My father is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, North Dakota. As was the case for many Native families in the 1940s and 1950s, most of our family moved to an urban center (in our case, Tacoma, Washington) during and after World War II for work. My step-grandfather’s army service took my dad and his siblings around the world, eventually settling in Georgia.
My parents met at UGA and, in the 1980s, moved to North Carolina for school and work. They decided Chapel Hill was a pretty great place to live, and so my sister and I were raised in the Southern Part of Heaven. I am tremendously grateful for the welcome my family received here and for the opportunity to find a home within the North Carolina Native community.
You can read more about my family’s story in my post for The 90%: Stories of Diaspora in Indian Country.
I have the privilege of being part of the American Indian community at UNC-Chapel Hill. Currently, I serve as the co-president for the First Nations Graduate Circle. FNGC supports American Indian graduate/professional students across campus as well as graduate/professional students studying topics related to American Indian communities. Among other activities, we seek to educate the campus community and promote the work of Native artists and activists. Through FNGC, I sit on the advisory board for the UNC American Indian Center — please check out their amazing work!
I’m always looking for new ways to support my communities, particularly through education and the arts. I currently volunteer with the Peoplestown Neighborhood Association, DH Stanton Elementary PTA, and KIPP Vision Middle School. I also have experience volunteering for AVID, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public Schools, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. If you know of any organizations seeking support in Atlanta, please let me know!