historic corral fences. The list goes on and on and, as the sole Cultural Resources Specialist here, my job will be secure into the unforeseen future! ✦ David R. Nichols, MA, RPA, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Park Archaeologist, NHPA (National Historic Preservation Act) Specialist, Mojave National Preserve

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All Native American High School Academic Team Selected For the Academic Year 2013-2014 by Marveline Vallo Gabbard



he American Indian Graduate Center All Native American High School Academic Team (ANAHSAT) is in its 8th year of honoring ten outstanding American Indian/Alaska Native high school seniors from across the United States. These high school seniors are selected based on academic achievement, honors and awards, leadership, and community service. Each is given a monetary award, which may be spent at the student’s discretion. The objectives of this program are: to increase awareness of academic achievement of Indian high school seniors among their peers, Indian Country and the

public; to increase recognition of Indian student success and capabilities as a positive motivation for pursing academic excellence and higher education; to increase academic achievement and role models as positive influences in Indian Country; to increase teacher, administrator, parent and community involvement by recommending, nominating and supporting student participation; and to increase student participation in high school academic programs and pursuit of higher education. ✦

Tanner Heath (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) Graduated from Hobart High School. Pursing a bachelor’s degree in business at Oklahoma State University.

Jacob G. Barrs (Choctaw Nation) Graduated from Talihina Public Schools. Pursing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at St. Gregory’s University.

Chasity L. Salvador (Pueblo of Acoma) Graduated from Santa Fe Indian School. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminology at Stanford University.

Tanner L. Colombe (Rosebud Sioux Tribe) Graduated from Todd County High School. Pursing a bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of South Dakota.

Damon J. Clark (Navajo Nation) Graduated from Navajo Preparatory School. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics at Harvard University.

Shade Rodriguez (Navajo Nation) Graduated from V. Sue Cleveland High. Pursing a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at Dartmouth College.

Myacah H. Sampson (Navajo Nation) Graduate from Kirtland Central High School. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Oberlin College.

Jordan M. Drapeau (Yankton Sioux Tribe) Graduated from Marty Indian School. Pursing a bachelor’s degree in business at the University of South Dakota.

Dalton J. Montileaux (Oglala Sioux Tribe) Graduated from Tea Area High School. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of South Dakota.

Emily R. Walck (Navajo Nation) Graduated from Montezuma-Cortez High School. Pursing a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts at Stanford University.

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Congratulations to the 2013-2014 AIGC All Native American High School Academic Team!

Chasity L. Salvador Tanner Heath Emily R. Walck

Myacah H. Sampson

Dalton J. Montileaux

Jacob G. Barrs

Jordan M. Drapeau

Tanner L. Colombe

(The All Native American High School Academic Team program was created by AIGC with a grant from the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation and is currently maintained with private funds.)

Shade Rodriguez Damon J. Clark

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Marveline Vallo Gabbard celebrates 15 Years of Service to Graduate and Professional Students!


arveline Vallo Gabbard of the Pueblo of Acoma, is the Program Associate of Graduate and Special Programs for the American Indian Graduate Center. Marveline is The Power of Scholarship! As AIGC prepares to celebrate 45 years of service to American Indian and Alaska Native students in higher education, it is only fitting to celebrate the AIGC staff person who has chosen to serve students for 1/3 of the organization’s existence. Marveline Vallo Gabbard joined AIGC on the day of her grandmother’s birthday, which is why she’ll always remember her AIGC anniversary date. In 1998, AIGC was a very small office in need of a highly organized person to manage and systemize a growing program. A last minute applicant from the Pueblo of Acoma’s Department of Education, Marveline was a perfect choice for the role. Her decision to take the position with AIGC, about sixty miles from her home on the Acoma reservation, has resulted in a life full of accomplishments, both personally and with AIGC. Some of those changes include obtaining her a Bachelor of University Studies degree from the University of New Mexico, getting married, moving the AIGC application process to an online system, strengthening our relationships with partners and students, and helping AIGC to move to a new office. CONGRATULATIONS MARVELINE and on behalf of American Indian and Alaska Native students in higher education, everywhere - THANK YOU for 15 years of dedication to AIGC and student success. ✦ Some of the AIGC students, Alumni and supporters wanted to share some kind words with Marveline during this special occasion…

“Congratulations!” – Dagmar Seely, Candidate for the Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. in Philanthropic Studies, Preparing Future Faculty Scholar


The American Indian Graduate

Marveline Vallo Gabbard

“Congratulations, Marveline!! All your hard work is appreciated.” – Melanie Patten Fritzsche, Secretary and Treasurer, AIGC Board of Directors

“Congratulations Marveline for 15 years of quality service with AIGC.” – Mona Grey Bear

“Congratulations! Thank you for assisting graduate students across our great nation.” – Harold Kihega Jr

“Congratulations Mar veline!!! Thank you for your dedication to higher education and always getting back to me promptly and with excellent customer service when I have questions or issues!” – Shawna L. Begay

Marveline and guests at AIGC Conference 2005

“Congrats Mar veline!! Thank you for taking the time to help and for answering my many questions!!” – Veronica Lane

“Marveline, I would like to personally thank you for all the support and guidance that you have provided my son, Mr. Kyle Swimmer. He has been blessed to receive scholarship support through AIGC, and I know that his is thankful for all that you have done to support his academic pathway. There are special people that are meant to extend this goodness to Native students. Congratulations on your 15th anniversary and here’s wishing you another 15 years with AIGC! Da wa ee’ for all that you give-blessings.”

“Congratulations on your long tenure at AIGC, a lot of students have benefited from your dedication. Thank you for being there for all Indigenous students and educators. “ – Norman Cooeyate

“Congratulations, Mar veline! Thank you so much for all your help over the last t wo years and I hope future students are fortunate enough to work with you for many years in the future!”

–Dr. Shelly Valdez

– Jessika Ava

“Hi Marveline! Congratulations on 15 years with AIGC! Many blessings to you and to the family and on the next 15 years ahead and beyond!”


– Jennifer (Sims) Nanez, LMSW, Clinical Director, Pueblo of Acoma Behavioral Health Services

Marveline, Orbit and daughter Brittany at AIGC Annual Reception 2013

– Travis Numan

“Congrats!” – Danna BC

Marveline, husband James at AIGC Annual Reception 2011

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2013 AIGC Reception and Silent Auction

AIGC Power of Scholarship Reception a Tremendous Success


hen AIGC began the Power of Scholarship initiative in 2013, we aimed to acknowledge what this organization does so well – address the growing need for scholarships among the American Indian and Alaska Native graduate and professional degree community. The “Power” in our initiative took on a triple meaning… serving as a conduit for advancing education opportunity among American Indian and Alaska Native students, engaging the collective strength of AIGC supporters to empower those on the educational path and recognizing our alumni are making huge contributions throughout Indian Country in their careers. We recognize our incredible impact! In almost every instance that an AIGC staff or representative travels or attends a meeting locally or nationally, we meet AIGC alumni who are making a big difference at the tribal, state, national and international levels. It reinforces that our scholarships to Indian students pursing graduate and professional degrees are working. That is something to be proud of! The initiative logically unites these two sources of power – bringing together those who so generously donate both funds and programs to AIGC with those who receive scholarships administered by AIGC that enable them to realize their educational experiences. Earlier this year, we celebrated this powerful combination at the 5th annual AIGC Reception held in Albuquerque, NM. AIGC hosted over 200 supporters at an evening reception and honored six power players and organizations in American Event attendees Indian education.


The American Indian Graduate

“We honored these organizations and individuals for opening doors, creating opportunity, and paving the way for American Indian graduate students nationwide,” said Sam Deloria, Director of AIGC. “Their efforts have made a difference in our scholars’ lives and will continue to benefit the thousands of future students AIGC will serve in the years to come. They truly exemplify the Power of Scholarship.” Those honored at the reception include: Dr. Kevin Teehee, from Tahlequah, Oklahoma in the Cherokee Nation, attended medical school at Charles Drew / UCLA in Los Angeles with the support of an AIGC scholarship. He finished his training in family practice and worked for the Indian Health Service on the California Central Coast for several years. Currently, he practices emergency medicine in Los Angeles, and

Susan Duran and Orbit (ABQ Isotopes mascot)

D. Rhoades Schroeder and Sam Deloria

provides support to current cohorts of AIGC fellows with his generous contributions. D. Rhoades Schroeder, a longtime, generous supporter of AIGC, is a graduate of the University of Colorado. He entered the U.S. Air Force and served in Korea, worked for the ABC network in advertising writing, and later became Creative Director for Buster Brown Shoes. He also taught science to middle and high school students. He continues to give to AIGC because over 90 percent of donations directly serve students through scholarships and services. Reception honorees, left to right, Governor Vincent Toya, Cate Stetson, National Indian Gaming JoAnn Melchor, Chairman Ernie Stevens and Sam Deloria. Association (NIGA) and Chairman Ernie Stevens execute the common commitment and cultural learning and service for the Gates Millennium purpose of NIGA advancing the lives of Indian peoples Scholarsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Alternative Spring Break Program. AIGC economically, socially and politically. NIGA has never honored the Pueblo of Jemez because of their generous wavered on education being essential to that common hospitality and providing young scholars a different percommitment. AIGC honored NIGA for their leadership spective on the importance of citizenship, social activism, in supporting Native American higher education and and public service. AIGC. Southwest Youth Services (SYS), led by Managing The Pueblo of Jemez along with Governor Vincent Director JoAnn Melchor (Kewa Pueblo), is a non-profit Toya have had a long history of commitment to educaorganization that uses the game of soccer to grow grasstion for the empowerment of Native American people, roots partnerships and programming in Native commuand to sharing history, traditions and culture. Governor nities. The organization has fostered partnerships with 42 Toya and the people of Jemez Pueblo hosted a day of Native American communities to provide positive youth

The American Indian Graduate


2013 AIGC Reception and Silent Auction

Silent Auction items donated by the generous support of artists, collectors, jewelers, etc.

development training tailored to individual communities. Also, as a regional coordinator for AmeriCore, SYS staff and clients were vital in organizing the 2013 Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Alternative Spring Break Program. AIGC honored SYS for managing the highly successful 2013 GMS Alternative Spring Break Program that was life changing for many of these young scholars. Cate Stetson is founder and owner of Stetson Law Offices, P.C., a law firm that provides general legal services to tribes and tribal entities. AIGC honored Ms. The Power of Scholarship is an initiative without end. Stetson because of her long-time support and significant As long as American Indian and Alaska Native students fundraising contributions. She is a true champion of continue to advance their education, there will be a need higher education for Indian students and AIGC. for financial support. The AIGC Reception was a testaThe AIGC Reception was made possible with the ment to the power we have ignited among Native scholhelp of several sponsors, including the Albuquerque ars and their supporters. â&#x153;Ś Isotopes, AMERIND Risk Management Corporation, and Conoco Phillips, National Indian Gaming Thanks to our generous and talented donors! Association and Sacred Wind Acme Plumbing Four Corners Pottery & Jewelry Palms Trading Co. Communications. The evening Albuquerque The Magazine Graphic Connections Poston & Associates, LLC included a successful silent auction Alicia Ortega Indian Treasures Rio Grande Travel Centers event, which included a number of Americans for Indian Opportunity Irene Begay San Ildefonso Pueblo Enterprise exclusive pieces donated by artists, Arviso Educational Services, Inc. Jannette Vanderhoop Sandia Golf collectors, jewelers and other craftsmen, listed below. AIGC is most Balloons & Blooms Jeoma Baca Sandia Green Reed Spa appreciative of these donated items, as Bunky Echo-Hawk La Provence Restaurant Santa Fe Indian Market they helped raise thousands of dollars Cashmere Rouge Spa Leslie Costa-Guerra Stephenie Potts toward scholarships for Alaska Native Corey Garcia Marcelloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chophouse Strictly Southwestern and American Indian students. Dr. Francine Vickers Melvin Monette Susan Duran Fine art donated to AIGC Dr. Shelly Fritz Montech Inc. Tiller Research remains available for purchase at Eighth Generation Natonabah Studio Services Touch of Culture Legends http : //w w /about-us / Ellouise Originals Onyx Expressions Upton Ethelbah fine-art-for-sale/.


The American Indian Graduate

THE ONLINE MASTER OF JURISPRUDENCE IN INDIAN LAW The Online Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law (MJIL) degree is designed for college graduates who are interested in learning about Indian law but may not wish to become lawyers. It is also for lawyers who wish to gain additional expertise or expand their practices. Individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree and who work in, around, or with Indian Country governmental, social and business institutions will be able to expand and improve their knowledge of Indian law without having to leave their current positions.

The MJIL is a 30-credit hour program offered entirely online. Classes will incorporate the latest materials, audio files, and video feeds in a curriculum designed to ensure efficient and active learning about practical issues of the day such as: Federal Indian Law • Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country • Law Enforcement • Indian Gaming • Energy and Mineral Development, Water Rights, Environmental Protection and Remediation • Economic Development, Taxation, Contracting and Compacting • Delivery and Administration of Social Services • The Indian Child Welfare Act

To learn more about the Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law and see how easy it is to attend classes from the office, home, or anywhere an internet connection exists, visit Tel: 918-631-3991 Email: Website: Facebook: The University of Tulsa College of Law 3120 East 4th Place, Tulsa, OK 74104

“Now tribal lawyers and judges, as well as tribal leaders and administrators, are able to expand and improve their knowledge of Indian law without having to leave Indian Country.” – Professor G. William Rice, Co-Director of the Native American Law Center

The American Indian Graduate


An Innovative Step Forward Continued from page 15

project maintained a positive and welcoming presence, inciting interest among Native and non-Native guests. One of the most important accomplishments of this project was the relationships that were built over its course. Prior to this experience, the Buder Center had never partnered with PECaD. This was also the first time PECaD had considered working with the American Indian community. This project was the first of its kind and has created a strategic partnership that will last for many years. It will provide future students with opportunities to work on health-related projects with medical instituitions and American Indian people. The work that was completed with this project has exposed the service need of American Indian women, which has substantial implications for American Indians in Missouri. I first began the project in the abstract: researching, writing, and program planning. Over the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s course, however, it became more personal. Five hundred miles away my relative was diagnosed with late stage cancer, and another woman involved with this project discovered her mother was facing a breast cancer diagnosis.


The American Indian Graduate

I then realized that with every person diagnosed with cancer, an entire family is affected. With every woman screened at this event, the cancer could be caught early, and an entire family would be spared the anguish that I and this other woman were experiencing. After only two semesters of graduate school, I have already seen the ways in which my developing competencies in social work practice have complemented my passion for cultural literacy, making me a much more effective practitioner. Just as this breast cancer prevention program will continue to be implemented at many pow wows to come, I will continue to benefit from this experience in my role as a cultural liaison for American Indian communities across the country. I know that this work is not easy, but advocating for American Indians is something that I was meant to do. â&#x153;Ś Caitlin M. Donald is from the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma and is an enrolled member of the Osage Nation. She is a Kathryn M. Buder Scholar from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER To apply for admission into SPHSP, please complete the online application.

Application Available: Dec. 15, 2013

Summer Public Health Scholars Program The Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP) is designed for undergraduate students to increase interest and knowledge of public health and allied health professions. SPHSP is a partnership of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, College of Dental Medicine, School of Nursing and the Mailman School of Public Health. Together they represent the broad spectrum of public health practice. SPHSP grant funding was awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of Minority Health & Health Equity. Program Eligibility:  Rising juniors, seniors, or recent college graduates within one year of graduation. Must not be accepted to or enrolled in a graduate program.  African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, people with disabilities, and the economically-disadvantaged are encouraged to apply.  Minimum GPA of 2.7.

SPHSP is a ten-week summer program that begins May 26, 2014 and ends August 1, 2014. The program includes:

 Orientation  Trip to the Centers for

Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta, GA

 Introductory coursework in public health

 Field Experience/ Mentorship

 Field Trips  GRE Test Prep  Professional Development seminars

 Stipend For more information and program application, please visit us at: Or email us at:

The American Indian Graduate


Gates Millennium Scholars

Gates Millennium Scholars Program Awards Scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native Students Across Indian Country


ach year the Gates Millennium Scholars program selects 1,000 new, talented students to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at the U. S. college or university of their choosing. This year 150 American Indian and Alaska Native students, representing communities from coast to coast have been confirmed as Gates Millennium Scholars. These elite students, all rising college freshmen, will join approximately 850 other American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduates and graduate degree candidates who will receive scholarship support from

the Gates Millennium Scholars program (GMS) in the 2013-2014 academic year. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) administers the GMS Program, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and partners with the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS) to recruit, select and support American Indian and Alaska Native Gates Millennium Scholars. Other GMS partners are the Hispanic Scholarship Fund in Los Angeles and the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund in Washington, DC.

AIGC Scholars is the American Indian and Alaska Native partner in the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program provides up to ten years of higher education funding, covering unmet need at any nationally accredited college.

The GMS application is open from mid-August through mid-January each year

To schedule a GMS presentation at your school or in your community, contact AIGCS at (866) 884-7007.

Visit for more GMS program information and eligibility criteria.


3701 San Mateo Boulevard NE, #200 Albuquerque, NM 87110 Telephone: (505) 881-4584 vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


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“Every year, we are witness to an ambitious and impressive community of students seeking involvement in the prestigious GMS scholarship,” said Sam Deloria, Director of AIGC. “These students bring enthusiasm and energy to a rigorous application process and demonstrate the talent and acumen present in Indian Country.” Established in 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholarship has become a highly competitive and successful program, and has funded more than 13,000 students of color to date in their pursuit of post-secondary degrees. The GMS program assists students not only by alleviating financial burdens, but also by offering academic support and mentoring services. The success of the program is proven by retention and graduation rates; the five-year retenRecipients of the Gates Millennium Scholarship tion rate for Gates Scholars is over 87 percent and the five-year graduation rate is nearly 80 percent. The GMS scholarship application process is open from mid-August through mid-January of each year. AIGCS has created the “Journey to College” poster which provides valuable information to freshmen through senior year high school students to prepare them for college and the scholarship application process. These may be ordered on the AIGC website. ✦ For a complete list of 2013 Gates Scholars or for more information about the GMS Program, visit To learn more about AIGC Scholars, please visit our website

Established in 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholarship has become a highly competitive and successful program…

The American Indian Graduate


Alumni Connection

The Alumni Connection by Linda Niezgodzki

In this issue we are pleased to introduce some of the 2013 graduates, now turned AIGC Alumni. Congratulations to all! I graduated last week with a Masters in Dramatic Writing from UNM. I had to take a lot of time off from work to concentrate on my last year and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the support of AIGC. Thank you. — Z Echo Eskeets Wopila tanka (big thanks) AIGC for all your support the past two years. I now have expanded my skills and knowledge to serve Indian Country with my Master of Social Work degree. Pilamaya ye (thanks) Mitakuye Oyasin (All my relatives) — Maisie Herman Since I was a young child, my goal had always been to attain a Master’s degree. As of today, that goal has been accomplished! Organizations like the AIGC and the Buder Center for American Indian Studies at Washington University have helped Native people, like myself, to shine for Indian Country. Thank you for valuing and believing in me through supporting my education. — Candice Craig Hi, I just wanted to thank AIGC for helping me complete my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. I graduated last night!! Thank you so very much for helping to make my dream come true! — Casey Scraper


Z Echo Eskeets

Maisie Herman

Candice Craig

Thank you so much to the AIGC. Your support of my education has helped me to achieve my goals and dreams. Next weekend I will graduate from law school. This is something that I never thought would be possible as I grew up. Now I am 11 days from walking across that stage and coming out the other side a better, happier person. I can’t thank you enough for all of your support! — Angi Cavaliere Thank you AIGC! I walked this weekend and have 12 weeks of treating the underprivileged in Nashville until the MSM PA program is completed. I could not have done it without your help! — Elizabeth Plott Widmer

The American Indian Graduate

Elizabeth Plott Widmer

I did it!! Thank you for all the assistance with my law school education, every little bit helps! — Jessica DeVille I would like to thank the American Indian Graduate Center for all your support during these past two years in my graduate studies. On behalf of my family, community, and tribes I would like to say Ah-ho for assisting me in making a dream become a reality. — Woody Wilson Thank you to all the students who submitted their words of gratitude and graduation photos through AIGC Facebook. Go ahead, like us! ✦

Casey Scraper

Angi Cavaliere

Jessica DeVille

Woody Wilson

Generosity, Courage, Fortitude, Integrity, Honesty and Humility

AIGC Alumna Sharing Lakota Virtues While in Public Service by Kimberly Yellow Robe


pray this message finds AIGC Staff, Alumni, Tiospaye and Friends well. I appreciate the support received from AIGC while in the University of Phoenix MBA Program. I was able to study on the reservation via an online program. It was the best thing I could have done with my time while waiting for my first baby to arrive. While growing up close to my Unci (Grandmother Ethel Yellow Robe), she often expressed to me “you will always be Lakota, you may never have the same shoes, never have the same home, same friends, but you will always be Lakota”. These words are in my heart as I

stated in the non-Indian world “good customer service”. For example, taking the time to verbally explain policy is always better for the elder, as opposed to placing a written policy in front of the elder. This incorporates and exercises Lakota virtues such as Generosity to take the few moments of ourselves to share, Courage we chose the correct words to help the matter, Integrity that we extend peacefulness in our actions, Humility that we are not creating a sense of arrogance and Honesty exemplifying that we truly care and with compassion we understand. Because I work for a federal agency, I realize how much interaction with the public we have. As an American

It is important our young people seek higher education and maintain a grasp on their cultural identity. It can and will take you a long way in life. travel the road of continual knowledge, seeking wisdom and growth, and to be the best Lakota I can be. I always strive to balance my decision to work in the federal sector, and my commitment to maintain a true connection to my heritage and culture. When I share Lakota culture or my Tribe’s stories, I always include a short message of Lakota Virtues— Generosity, Courage, Fortitude, Integrity, Honesty and Humility. I teach my four young Lakota daughters the same. I teach them through our Lakota stories, Lakota ceremonies and traditions, and impress the importance of education on my daughters. I share with them stories told by my elders and stories from their ancestors as well. I tell them “Get an education. We need to learn and understand not just our way, but non-Indian ways as well.” I know that my strong connection to my cultural identity will aide in advocating appropriately for the tribal community I am so proud, but yet humbled to be a part of. I understand when speaking with tribal elders how they felt that they didn’t get good treatment, or as

Indian in government, I also realize how important it is for me to share my culture and heritage, as to foster better understanding of American Indians. It has been wonderful to engage with tribal communities and leadership, elders, community members and youth. The strengths created by knowing about our own culture are found within an individual’s desire to do so. It is important our young people seek higher education and maintain a grasp on their cultural identity. It can and will take you a long way in life—promise. ✦ (Author Kimberly Yellow Robe, MBA, enrolled Rosebud Sioux, has received numerous Social Security Administration (SSA) Central Office and Regional Commissioner Citations, Public Information Awards for Tribal Outreach for the SSA as well as serving on numerous councils, committees benefiting Tribal Communities and Elders. She is SSAs first American Indian Public Affairs Specialist across the nation assigned to the San Francisco Regional Public Affairs Office).

The American Indian Graduate


A Voice for My People

“The Importance of An Education” by Melissa Beard


medicine man once told my uncle that our family belongs to the Eagle Clan. The members of the Ojibwe Eagle Clan traditionally serve as the communicators: the most vocal, influential and powerful voices within the tribe. As an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, my indigenous heritage has always influenced my academic and professional experience. Since my Native grandmother passed away with cancer six years ago it has become my inspiration. As a journalist, student and aspiring academic, I am able not only to carry out my spiritual duty as a member of the Eagle Clan, but also to serve as a communicator and voice for the indigenous nation. My love of words, writing and literature began at an early age. I would climb onto my grandfather’s lap every afternoon and he would read out loud to me. I loved to create my own tales, and dreamed of becoming a writer someday. I never imagined how powerful such an ambition could be. Not only could writing become a mesmerizing fairytale, it could also be an empowering and informative article, an article with the ability to create vast societal change. I decided to pursue a degree in journalism at Michigan State University (MSU) based on my love for writing. This career choice soon transformed me in a way in which I could positively influence the Native American community and bring awareness to the many issues affecting my people. The summer after my first year of undergrad studies at MSU, my grandmother passed away from cancer at the age of 62. She was not only the center and heart of our entire family, but the last remaining link to our Ojibwe heritage. After I returned to MSU in the fall, I joined the North American Indigenous Student Organization (NAISO) as the public relations representative. This not only become an incredible opportunity to gain professional experience, but it also was a way for me to learn more about my heritage, while keeping my grandmother’s memory close. I have continued my participation within Native American student organizations at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where I have served on the powwow planning committee for


The American Indian Graduate

Melissa Beard

two years, and most recently as President of the Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAIA). I always loved to listen to my grandmother’s stories about growing up on Mackinac Island; stories of climbing Arch Rock, swimming in the pool at the Grand Hotel, and the smell of the lilac flowers. But along with the many positive memories were recollections of racial discrimination and oppression. My grandmother was continuously emphasizing the importance of education as I grew up. She was sent to the Holy Childhood of Jesus Christ Indian Boarding School in Harbor Springs, Michigan and the Thomas W. Ferry School on Mackinac Island,

I am not only pursuing a higher education for myself, but in the memory of my grandmother, who was not given the chance to continue her education. Michigan. Not only was my grandmother forced to attend a Native American boarding school, but then she never graduated from high school having been told that as an Indian, she would never amount to anything in life. I am not only pursuing a higher education for myself, but in

the memory of my grandmother, who was not given the chance to continue her education. Although I entered the PhD program in Cultural Studies at George Mason with the idea of focusing my research on Native American female filmmakers, I have shifted my interests. I now plan to write my dissertation on the Native American boarding schools that were once located throughout the state of Michigan. I was inspired to pursue this topic after a relative discovered a photo of my grandmother as a child on the steps of the Holy Childhood of Jesus boarding school in Harbor Springs, MI. Despite the difficulties I have had pursuing a higher education; I am determined to finish my doctorate degree. I am very fortunate and thankful to have received a graduate fellowship from the American Indian Graduate Center to help with funding my education for the first two years of my graduate program. I am looking forward to exploring the archives and records from these institutions and interviewing my relatives back home on the reservation. I foresee this experience of uncovering my own family history as a personal ceremony. Based upon the history with Native Americans and institutionalized education,

recent educational experiences have become a ceremonial practice in order to transform the oppressive influences that education previously introduced among Indigenous communities. I look forward to beginning my own ceremonial journey as I begin my research for my dissertation this fall. While education was once used as a tool of domination and cultural assimilation, I now choose to use my position as a student in higher education to counteract the harmful damage created through the boarding school system. It is only through education that we can acknowledge what has been done in the past and develop ways in which to heal and preserve the pieces of culture that still exist. If I accomplish only one thing in my professional career, I hope I can influence other young Native Americans to pursue a college education and utilize their talents to positively influence the indigenous community. As an academic, I hope to increase scholarly interest in Native American studies and bring awareness to the issues that surround Natives in contemporary society. And most importantly, as a member of the Eagle Clan, I want to fulfill my role as a communicator, and proudly serve as a voice for my people. ✦

Sacred Wind Communications Congratulates AIGC and all of their 2013 graduates! “There is no better way to ensure a strong future for our company and our state than to support education. We are proud to assist AIGC in advancing a world of opportunities to our tribal youth, through higher education,” said John Badal the CEO of Sacred Wind Communications.

John Badal with Sam Deloria

Sacred Wind Communications, Inc. is dedicated to improving telecommunications services to rural, mainly Native tribal areas, within New Mexico.

The American Indian Graduate


A Meeting and Melding of Cultures

The New Trade Network by Reed Adair Bobroff


he Native American Community Academy exchange in New Zealand to visit Maori communities (NACA), my old middle and high school, was (the exchange has recently been opened up to graduated founded out of migration and exploration of culand rising seniors and will take place every other year). ture and self. With the diverse population of tribes and In my time at NACA, I developed my identity high concentration of Urban Indians in the Albuquerque, through exploration and travel. Being a participant in New Mexico area, the school is dedicated to producing the Diné Language program challenged me to think students who are confident in their identities, commitabout how traditional government has been merged with ted to their culture and community, and prepared to purWestern bureaucracy. As a student at the Iowa Young sue their passions in and beyond higher education. The Writers’ Program, I had to navigate workshops where school prepares their my audience was highly students through travel ignorant of Native comopportunities across munities. In these and the United States and other arenas presented abroad. In classes like by NACA, I learned to Diné, students embark explore my indigeneity on trips to visit Navajo in both tribal and coloNation Council meetnial settings, crafting the ings, the Navajo Nation ability to express myself President’s office, and without limiting or disprojects taken on by the tracting from larger conNavajo Nation Museum. versations that might In Lakota language not explicitly address an classes, students typically indigenous perspective. travel to the Standing This summer, I was Rock reservation to confortunate to be selecttinue their partnership ed as an intern for Te with Lakota language Wãnanga o Aotearoa, a students from a school NACA group participates in a powhiri (Maori welcome ceremony) Maori-run and founded located on the traditertiary institution in tional lands, and explore various initiatives being taken Aotearoa (New Zealand). While here, I’ve learned much on in that setting. Besides participating in tribal initiaabout the process to which the Maori have gone to pretives, students have participated in and are encouraged to serve and advance language and culture, through various attend summer programs like MS^2 and Summer Session initiatives aimed at and developed by their diverse comat Phillips Andover Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, munities. Throughout its 122 campuses across the counetc. which challenge students to prepare themselves for try, Te Wãnanga students are able to focus their studies a world outside of an indigenous-centric atmosphere. in normalized Western majors (such as teaching or busiAs students progress into high school, they participate ness) but are also able to explore majors in kapa haka in college visitation trips to educate and expose them to (Maori perfoming arts), singing, carving, and weaving. various campuses around the country. Finally, before the While I was an intern, I had the opportunity seniors graduate, they are prepared for an international to accompany the new NACA graduates along their


The American Indian Graduate

exploration of Maori projects during their first and last days. In reflections with the students, they expressed surprise at how successful the Maori school system is so that New Zealand students can, potentially, go through their entire studies (pre-school through PhD) completely in the Maori language. This discovery lead many of the students to express a newfound drive to commit themselves to achieving the level of fluency in their traditional language that many of the Maori students are

communities to ammend some of the same challenges faced in our own: a device indigenous people have used for generations. While working in Aotearoa, I heard stories about the origins of Maori Television, an initiative that broadcasts programs – both in Maori and English, for and by Maori people – to the entire country. Early Maori revitalizers found inspiration for the entertainment channel when they traveled to Wales and discovered the Welsh television station by those indigenous

Through this indigenous interaction, we procure tools to mend the afflictions to our communities. actively engaged in. In their mission, however, students recognized the differences in histories and colonization that allowed for this educational advancement in New Zealand that may not apply directly to Native America. As the indigenous experience broadens, so must interactions with the growing definition. Travel has allowed me and these students to examine the tools used in foreign


people. This travel and exploration has become our new Chaco Canyon: a meeting and melding of cultures and ideas sustained by a common interest in each others products. Through this indigenous interaction, we procure tools to mend the afflictions to our communities. More, as our network expands, we can use tools from all Continued on page 46

Four Directions Summer Research Program Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts

Fellowships are offered for researchbased study in the sciences and the humanities to students planning a career in teaching and research at the college or university level. Fellowships are offered at the following levels: PREDOCTORAL DISSERTATION POSTDOCTORAL Fellowships include a stipend and an institution allowance for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships. Application deadlines are in mid-November. For online applications and detailed information see the Web site at:

Our vision is simple...that a handful of talented Native American college students will leave with new skills, experiences, and knowledge that can be used to help themselves, their communities, and future generations of Native peoples from all of the Four Directions.

For program eligibility and application, visit us online at WWW.FDSRP.ORG. Questions -

Application Available November 1, 2013

Application Deadline February 12, 2014

The American Indian Graduate


AIGC Scholars

AIGC Scholars Hosts the 2013 Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Alternative Spring Break (ASB) by Stephine Poston


Deloria. “It was an honor to introduce incredible scholars and alumni to the many cultures in New Mexico, and to watch everyone involved embrace the experience whole-heartedly.” From March 11-14, 2013, ASB participants spent four full days at project sites performing service tasks including landscaping, basic building, painting, pamphlet stuffing and food preparation. Project sites included the Pueblo of Jemez Walatowa Charter School, the Native American Community Academy (NACA), First Nations Community HealthSource, Amy Biehl School, Santo Domingo Pueblo, Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico, PeacePal, Mandy’s Farm, First Nations HIV Prevention Program, First Nations Homeless Outreach Program, New Mexico Community Health Workers Association, and Pueblo of Jemez Housing Department.

Photo courtesy of Pueblo of Jemez

his past March, Gates Millennium Scholars undergraduates and alumni traded in their flipflops for work boots in an enriching Spring Break experience rooted in service leadership. The 2013 Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Alternative Spring Break (ASB) brought together 48 scholars and alumni from around the nation to experience a transformational seven-day program serving Albuquerque, New Mexico and surrounding communities. The ASB, a service-oriented program geared to provide participants with practical, community-based experiences, visited various sites throughout New Mexico to provide service to programs rooted in community health and education. “What a wonderful experience to be able to host Alternative Spring Break,” said AIGC Director Sam

Pueblo of Jemez Head Start Program dancers sharing culture with ASB participants.


The American Indian Graduate

GMS students hard at work

Stuff the Bus Program

The day spent at the Pueblo of Jemez was particuBeing Pakistani, I can relate to that, especially the famlarly extraordinary for the participants. Gathering at ily values because that’s a really important part of my the Walatowa Visitor Center, the group was greeted by culture.” Hania Kahlon, Lahore, Pakistan “I will forever Governor Vincent A. Toya, Sr., who welcomed them, be grateful that I was given the opportunity to spend an gave a brief introduction to the community and answered entire week with such amazing, impactful, and transforquestions about the role of tradition and culture in daily mational people who will have such a profound, lasting life. The scholars split into groups for their assignments. impact on this entire world.” Shaandiin Parrish, Arizona They also met with middle and high school students to State University (Navajo) (Excerpts provided by Pueblo of talk about college and career opportunities. The Gates Jemez, Red Rocks Reporter, April 2013 Edition). Program, Amerind Risk Management Corporation, the In addition to the service projects, GMS hosted a Pueblo Insurance Agency and AIGC all contributed Graduate School Information panel in which college financial resources or sponsorships to ensure the success representatives from schools in and around the southof the Gates Scholars’ service day in Jemez. The day conwest region of the United States provided information on cluded at the Jemez Senior Center with performances by access to graduate programs in some of the GMS-funded Head Start children and representatives from the Native graduate areas like education and public health. American Youth Empowerment (NAYE) organization. Continued on page 38 Brief reports from each group were followed by dinner prepared by the Education Nutrition Program and Education staff featuring traditional Jemez fare. Just as the leadership had welcomed the students as they arrived, they sent them on their way with prayers and blessings for prosperous and fruitful lives with hopes that they will one day return. The students were deeply touched by the welcome they received from our community, and many promised to return. “It was special to me. I learned from the students and the Governor that the people have a lot of culture and family traditions. Things are tied back to religion or traditional values. GMS students group shot

The American Indian Graduate


AIGC Scholars One ASB participant described his experience as an opportunity to connect with others. The week of service demonstrated the “common thread of life that connects all of us and gives us all strength and power.” As he described, the ABS taught the group to “work in unison with that spirit.” The GMS Spring Break provides life changing experiences for these students; another participant stated “This past week has given me the opportunity to refocus my attention to what’s important and travel the road sometimes less desired. I thank you and your staff for providing the opportunity being the facilitators but especially the scholars who impacted me personally or vicariously. I wouldn’t change ANYTHING about my spring break.” Exercising that spirit, the GMS ASB collaborated with the Southwest Youth Services, AIGC Scholars, First Nations Community HealthSource and the Native American Community Academy to engage the overall community in a food and clothing donation project. The “2013 Stuff the Bus” project filled a school bus with


The American Indian Graduate

The GMS ASB is an annual event that focuses leadership through service.

non-perishable food and clothing items to help stock the shelves of the First Nations Community HealthSource food pantry and clothing bank. The GMS ASB is an annual event that focuses leadership through service. Each year, approximately 50 scholars and GMS alumni spend their spring break performing public service activities that enrich both the community and volunteer. You can watch a video of the Alternative Spring Break held in Albuquerque, New Mexico at watch?v=z76GCaWhrtA. ✦

Discovering our most

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ConocoPhillips Company. 2012. All rights reserved.

Creating Leaders for the Future

Brave Girls by Daelene Coiz


rave Girls, housed at the Leadership Institute (LI), is a New Mexico state “culturally and community-based” program that aims to promote positive change and leadership in high school age girls. Brave Girls currently serves the high school females at the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS). Based on the model of the Leadership Institute, the young women follow a similar model in their development as upcoming leaders. The young women experience creating and building a consciousness about native community issues from the perspective of a female, creating and maintaining a system of networking within Tribal communities and female professionals, and creating an intergenerational system of mentorship. In the long term, their efforts impact their entire communities, who become aware that even at a young age, young women are capable of creating conscientiousness about community issues and action. Our young women have a great capacity to lead and a strong ability to think critically about the issues surrounding and affecting them. With newly learned skills, there is a potential for application and replication in the other tribal communities in New Mexico as the students return home. It is why this investment in our young women is crucial to the health, well being, and survival of the future of our Native communities. The group convenes weekly throughout the school year to help youth build a solid foundation, find a connection, purpose, and meaning so they may inspire others. The goal of Brave Girls is to educate, empower, and work on positive youth development in order to empower and prevent at-risk behavior in the future. These goals are based on the concept and philosophy of giving back to the communities and include the promotion and development of mentorship, Brave girls networking, consciousness-building and enrichment opportunities. We incorporate an interactive curriculum with mentor guest speakers, workshops, and community service


The American Indian Graduate

Our young women have a great capacity to lead and a strong ability to think critically about the issues surrounding and affecting them. projects to expand self-knowledge, a positive self-identity, enhance critical thinking skills, initiative, responsibility, self-respect and healthy lifestyle practices. The girls are provided with the tools to make positive decisions, avoid risky adolescent behaviors, and promote overall wellbeing as it relates to girls’ development including physical, emotional, mental and social well-being, and other issues affecting them. Some of our key outcomes and impacts include the creation of a network/mentorship for the Brave Girls participants; to see an increase in involvement and positive contributions to all communities we belong to; to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Brave Girls participants, and to enhance public speaking and leadership skills. The Brave Girls project was piloted during the school year 2010-2011 with its first class of young women. We intend to continue growing and developing as we have had a total of 39 young women participate since year one of Brave Girls. As we develop and grow, we continually keep our ultimate goal in sight of developing the Brave Girls program as a model to share with the local tribal communities and tribal schools. Additionally, it is our goal to institutionalize and grow the Brave Girls program into a full service girl’s resource center, a much needed program in our schools and communities as we move forward in efforts to better our communities. There is tremendous potential for the Brave Girls as we strive to be the best all girls program serving our Native youth.

Brave Girls group shot from “The Role of NGOs in Promoting Global Women’s Issues Project”, March 12, 2013.

The girls who graduated from SFIS this year are eager to continue participation of Brave Girls while in college. As a result of our first Women’s Institute we have 30 new honorary Brave Girls, 30 new mentors who are eager to develop a stronger relationship with the Brave Girls participants. Community partnerships that we have formed continue to grow and develop, and help us to meet the goals of the Brave Girls program. We were approached by the New Mexico Community Foundation and the Albuquerque Council for International Visitors to host a group of participants in “The Role of NGOs in Promoting Global Women’s Issues Project.” The women participating in the project came from Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan, Romania, Sri Lanka, and South Africa. This visit was a first chance for our young women to display their citizen diplomacy and provided a great opportunity to educate people from around the globe about some of our experiences as Pueblo women, and about our tribal communities in New Mexico. One of our biggest accomplishments is our series of Women’s Institutes. The first, with the theme The Power of Pueblo Women, was held May 17-18, 2013, and is the first of a series that will lead to a Women’s Convocation in Spring 2014. Brave Girls gathered Pueblo women to discuss issues pertaining to women in our communities, and is our way of contributing to our communities, as well as a way to bring generations of females together for open and honest discussion. We have also experienced high ropes course events, participated in eight hour self defense and personal safety courses, participated in the Pueblo Convocation held by the Leadership Institute that

convened 500 Pueblo people and guests, presented to the Board of Directors of Futures For Children, and have been invited to other exciting events and programs. We look forward to further growth and development. ✦

The American Indian Graduate


Student Speaker for Graduating Class

A True Honor by Danya Carroll


agotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;eh! My name is Danya Carroll. I am White Mountain Apache and Navajo from Arizona. I recently received my Master of Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. This was a tremendous accomplishment. To achieve a major personal goal of attaining a graduate level education was rewarding and I am very grateful for the many resources, including scholarship programs such as AIGC, that have made this dream a reality. Graduation is a truly special time for anyone who has put forth the hard work and sacrifice necessary to be successful as a student. It is particularly noteworthy in Native communities because our individual accomplishments are often also shared with and celebrated by our people. Graduation marks a time when we can reflect on how much we have grown both personally and professionally. This was an especially significant and humbling time for me. Not only did I take that coveted graduation walk, but I also spoke at my graduation! I was selected as the 2013 Student Speaker for my graduating class at the Colorado School of Public Healthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Convocation. This tremendous honor was an acknowledgement of the many influences and people, including family, faculty and mentors, who have had an impact on my path in edu-

Danya Carroll

approached me to express their appreciation of my shared words and tell me how it inspired them. Hopefully my experience will be helpful in some way to those who are

We know how tough it is to be away from our families and home communities. But we also know how extremely important it is to get an education, and to use the knowledge gained to better our lives and the lives of our people. cation. It was overwhelming to deliver a speech that I hoped would do justice to my school, and more importantly, to Native people both past and present. As daunting as this was, I knew how meaningful it would to be to give voice to issues affecting Native communities. I realized that I had achieved this when I received a standing ovation for my speech at the graduation ceremony. After my speech, many people


The American Indian Graduate

considering graduate school or are currently in school, because anything is possible! The speech I delivered touched on many factors that I felt were vital to my success and also the future work I plan to do with Native populations. I discussed the unique circumstances and challenges that we face as Native students and professionals. We know how tough Continued on page 45

Traditional Healing and Therapy

Research for Cultural Preservation by Sierra Yazzie Asamoa-Tutu


y name is Sierra Yazzie Asamoa-Tutu, and I am an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. My family has always encouraged me to pursue education as a means to have a meaningful life, and to contribute to others. So when I decided to do a graduate program in social work, I knew that I had their support, and I looked forward to the rewards of contribution. With the assistance of AIGC, I was able to be a full-time student, and I completed my masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s program in the minimum time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; two years. I graduated on May 24, 2013 from the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University School of Social Work in St. Paul, Minnesota. Along with learning theories and practice methods, an important part of social work is research. I had the opportunity in my program to do my own clinical research project and write a paper. At first I was very intimidated by the whole process, but my faculty chair for the project helped me see that research can be a means to make a big difference for your community, because no one else might ever share the information

Professor Catherine Marrs Fuchsel, Ph.D, LICSW and Sierra

therapists, and a few elders and traditional healers from this area. The main tribal groups in the area are Dakota and Ojibwe, but I had a pretty good mix of participants. Half were male and half female, and of all different ages. What these practitioners told me was that pretty

Research can be a means to make a big difference for your community, because no one else might ever share the information that needs to be heard. that needs to be heard. This professor, Catherine Marrs Fuchsel, has conducted her own research on domestic violence within Latino immigrant communities. Her work to create a curriculum for this population inspired me to share something that would make a difference for the Native American community. She became my mentor and helped me complete a successful project even when I got discouraged or afraid. I was already interested in trauma, and wanted to focus to cultural strengths. So I conducted a qualitative study on the use of traditional healers to treat posttraumatic stress. I interviewed eight people who work with individuals experiencing post-traumatic stress. There were some psychologists, marriage and family

much everyone they see is a victim of trauma (including historical trauma), and they all knew of clients who used ceremony to heal from that trauma with some success. They also all believed that it was a positive thing for therapists to encourage the use of traditional healers alongside therapy, or vice versa, and that it is not being done enough with Native American clients. I was able to share these results in my paper, and through a public presentation on May 20, 2013. I hope to publish my paper in an academic journal this year and reach even more people! What I learned from all this is that even though my project was relatively small, there are endless ways that I can advocate for people Continued on page 45

The American Indian Graduate


Comparing Traditions

China Dreams by Concetta Tsosie


y name is Concetta Tsosie. I recently graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in History and in Psychology. I am currently a student with the Pre-Law Summer Institute at the American Indian Law Center in Albuquerque and plan to attend law school this year. I am also a Kung Fu student with the Chinese Cultural Center of Albuquerque. My experiences with the Chinese Cultural Center, as well as personal interests, inspired me to visit China. I have always been curious about the culture, lifestyles, and politics, and when Sifu Lin organized a trip to China, I knew I had to go.  We arrived in Beijing, and I could not believe the traffic and pollution. The highway that was four lanes somehow became five lanes! People walked among the cars. Motorcycles drove against traffic flow. It was awesome! We explored many sites in Beijing, including the Great Wall and Olympic Village.   We flew to Xi’an and toured the Terracotta Warriors pit, then took an overnight train to the most well-preserved ancient city, Pingyao. Afterwards, we drove to Taiyuan to visit a martial arts academy that specialized

Concetta with mom, Nancy Tsosie


The American Indian Graduate

Concetta Tsosie at the Great Wall of China.

As a global community member, we truly can work together to achieve great things.

in the Xing Yi form. The children at the school were so welcoming and friendly. We continued our journey to Datong. On my birthday, I got to tour the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Temple. Those sites were the best birthday gifts!   On to Inner Mongolia. There, we spent a night in a yurt on the Mongolian grasslands and ate a scrumptious mutton feast. We frolicked in the Gobi Desert and shopped in the modern city of Baotou. Along with touring these wonderful sites, we visited many Buddhist temples. We spent our last night in Beijing and feasted on Peking duck.   It was a fun journey throughout China and Inner Mongolia, where many people assumed that my mother and I were Chinese or Mongolian. When we told them that we are Navajo we received many questions about our culture. Some questions were difficult to answer because our traditional Navajo beliefs

conflicted with our Mongolian tour guide’s views. He believes that Native Americans crossed the Bering Strait and insisted we were family. I learned a lot of history about China and Inner Mongolia. I embarked on this journey presuming that I would be entering a country similar to an Indian reservation. I was impressed how everything was so modern. Even the rickshaws are motorized! I learned Mongolian and Navajo customs are very similar, and it is fascinating to compare traditions and creation stories. I also learned to always carry toilet paper and soap.  

This trip had such a massive impact on my life. I returned with a greater appreciation for the culture, history, and perseverance of the Chinese and Mongolian people. I also returned understanding we are part of a larger community, and there is really not much difference between us. As global community members, we truly can work together to achieve great things. ✦

Student Speaker for Graduating Class Continued from page 42

it is to be away from our families and home communities. But we also know how extremely important it is to get an education, and to use the knowledge gained to better our lives and the lives of our people. Living in two worlds and blending the best of both Western and Indigenous knowledge systems can be challenging, but it can also be a beneficial process that can produce impactful changes. A concept I felt was especially important to include is about the strength, resilience and culture that exists in Native communities. Focusing on and enhancing these positive attributes is vital in any field, but is especially important for improving public health and overall wellbeing. As a student and emerging professional I have learned how important it is to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

In conclusion I would like to share a quote from Navajo poet Luci Tapahonso that I shared in my convocation speech and that I feel is relevant to the purposes of pursuing higher education in any field. “May we fulfill the lives envisioned for us at our birth. May we realize that our actions affect all people and the earth. May we live in the way of beauty and help others in need. May we always remember that we were created as people who believe in one another.” I am hopeful that we will remember our motivations for pursuing the path of education and how we can reciprocate that knowledge to help Native people. Ahe’hee! ✦

Traditional Healing and Therapy Continued from page 43

without a voice in academia because I now know how to do research and write about it professionally. I think sometimes we just assume that people know what’s needed, but in reality, if it hasn’t been shown, it hasn’t been realized. Many Native American people and groups have traditions around healing that go back hundreds of years, before Western medicine, psychotherapy, and the scientific process. Just because we live in a society that validates these practices doesn’t mean that our traditional ways should be ignored or invalidated by the professionals who serve us. I hope that in the future, there will be more research to contribute to this idea!

I also hope that other American Indian graduate students will see their research courses or requirements as an opportunity, and not a burden, for this reason. No matter what type of program you are in, remember to look for ways to give back. Ahéhee’. ✦

The American Indian Graduate


Futures for Children AIGC congratulates Futures for Children for their 45 years of service to American Indian students!


ince 1968, Futures for Children has provided mentoring, training, and programs in Hopi, Navajo, and New Mexico Pueblo tribal communities to more than 20,000 American Indian students and their families. Futures for Children provides educational services through their Three Circles of Support: Youth Leadership, Mentorship, and Families in Action. More than 180 volunteers from tribal communities work with Futures for Children to deliver and monitor the programs and to encourage educational success for their children. The program has grown from 200 students five years ago to over 1,100 students today. In their Mentorship Program over 1,200 mentors worldwide provide support and encouragement to promote positive educational achievements. Futures has a history of success: 98% of Friendship students graduate high school; 54% of Futures’ students go on to college or post-secondary educational pursuits. ✦

A Meeting and Melding of Cultures Continued from page 35

communities to contribute to the conversation of regeneration and revitalization. The new graduates actively engaged in this process, expanding their measure of what is achievable. Without being overtaken by the Maori’s cultural fluency, they seemed to have used each experience as an opportunity to develop as leaders. Being able to spend time with the class was truly a blessing. As the graduates told me about their future goals and how Aotearoa had shaped them, they reminded me of the drive that this, and the upcoming generation have, and what they can achieve through their visions. The passion that these youth hold is an inspiration. Engaging with them humbled and empowered me to continue towards my own journey. Seeing the positivity


The American Indian Graduate

that they have brought home from their journey and how they intend to use it gives me hope for the next generation of support and leadership. They are quickly moving through the world, and the tools they are bringing and taking with them will greatly shape our landscape for years to come. ✦


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Advertise With Us Targeted Readership Over 16,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students, graduates, professionals and organizations: n NEW! Advertiser’s logo will be placed on the AIGC Electronic Newsletter n Reach Native American Leaders n Recruit & Enroll Native Students n Connect with Graduates & Professionals n Support AIGC n Recruit Native Employees n Develop New Business in Indian Country

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Attention Federal Employees #11514

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Thank you for supporting Higher Education for American Indian and Alaska Native Students!

Cost of a college degree Tuition & Fees* Room & Board* Books & Supplies** Transportation** Other Expenses** Total Budget

$20,770 $8,887 $1,168 $1,082 $2,066 $33,973

*Average estimated undergraduate budget for a public four-year, out-of-state, on-campus student, 2011-2012. **Reflects estimates for additional expenses. Source: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges.

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Please mail your check today to: American Indian Graduate Center 3701 San Mateo Blvd. NE, #200 Albuquerque, NM 87110


AIGC Fall 2013  
AIGC Fall 2013