A Native American community engagement class at NMU closed out the semester learning how to create interactive online content such as moccasin games, craft workshops and a "Digital Resilience Webinar Series" to engage audiences in the context of COVID-19.
"Originally, these projects would have been face-to-face events, but now we have had the additional challenge of moving things to a virtual format,” said April Lindala of the Center for Native American Studies, who teaches the class. “However, once we were required as a course to switch to a virtual format, I provided links of national conferences and gatherings happening in Indian countries on our EduCat page to demonstrate to the students that they were embarking on 'real-world troubleshooting.'
"I think it was helpful to show them that there are national organizations required to get information out to tribal nations and all of those organizational leaders have had to switch delivery styles as well to a virtual format.”
The Native American Student Association is also hosting webinars with elders and community members on a weekly basis.
“I am grateful for the resiliency and creativity of our students, both in and out of the classroom,” said Lindala. “Our future leaders will need solution-building skills for the betterment of our tribal nations. These are beginning steps but I am filled with hope seeing these students do this work.”
The Center for Native American Studies offers a holistic curriculum rooted in Native American themes that challenges students to think critically and communicate effectively about Indigenous issues. Visit here for more information.