Browning, MT – My journey here in Montana has been amazing so far. I love learning about different cultures and comparing them to the rich culture I grew up in. It has been breath taking to learn that some of our traditions are similar, such as a rich family connection/root. When listening to one speaker I was able hear a different perspective of systemic racism and oppression as it compared to something simple such as a name. For example, he spoke about how it can be sometimes frustrated for “Americans” to use a native name for something that is completely irrelevant to their cultural such as a sports team. Yes, we understand that something can be named for memorabilia to show respect, but for the majority it is a way to claim or take ownership of a culture. This was all very interesting and to hear it from a Native simply reminds me to be mindful and to appreciate and protect my own culture while being mindful of others.
– Alexis Cummins