A Native Professional Story

In my life journey so far, I benefited from several native individuals who helped guide me at different points in my life.

These were in-person conversations where ideas were exchanged and advice was given on “what to watch out for” or “nuggets of knowledge” based on experience & wisdom from being there before.

With the power of the internet & time-shifted learning, we now have a opportunity to share our “native professional story” with many more native youth than talking to each individually.

Now that I’m back in Albuquerque, and among more native professionals, I’m going to interview and collect the success and failure stories of today’s native professionals, leaders, and business owners.  I strongly believe that the things we did wrong (failures) are just as important as the things we did right (success).

I’ve decided to create a new category on this Blog to highlight this effort, so now on the left side you will see “A Native Professional Story” link and be able to click it to see the latest interviews available.  As more individuals are interviewed a page will be created to house the list and their areas of knowledge and expertise.

First on the list is of Dr George Blue Spruce Jr, a person who dealt with adversity, attained success on many levels, and wrote a book.

I will also be doing a self interview soon, I just need to work out all the questions I want to ask myself and others in the future.

I’m also open to any question suggestions.

This should be a very interesting and fun project to document the stories so the native youth can learn from what the native professionals, leaders, & business owners have learned.

– Dom

Public Education

This is a interesting video on public education by a Seth Godin interview.  I did not know some of the history on how public education was started.  I have come to believe that our kids need to be more creative and entrepreneurial to be successful today.  That the traditional public school & college teach our kids to look for jobs vs creating jobs/companies.  This is particularly difficult with kids on tribal reservations since distance & quality high speed internet access is a large factor in not being aware of their life possibilities.

– Dom

Maori Performance

I recently connected with a friend on twitter (@tlcgoodluck) and found out she works at the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque, NM.  My family and I were invited to a Maori performance at the school on 5/13/2010 (these performers traveled all the way from New Zealand).  We went and it was a great visit, I learned that many of the students at the school are from the surrounding tribes in NM and that a couple of the teachers were from Laguna Pueblo.  The real goal for my visit was to meet with the science/math teachers so I can present about engineering/business/career to the kids in the future.  It was a great afternoon seeing all the students, talking with several teachers, and watching the performance.  Here a brief video of the Maori visit.  Enjoy!

– Dom

* For better video & audio quality watch the 720p HD version.

Laguna Storytelling

The Laguna Public Library (in Laguna, NM) periodically holds events for the public that help promote & preserve the local culture.  This last Monday (5/10) the library had “Laguna Storytelling” with Chris Luther.  This hour long event was great re-introduction to the Keres language for me personally.  I was very appreciative that the library and Chris allowed the event to be recorded.  This video is just a small sample of what occured, the full video will be put on the computers in the library for others to also enjoy the event.

– Dom

* For better video & audio quality watch the 720p HD version.

Guiding Eagles

Ok, this post is not really about guiding real flying eagles, it’s a metaphor, what San Ildefonso Pueblo is really doing  here is to raise visibility (and money) for the  efforts of their Health Coalition and their summer youth program.  I know for some this may be short notice, the event is 2 weeks away.

As their flyer says (pdf link is below), “Proceeds are for the Summer Program for the Pueblo de San Ildefonso Youth for education & wellness activities addressing awareness in diabetes, obesity, safety, drugs, alcohol, environmental and traditional values , etc.”

This is something I’m really glad to see happen and I support it, too often the youth on reservations don’t have structured activity in the summer and this leads to less than ideal outcomes later in life.  San Ildefonso Pueblo is also one of the tribes in New Mexico that does NOT have a casino, so I’m guessing funds are limited from the tribal government.

I personally have friends and former classmates from San Ildefonso Pueblo.

If you are a golfer, please consider spending a day at the Towa Golf Resort to support this program.

Guiding Eagles Benefit Golf Tournament – April 30, 2010 (pdf flyer)

Thanks.

– Dom

Engineering talk at SIPI

Since moving to Albuquerque, I decided one day to reach out to one of the national tribal colleges, the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI).

I corresponded with one of the professors, Dr. Nader Vadiee and setup a date & time to talk to students in one of his pre-engineering classes.  All the students in his class were from one of the tribes in the US.

I setup a video camera in the back of the classroom and recorded the event.

Here is a brief video of the beginning of the talk:

* For better video & audio quality watch the 720p HD version.

You can play the 1 hour and 12 minute audio file here:

Enjoy.

– Dom

* This event was captured using a Sony HDR-SR11 HD camera and a Sony ECM-HW2 Bluetooth Wireless Microphone.  The footage was edited and rendered using Sony Vegas Movie Studio Plantinum 9.0, the video is 720p HD format, and the audio was exported to WAV format, run through the Levelator (to even out levels between when I talked and the students talked), then encoded to 64 kbit MP3 format using Audacity.