Allyson Two Bears
Environmental Science major
Sitting Bull College, North Dakota
Allyson's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all medicine women. Knowledge of traditional medicinal plants was handed down to Allyson throughout generations. More »
Criminal Justice major
College of Menominee Nation
As a member of the Menominee Nation, Alan lives under a sovereign and independently self-governed tribal system within the United States. Alan studies criminal justice in hopes of someday working as a tribal police officer. More »
Physical Education major
United Tribes Technical College
Sekoya is already making strides - mental and physical - to help her people. She is a basketball star, devoted to her workouts, and a physical education major at United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota. More »
College of Menominee Nation
Mathematics and Nutrition major
Born and raised on the Oneida Indian Reservation in Wisconsin, Dan says he "grew up poor." He had a difficult time in high school, and entered the Army National Guard. Following that, Dan enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served for eight years on fast attack submarines in the Atlantic. More »
How Think Indian Was Born
The Think Indian public service advertisement campaign is the next chapter of the American Indian College Fund's story, creating with its pro-bono advertising partner Wieden+Kennedy.
Rooted in the stories of real students at our tribal colleges, the campaign shares how the unique cultural thinking of American Indians is being preserved at tribal colleges, and that inner cultural landscape is being used to solve modern-day problems while embracing the latest research and technology.
Tribal college students are combining Native knowledge with modern business, science, and other studies to cure disease, preserve habitat, develop sustainable businesses and cities, and implement sustainable agricultural practices on Earth and in space. It is not only our students that benefit when you make a donation to the American Indian College Fund—the entire world is a better place thanks to Indian education.
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Allyson's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all medicine women. Allyson, a mother of two, finds herself in the same place as her maternal forebears: the keeper of traditional knowledge who is passing on her peoples' traditions to her children. Allyson's tribal college plays a role in both her science and Native education. In her ethnobotany class at Sitting Bull College Allyson learns more about the plants she was introduced to by her elder tribeswomen.
Allyson says, "Because of our disconnection with nature and the urgency of global warming, I hope to reconnect others with nature. I would like to develop and teach programs about conservation, nature and wildlife, all while tying in Native American culture and beliefs. I want to teach people of all ages."
Allyson is conducting research projects at Sitting Bull College on turtle populations on the reservation. She also conducted research to study the loggerhead shrike and the brown thrasher, and traveled to Costa Rica to do tropical studies on a wasp species and primate observation. Allyson has worked as a zookeeper, where she integrated her knowledge and culture into public programs. In addition to her interest in environmental and animal issues, Allyson has volunteered for local women's shelters, and works as a peer tutor for other students at her college where she was named Sitting Bull College's 2007-08 student of the year.
As a member of the Menominee Nation, Alan lives under a sovereign and independently self-governed tribal system within the United States. Alan studies criminal justice. He is taught in the community-oriented style of policing, which places more emphasis on changing negative behavior, and plans to be a law enforcement officer on his reservation.
The Bear Clan to which Alan belongs is known for being the guardian of the Menominee people, and Alan sees no difference between working as a police officer to guard the health and safety of his people and his role in his clan. Alan uses his tribe's cultural and clan approaches to law enforcement and his education to make his reservation a safer place to live, while lowering crime and serving as a role model to future generations.
Sekoya is making mental and physical strides to help her people. She is a basketball star, devoted to her workouts, and is a physical education major at United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota.
In addition to knowing the rules of the game on the basketball court, Sekoya knows how to skin and prepare an elk and write in Lakota, her Native language. Once she completes her degree, Sekoya wants to return home to the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana to work to teach her people about the connection between physical activity, traditional lifeways, and diabetes prevention and cure.
Born and raised on the Oneida Indian Reservation in Wisconsin, Dan has dedicated his life to researching ways to bring ancient knowledge to the modern world. He worked with several classmates to build the Golden Eagle, an award-winning wooden rocket that he and his classmates created from materials from his reservation's sustainable forest. Although Golden Eagle was neither slick nor expensive, it outperformed other rockets made by students at mainstream institutions in a national competition.
Dan is also conducting experiments for NASA to grow radishes and other foodstuffs on the moon and Mars, using ancient soil techniques developed by American Indians thousands of years ago. Dan says if the experiment works, American Indians will be seeding space!
Cedar Kakkak is a member of the Menominee Nation. She completed the sustainable development program at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin.
Cedar’s academic interests grow from her family and community where sustainability is not a new concept. The Menominee Forest has been heralded in conservation circles as a national model for sustainability. In the Menominee language those who manage the forest are known as “Keepers of the Forest." Though it has been logged several times over, visitors often perceive the Menominee Forest as pristine because of its abundance of hemlock, pine, aspen, and oak trees, thanks to traditional forestry practices.
Cedar would like to use her traditional values and education in a career in community planning.
Bradley Antone Pecore, a member of the Menominee/Mohican tribe of Wisconsin, grew up on the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation. In his youth he developed an interest in sculpture and painting.
In addition to creating his own art, Bradley is interested in art theory and repatriation of Native artifacts issues. After his junior year at IAIA, he successfully served an internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where he conducted Native American art lectures.
Bradley has always had an appreciation for contemporary and traditional Native art and intends to become a professor of Art History after completing his Ph.D. at Cornell University, where he is now studying.
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