Native News Network Staff in Native Briefs. Discussion »
SUQUAMISH, WASHINGTON Cut Bank Creek Press, a Native-owned publishing company, will award two $1,500.00 college scholarships to the winners of its first speech contest titled "Speakin' in Indian."
Two $1,500.00 College Scholarships
Currently enrolled college students will upload 5 minute video entries to YouTube in response to one of two theses: 1) "Native people and Tribes should expend substantial resources on the preservation/restoration of Native languages and make it a top priority because ", or alternatively, 2) "Native people and Tribes should not expend their limited resources on the preservation/restoration of Native languages and make it a top priority because "
One scholarship will be awarded for each argument - the best argument in favor of language preservation and the best argument against making language preservation a priority.
Spokespeople for the contest are Dallas Goldtooth, Dakota and Diné, a renowned speaker and language preservation advocate, Mike LaFromboise, Blackfeet, Blackfoot language scholar and computer nerd; Gyasi Ross, Blackfeet, author of "Don't Know Much about Indians (but I wrote this book about us anyways);" and Steven Paul Judd, Kiowa and Choctaw, a renowned visual artist and filmmaker.
Dallas, Gyasi and Steven will also serve on the final panel of judges.
Gyasi Ross created the scholarship specifically to increase the amount of young Native people that feel confident speaking for themselves and for Native people.
“It's a very small step. Still, those that can speak persuasively and passionately tend to be leaders within our communities. Native people are, and always have been, perfectly capable of speaking for ourselves, yet we haven't had a formal pipeline to develop strong Native speakers and leaders. Now, of course we have some amazing and great Native leaders, but they succeeded through sheer will and without a formal mechanism to develop them. This scholarship is a start to creating a formal program because the leaders of today need to take the initiative to help mentor and cultivate tomorrow's leaders.”
Contest rules will be announced on January 1. Submissions will be accepted from January 15 through February 15 and will be reviewed from February 15 to April 1. Finalists will be announced the first week in April.
In late April, four finalists will be flown to Albuquerque to present their speeches, after which the two winners will be selected. Finally, scholarships will awarded at the beginning of the '13-'14 academic year.
"Speakin' in Indian" is presented in partnership with Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre, a progressive 20 year old Seattle non-profit engaging Native youth in creative self-expression and critical discussions about the issues affecting their lives.
posted December 8, 2012 6:40 am est