Tag Archives: tribal colleges

Tribal Colleges and STEM

by Thomas Davis

I thought some of the readers of Four Windows Press might enjoy this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XyqwWR3_d4, which describes the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math work being done in tribal colleges across the United States.

This is obviously not about poetry, art, or photography, but I have worked in American Indian Education from 1972 up to the present time. I helped establish the National Science Foundation’s Tribal College and University’s Program (TCUP), working closely with Carrie Billy, then the Director of President Bill Clinton’s White Initiative of Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), that this video explores. My role was not that important really, but I am proud of the work I did throughout my career in the tribal college movement nevertheless. Carty Monette and Carol Davis, both featured in the video, are not only good friends, but played a major role in helping establish the TCUs nationwide.

What the TCUs are achieving throughout the United States is, at least in my opinion, some of the most important educational work being done in the world today. This video just gives a small glimpse of that work and might introduce to at least some of you the TCUs.

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Filed under Essays, Thomas Davis

The First Meeting of the Tribal College Presidents– Maori College Administrators, Faculty, and Students in Hawaii

Note: This starts a new series of poems, The Tribal College poems, that tell about the tribal college movement in the United States and the formation of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). In many ways these poems have historical importance, describing events from some of the most important higher education movements that happened in the latter part of the 20th century.

The Maori came singing in rows,
Language as musical as colors of Hawaiian flowers,
Swaying rhythms weaving through island heat,
Capturing in movement wave song of ocean.

The tribal college people came, led by a hand drum,
Feet moving to the drum’s rhythm,
Spirit inculcated into the history of this moment
Away from the tribal homeland,
Maori homeland,
In the islands of Hawaii.
The singing and drumming met
In a swirl of traditional dress
And words from scores of cultures.

The meeting created waves and tides
And a singing beyond the singing of any one people
Or group of people,
And the waves and tides swept outward
From rocky shores of Hilo, past the reef
Into the ocean of the world
As a growing began
That sent echoes rumbling
Into years and decades in the process of borning.
Hi Yah Hi!

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Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis