As I trek through the third year of my program I am a bit anxious yet also filled with anticipation. As a student of the WSU Cultural Studies & Social Thought I feel fortunate to be working with faculty who have a vested interest in me as I begin to develop my area of research. Recently I met with our department chair, my faculty adviser, and a colleague. In our meeting I felt blessed that I am working with great people who want to help me.
If I could share an important message from my experience… We NEED more Native, Ndn, American Indian, Native American, or Indigenous people (hower you self identify) to get an advanced degree!
Ideally find an institution that has Native faculty who are willing to take you on as their student mentor and who will have the time. If you are unable to find Native faculty, depending on institution, there are non Native faculty who are willing to help. When searching for a doctoral program of study make sure you select faculty who will be there for the duration of your program AND who will support you throughout your whole program.
Of course financing education is a big deal too, so when searching for a program seek out a program that will aid you with financial resources. If you can’t find an A team immediately, you can create an A Team. These are people who will do whatever it takes to help you and offer a list of resources that will significantly reduce tuition costs.
Now I won’t lie, the rigor of an advanced degree is overwhelming at times, in fact arduous is the word I’m searching, however with A Team, you can do it!! Building an A Team and pursuing an advanced degree is very much like Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign slogan, Si Se Puede, Yes We Can!
I’m tired of having to read about non Natives writing, researching, and talking about us like we are non factors. I’m here to change that and want to help grow the existing community of indigenous scholars by recruiting more Natives. One indigenous person at a time…