“The Beginning” and Red Eagle Soaring

 

It has been a while since I’ve blogged regularly so this feels a little weird.  Facebook got me into the habit of posting updates and links and I do look forward to having a space where I can write out my thoughts a little more clearly!  (I have yet to succumb to Twitter.)  For the moment, this blog is intended to be a place where I can record and write about some of the research I’m doing into issues relating to America’s indigenous population.  I had a big plan where I was going to do my senior thesis project this spring on a project related to Native American architecture in some way and was taking a Directed Studies course (similar to an independent study) this semester to do research for it.  Of course my initial research plan has required some restructuring and I’ve broadened my scope to include all of my current native-related interests and activities to see what comes out of it.  I’ve also realized that I’ve already done a decent amount of reading and it is time to get more involved with the local community, so my main focus this semester will be on “doing” things and forging more connections with people.  It is easy for me to get caught up in things on a cerebral level, but this will help me to break out of that! 

 

So… I should then talk a little about what I’ve got going on right now as I’ve got several activities happening.  First, I applied for and received an artist grant from Potlatch Fund related to a website I hope to get started by next spring.  I also was selected to participate in a program with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian that has me traveling to Washington, D.C. for a week at the end of October to conduct research in the museum collections.  Oh, and I also received a scholarship (thanks to the San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians) to take an online course this fall about “Federal Indian Law & Policy” through a Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange program housed at UCLA’s School of Law.  I had hoped to take part again this year in the Monothon fundraiser at Crow’s Shadow Institute in Pendleton, OR, but I don’t think that’s going to happen after all since I’m wanting to look more locally this fall.  Which leads me to…

 

Last week, I saw an opportunity forwarded to design students at Cornish about creating a new website for a local nonprofit native youth theater group called Red Eagle Soaring and figured that it could be great for what I’m trying to do.  I responded and ended up meeting with the program director today to talk about the project.  It went AWESOME!  My web design skills are limited to using templates (thank you Microsoft Small Business!) and it sounds like they found another Cornish design student to create the site and would like me to take on the responsibility of managing the site.  Phew!  Helping to keep the site updated sounds like a much more manageable task for me right now and it will allow me to both become more involved volunteering with a local native nonprofit and to collaborate with a fellow design student in learning some new software.  The ladies I met today were warm and welcoming and had great suggestions for other ways to get involved with the local native community.  Altogether, I’m feeling really excited to work with them and to see where this takes me. 

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