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2014 Winter Linfield Magazine

small tight-knit reservation community where even if you didn’t know someone personally, you knew who they were. The broad plains of eastern Montana have given way to the lush Willamette Valley. The small college environment has made the adjustment easier, but the lack of Native American students has presented its challenges. For example, they’ve been asked if they are Latino or Hawaiian, which reinforced their desire to share their culture. “I think it’s important to explain my culture, my upbringing and our cultural ways,” Julianna said. “Northern Cheyenne (people) are taught to be respectful, considerate and tolerant of ignorance. I would like to educate others by example and share and give them a sense of our community. I want to learn about other cultures, because I think everyone’s culture is as important to them as mine is to me.” Julianna said talking about her culture has forced her to come out of her shell, improve her communication skills, stand up for what she believes in and given her the opportunity to talk with others who have vastly different perspectives. Arianne has become immersed in the “I would like to educate others by example and share and give them a sense of our community. I want to learn about other cultures, because I think everyone’s culture is as important to them teaching and learning environment and has been impressed with Linfield’s small classes and supportive faculty and staff. Now, some of her best friends are from completely different backgrounds. Listening to Wilson’s and the Kings’ experiences piqued Iron’s interest in Linfield. But another inspiration was Joseph Medicine Crow ’38, also a member of the Crow Tribe and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. as mine is to me.” – Julianna King ’16 Iron said his decision to enroll in First CLAS, a weeklong service-learning and leadership program for incoming students held prior to orientation, helped his adjustment to college. In addition to learning about campus and community resources, he connected with students and engaged in community service projects. “That had a big impact and helped establish a bond with other students,” he said. “It really helped me adjust and ease the transition to school and in making friends.” He has joined the others in exploring ways to share his culture and heritage. “Where I live, a lot of people don’t go to college,” Iron said. “One of our missions is to encourage people to look at Linfield. I want them to know that this is a great school.” NASA members have shared dinners featuring Indian tacos and fry bread, and hosted a game night and a pumpkin carving. They visited the long house at Oregon State University as part of a spiritual discovery trip. They have also connected with Grand Ronde and plan to volunteer at the school. Julianna and Arianne plan to share their beading skills with anyone interested in learning. Students are also reaching out to area native clubs including at Chemeketa Community College. “We hope to build more connections with the schools nearby, to provide them support and hopefully they in turn can support our efforts and events,” said Julianna. One goal of the club is to develop a cultural festival at Linfield that will highlight the native culture. Wilson, Julianna and Arianne are rekindling their interest in learning the native dances they performed as children. “Now that we are away, I’ve realized that I have to be the teacher,” Arianne said. “I was the one hearing the stories at home, now I have to tell the stories. I have to represent us and do my part.” – Mardi Mileham Commitment to diversity NASA is one of nine multicultural clubs active on the McMinnville Campus that help students adjust to college life and promote their cultural experiences, emphasizing Linfield’s strong commitment to diversity. This fall, 30 percent of the McMinnville Campus is made up of U.S. students of color, compared to almost 12 percent in 2006. Helping students organize and hold educational and cultural events is just one aspect of Jason Rodriquez’s job. As multicultural program director, he provides support and advice to students on the McMinnville Campus. “This office serves as a catalyst to create links between students, faculty, staff and the community,” Rodriquez said. Five students with ties to the Native American cultures in Montana have been instrumental in organizing the Native American Student Association, chartered in 2012. Members include, from left, Nicole Wilson ’17, a nursing major from Lame Deer, Mont.; Arianne King ’16, an intercultural communication major from Busby, Mont.; Faron “Gabe” Iron ’17, a biochemistry major from Crow Agency, Mont.; Julianna King ’16, a sociology major from Busby; and Shelby Hollenbeck ’14, an environmental science major from Gresham. Winter 2014 l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e - 2 1


2014 Winter Linfield Magazine
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