'Indigibration' Part of Effort to Help Tribal College Students Feel Seen
Thursday, October 7, 2021
SHAWANO, Wis. -- Ahead of Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday, a campaign is being launched to elevate the voices of tribal college students, with a message to help them feel visible year-round.
The campaign, led by the American Indian College Fund, noted Native American students often do not feel seen in higher-education settings. As they map out their futures, some say it is time for their peers, and society in general, to be more inclusive and recognize the contributions and ambitions of the students.
Jasmine Neosh, a student at the College of Menominee Nation in northwestern Wisconsin, said she has encountered issues in her academic career at prior mainstream institutions.
"It's oftentimes surprising for people to see us as culturally well-read, contemporary people," Neosh remarked.
Neosh acknowledged universities have improved in this area, but she added as a tribal student, she still feels the need to pursue more avenues in higher education to feel accepted.
Coinciding with the campaign is an online concert Sunday evening hosted by the College Fund. It will include stories from students and music from several well-known artists, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Central Time.
Jacob McArthur, a member of the White Earth Ojibwe Nation and a student at Bemidji State University in Minnesota, is pursuing a master's degree. He said even though he has had success in his college career, there is a question still looming.
"Will I be looked at like I'm legitimate, like my degree is as good as everybody else's?" McArthur wondered. "That's a real concern."
Both students also feel mainstream colleges and universities need to incorporate more Native history and culture in their teachings. Neosh contended a more welcoming and responsive environment would especially be helpful for younger tribal students going to college for the first time.
"When you're a kid, it's overwhelming and exhausting," Neosh recounted. "And you get kind of tired of not being around people who look like you."
Indigenous students represent only 1% of the U.S. undergraduate population.
get more stories like this via email
A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …
Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …
As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …
If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…
North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …
Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …
After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …