50. Indigenous Peoples’ Day | Intersection of Tribal Life and Higher Education
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About This Episode

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, today’s episode is a mix of clips from previous interviews with Dr. Chris Nelson (Episode 32), Dr. JD Lopez (Episode 28) and Dr. Amanda Tachine (Episode 30). They previously joined the Student Loan Podcast to help shed light on the intersection of tribal life and higher education.

Be prepared to open your eyes to a new perspective that you may not have considered before from a community of people that have often been overlooked, especially when it comes to higher education.

 

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Shamil Rodriguez (00:00:00): Welcome to the student loan podcast. Here, you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses,

Daphné Vanessa (00:00:10): Inspiring stories about paying off student loans, where your host Daphne Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez (00:00:16): Rodriguez.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:00:19): Before we begin, we have a message from a very special VIP

The Student Loan Podcast VIP (00:00:24): Please rate, review and subscribe to the Student Loan Podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:00:29): This is not professional advice, and we speak from our own personal views and opinions.

Daphné Vanessa (00:00:35): The student loan podcast is brought to you by start new, where you can serve your community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out if start new is on your campus, visit start new.com. Hello everyone. And welcome to the student loan podcast. Today in honor of indigenous persons day, we are going to be honoring our previous guests who put their life's work into advocating and really improving the lives of tribal and indigenous people. And we are honored to have had guests on our podcast who shared these stories. So with that, we're going to go straight into some of our historical episodes so that you can get a glimpse into the experience that indigenous people have had. So we'll start with Dr. Chris Nelson and her ideas and thoughts about the term Indian. I appreciate that you paid tribute to those that helped you become successful. And it sort of sounds like you spent some time in New Mexico, some time in Arizona. Talk to us about the differences in experience between the pueblos of New Mexico and the indigenous cultures in Arizona.

Dr. Chris Nelson (00:02:08): Oh, sure. So for me growing up, um, I grew up on a border town of the, of the Navajo nation and my connection to the Laguna Pueblo tribe has been through my mother's side and we're a matrilineal society. So I just inherently have a tr a close connection to that side of my family. And in terms of the differences, I think there's actually more similarities than differences in terms of just the meaning of community, the meaning of being there with family and the practices and the meaning behind cultural practices, right? Um, those cultural practices are what kind of very come differently from tribes to try, but I believe that the kind of underpinnings and the reasons for these practices are really about just being a good, relative, being a good person to your community for future generations, taking care of our elderly, um, and just being present and a good steward of this land as well.

Dr. Chris Nelson (00:03:11): So those are, I think, again, some similarities, and I've been really fortunate in my work to be brought into projects that are focused a lot on pre-college stem programs. And, um, so we're learning with elders from my community and from different tribal communities has been really great to understand how we can be good stewards of this world. And, um, just really centering that at the core of how we see programming for college access. And also for my case, like how I was a practitioner when I was doing a lot of that work more hands-on with the communities to

Daphné Vanessa (00:03:50): Amazing, amazing. One more question on New Mexico, there is an Indian Pueblo cultural center, and some have shared that the term Indian is not the appropriate term to use. Talk to us about the linkages between the cultural center and how it could play a better impact in education in tribal communities.

Dr. Chris Nelson (00:04:17): Sure. So I think it's important just to note that communities across the, what we call turtle island are now, the United States is the use of Indian has a lot of different connotations. And a lot of it was rooted in this notion of settler colonialism and how the federal government was really trying to other indigenous people. And so there is kind of this consistent use of Indian because it's written in tribal policy and treaties and use consistently throughout that. So I think that in some sense, it's never going to fully go away, but, um, and then some people see it as a derogatory term that doesn't accurately, um, Courtrai indigenous people as a whole, or as, uh, as, as individual tribes as well. But I also find that even within our own communities in particular, like on the public tribes, like if I go back home, um, it's pretty common in our community just to call ourselves, um, not really in the end, like the, the annunciation of it, but more Indians, which is like, uh, just representing ourselves. And so if I talk with elders, they might say they speak in them, which is the carer's language, but I know that it's not in a disrespectful manner, um, in terms of the Indian uncle. Sorry,

Daphné Vanessa (00:05:39): I see I'm understanding now.

Dr. Chris Nelson (00:05:41): Yeah. And so Indian Pueblo cultural center is actually a collection of, uh, like a, really a tribal grouping of all the different problems across New Mexico and, and other areas. And just a point to really gather, um, a coalition of how do we advocate for tribal sovereignty and, um, provide avenues of learning, um, places of convening, whether it's a public kind of education or, um, education that happens within the communities. And so for, for us, because pueblos, uh, the public tribes are varying in sizes, the capacities across different tribes vary. So by having this coalition, it's really the sense of pulling together, um, similar interests in a way that doesn't require the individual tribes to do a lot of the waiver on their own.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:06:37): The next segment that we're going to play is a clip from Dr. Jamison. David Lopez is episode 28, where he discusses graduating with a PhD and zero student loan debt as a tribal student. And this portion of the episode is going to discuss the difference between how money is viewed in the native American community.

Daphné Vanessa (00:06:59): So JD, I wanted to ask you, we've gone into the story for how you were able to find the financing for the different stages, how your mindset really shifted, and with that scout school project, essentially, and how it made a huge impact. I want to speak about some of the frameworks and systems that we have in terms of the, uh, United States as a country and capitalism, versus some of the cultural frameworks that you grew up with from a tribal first person's perspective and how they may conflict with each other or be congruent.

Dr. Jameson David Lopez (00:07:40): Yeah, sure. And so I think from like, uh, like kind of this national kind of way of looking at capitalism is just this idea of accumulating, you know, labor in wealth and then keeping it, I think the idea, I think, who was it, Reagan that had the trickle down, you know, uh, kind of, uh, thoughts around the economy and what capitalism is supposed to do. And I think ideally that maybe that's what it would do. And I think the difference is with tribal communities is you could think about, for example, take the gaming industry and the casino business and see what they're doing. It's very, it's very capitalistic in that sense, but then also there's a spread of wealth from that, like the gaming, the casino helps fund almost every program in my tribal community and a lot of tribes across the United States. And so when you think about it, that that amount of wealth isn't kept at the top, it's not kept up with the tribal council, with the chairman, with certain families or nothing like that. It's actually spread across all our programs. So if you go, if you're in Yuma and you stopped by the queue, you know, casino and resort, you lose some money. Like don't worry. You're actually investing in other kids, higher education experiences. Yeah.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:08:55): You should hand out flyers to people as they lose their money and don't feel bad. You just lost 20 grand. Here's a fun.

Dr. Jameson David Lopez (00:09:08): And I mean, I hate to admit it. So I go back to my tribe like often, and if I stay there, usually I'll stay at the casino at the, at the hotel there. And I remember one time I did, I saw some lady like coming to the elevator. She kind of had her head hung down low and I, I feel bad cause I know the casino it's real life. It takes your money. Uh, you willingly you're gambling. It's called gambling for a reason, but I was like, Hey, how's it going? She's like, well, you know, not too good. I probably lost more money than I should have. And I was like, well, you know, if you know, I know if this helps you anymore, but you're investing in people's, you know, future and higher education. She looked at me, she goes, actually, that does make me feel better.

Dr. Jameson David Lopez (00:09:46): You're finding these great programs on our reservation. It's helping out our kids and, you know, headstart, it's helping out, you know, our language preservation with language preservation. It's helping our culture board. And like, it's just like, you're gonna helping out with things. So like, you know, it's, I know you lost your money, but think of it, you're contributing to, to the ch like tribal programs. And so I think, but like going back to idea of like capitalism, and I think that's kind of ideally how capitalism may be used as it just being, you know, disperse, you know, really equally across the people, um, and helping, you know, provide some of those programs that would be helpful, um, to, to the country itself. And I don't think you see that as much when we're looking at, you know, maybe things in the U S from that perspective is that sometimes that accumulation of wealth is really co kept at the top. And, you know, there's only a certain amount that is led out, um, not even for a, probably a basic living wage for a lot of folks, uh, to be able to afford life or get ahead in life. And so I think when you look at those kinds of value systems, like in one sense, the tribal community really is trickled down and you're seeing that, that money come back into the community itself. But then on the other sense, you're just seeing it really stuck at the top and not really going anywhere past that. So,

Daphné Vanessa (00:11:04): So now we're going to go into Dr. Amanda Tyshena these views on the experiences of tribal people and how their experiences are in higher education.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:11:20): Welcome to another episode of the student loan podcast. Everyone, thank you for joining us again today. We have a very special guest in Amanda to Cine who is actually from Arizona state university and is going to be bringing to light a very, uh, let's not say misunderstood, but I want to say often overlooked perspective, uh, in higher education. And that is of native Americans in America. And what's great about today's episode is that we're not only going to be talking about what that life may look like and what native American life and higher education looks like. We're also going to be talking about what are the actual strengths of tribal communities, what are some of the ways to move forward and improve on that status quo? So if you've ever had a curiosity, if you have ever thought about it, and I said, you know what? I would like to learn more about this subject or this, that specific demographic or these people, um, here's your opportunity. So without further ado, let's let Amanda take it away and tell us a little bit more about yourself before we dive into this, uh, episode.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:12:25): Uh, thank you so much. It feels good to be a part of this conversation with both of you and the show Shay Yar Amanda Ticino Anisha managed as a touching English block as a funder passes chain. Tabata should check out though. She had the Chanel aren't here, Nasha contact got ads. And initially I just introduced myself to you and Navajo. And that's the way that we have always been raised to introduce ourselves. And what I shared with you is that I said my name, um, but I also, I then I identified my clan relatives and what's really amazing about, and I'm Navajo and what's cool about our clans is that we are matrilineal, which is a beautiful way of thinking and being particularly given that we are in a settler nation that is, you know, rooted in head hetero patriarchy. And so to know that there's Metro window communities that are thriving since time and Memorial, I'm proud to say I'm a part of one of those communities. And so I'm originally from a small town rule on the real Navajo reservation called Donato. And currently I am privileged to work on the beautiful lands of the [inaudible] people as peoples here in Phoenix, Arizona at Arizona state university.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:13:46): That's amazing and wonderful. And I'm glad that you've brought that out and you started off the episode that way. Um, so would you mind just giving a little bit more background on why matrilineal, uh, is a, uh, what that means and why that is different from what you see in America today? Because I think not a lot of people really think about that subject as much.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:14:10): Yeah. You know, I've been, I was raised in a home with really strong women from my grandmothers, my aunties and my mothers, and also in a home environment and community and environment where women are respected and valued as community members. And this is connected to our long history of understanding the value that women bring to this, to this, you know, to bring life to this world. And, um, I feel like it's an important part to convey because it really is an underpinning of the way I see the world when it's connected to what we say as a Navajo, that means kinship or relationality, which rooted to Metro lineal thinking. And I feel like that's important because then I see the world that we are all related. And then since we're all related, there's a responsibility to take care of each other. There's a responsibility to live a good life along a beautiful life where we care for our relatives and relatives are not just humans, but are more than human relatives and our, um, the land and the waterways and the universe that we're all interconnected.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:15:21): And when we really believe in that philosophy and that way of life, we can see how, when someone is hurting and cane, then we're all in pain and when somebody needs help, then we should all strive to help each other out. And so, um, I'm really proud of that thinking. And I feel like that's why if our history, you know, our people have been, uh, we have a long history of disposition in genocide that have harmed our people, but the reality, but the fact that I'm here today, talking with you and I have a family as a Testament to the strength of what I shared earlier relationality, and which is connected to matrilineal teachings.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:16:04): That's wonderful. And I think a follow-up to that Amanda, that I have is how did that impact the research and the field that you decided to go into? Right. Because coming, but my assumption is that you could have done anything, right. Anything like everyone else. Right. And so the question is, um, why go into this space? Why try to share that message? What was it to you that, that called you and pulled you in this direction?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:16:31): I guess I give a lot of credit again to my mom and my grandmother there. My mom was a teacher for a long time in our whole community. And my grandmother didn't have her credentials as a nurse, but she was often called to be the school nurse because she knew a lot of the medicinal ways of healing. And she was just a really caring, loving person. And, and so, you know, I followed my grandma over loud. And so I got a lot of teachings from her, the importance of taking care of each other, and then helping my mom in the classroom to the extent of like helping her grade and helping her, um, at the time is when she had chalk cleaned the chalkboard. I just around women who just really encourage education as a way to take care of our people, also connected to all of that is growing up, back at home, you constantly hear the message of go and get an education and come back and help our people.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:17:25): Now, this is said in community gatherings and school functions, when you're in passing at the grocery store and you, and you run into like a community member, who's maybe a leader or relative, they'll often ask, they can ask you, what are you going to do next after high school? Or what are you going to do when you grow up or whatever? And it was always connected to this well, yes, do that am in combat and help your people. So I find that that's that of relationships and relationality, there's like a reciprocal understanding that's embedded in who, how we see the world. Our work is really guided in helping the, those who took care of us and education, um, is viewed as one of those pillars of really helping our people survive to really bring strong nations, um, too, because we need all facets of educators and professionals to get their degree so we can continue to survive as a tribal, as tribal people. And so I feel like it's just always been instilled in me from my community and in my Mo and my mother and my grandmother,

Shamil Rodriguez (00:18:30): You know, and that, I think that's a good, thank you for sharing that. I meant having that, sharing the idea that the community was passed down from your grandmother to your mother and then to you, and that willingness to give back to the community. Uh, because oftentimes a lot of people say like, you know, you leave the chicken coop or you leave the home, um, and then, you know, kind of build your own life. And if you want you come back and help. Right. Yeah. Um, but I think it's wonderful that, that, you know, especially tribal communities, that, that is really this reciprocal relationship. So speaking about how, how education plays a role in that and how you've really taken a deep dive. And in doing that, can you speak about the state of tribal communities in America and how that relationship exists today?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:19:18): Yeah. I think what most people don't know about tribal nations is that there are 574 tribal nations in this, in this nation state. And there are an additional, yeah, and there's more state recognized and there are more, more that are fighting for recognition. So when you hear that number, it's well over 600, that means they're all diverse. They all speak different language. They have different customs, they have different ways of seeing, seeing things. And so we are fast, diverse, um, community within this largest nation often were lumped in as all natives are this way, but we're not. And, and, and there's about 5 million or so I think the last census 2010, there was about 5 million who were self identified as American Indian, Alaska native. And so I'm curious to see what the 2020, um, enrollment looks like. I'm sure it went up as we're one of the fastest growing people, um, in this nation state.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:20:21): Um, but we're not at the numbers that we were before settlers arrived. Um, we were, we were like thriving all over this place. I'm living. And I have to remind folks that this land is where we're from this land. We take care of this land. We've been here before sellers have been here. And yet we are still trying to reach those numbers because many of our people were killed and, and land was taken from our people. And so, you know, there's a long history of, of genocide. Like I said, earlier, disposition of lands that people are, maybe they know, but I think they're not, they need, uh, not ready to face the realities of this country and the, and the harm that they've done to our people. And so our AZ, so then our tribal communities are fighting to maintain sovereignty. And this sovereignty is being able to self-determine our lives to have, um, the opportunity to make, make our, our nation strong as, as, as we've always done. And so, um, so, so I wanted to share those large numbers for y'all because many people don't recognize that we exist and often think of us as we've been in the past and no longer present. And don't re don't recognize that we are thriving and we're contemporary people doing all our best to, to advance our communities.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:21:50): I have a quick follow up there. Uh, Amanda, and this is more just like a demographic question, because as you say, the numbers are growing, uh, and you said that some people are, or more people are acknowledging or claiming it on paper, right. Because this is how we're collecting the data. Is it because people are finding out that they are somehow tied and have a heritage of, of being indigenous that is helping contribute to that number? Um, you know, because I, I feel like, um, at least in my circles, you know, you meet people that are like, oh yeah, no, I do have, you know, uh, this specific nation in my blood or this like this. And they, you know, they kind of, they mentioned it in passing, but don't necessarily claim it. Right. So I guess, where do you, if you don't mind, just briefly, where, where do you think that increase is coming from in terms of, uh, people that are, or is it, or is it not like, does it have nothing to do with that? Um, you know, are people just self-identifying now because it's something that learning or is it because, um, you know, in your, since like the Navajo nation, because you guys are doing a better job of, of getting recognition where otherwise you wouldn't have received it before.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:23:04): Yeah. That's a really good question. I don't have Empirical evidence, um, to, to understand where, but I, I, but I know she knows,

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:23:17): But I do, I do have to connect it with the census it's self-reported. So anybody can mark the American Indian box, you know, um, even if they are, um, just found out they're a native or they've been raised in a community where they, you know, where they actually are from, um, like let's say Navajo nation. Um, but what was it what's important that what's the distinction between self-reported and enrolled member is the connection that I shared about there's 574 tribal nations. Those are tribal nations who have their own enrollments, um, processes. So I am an enrolled member of the Navajo nation, like I had to do, sir, and it's measured and it's, and it varies with each tribe on how they set the parameters of enrollment. But so then I, so the self reported, you don't have to distinguish whether you're an enrolled member. So it's open, whereas like the enrollment numbers with the Navajo tribe, they're calculating enrollment, other members who actually showed documentation, usually there's documentation that you are actually are, um, ancestral have connections, or you have cleansers for Navajos.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:24:32): We have to put our clans, we have to know that information to claim enrollment. And so there's a lot of, there's a lot of tension with self-reported and enrolled in our community. That's a complexity. Um, that should actually is another conversation. Um, so the increase in numbers to potentially be that in fact that our people are actually populating. Um, I know what the Navajo nation that we have, our largest number of increase has been the young ones, the children and the youth. So people are having children and it's growing in terms of the numbers. And so I, and also numbers are growing because of mixed race. So, you know what, the census, you can include more than one race or ethnicity. And so the numbers and the changes of who counts as native also depends upon how the census counts. So you can be black and native and count and be counted. So those are two different changes in terms of the way the, the counting is also occurring at a federal level as impacting the numbers.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:25:38): That's very interesting. And how, how have those numbers, or have they caught up yet in terms of higher education yet? Or are we still a ways off to see that that growth, uh, reflected in an enrollment at colleges?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:25:52): Yeah, that's where it gets really troubling for me because in 2009, for example, there are 205,000 native students enrolled in degree granting four year colleges. And in 2010, the enrollment dropped 196,000. And then by 2014, enrollment plummeted 252,000. So it's the lowest that it was since 2000. So, as we know there in that time is when we have the great recession that we were, our highest number was at 205, right at the peak of the recession. And then after that, as you know, tuition increase institutions were struggling to pay, you know, pay them to keep running. So they increased tuition. And then our native students who are predominantly from impoverished communities with a PI poverty rate, high unemployment rates, they're the ones who are then squeeze out of college. So the enrollment reflects that. And so for, for the last few decades, our enrollment has in comparison to all populations were at a 1% during the same period. So you had, the population is growing from 2010. The larger population is growing by 39%, but the college enrollment rate stagnated at 1% during that same period. So I call us a stagnation pro pro problem that we're stagnating at 1% now for decades while our enrollment rates are our wall, our larger general population is increasing.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:27:21): Hmm. That's an interesting, I guess, wrinkle in the data there. Right. To see that way. What about the, so I guess this, you had kind of mentioned something there that I think would be good to speak about now, um, about like the realities of tribal life in America. Right. And what are some of those often are really challenges because you said that, you know, when the recession hit and the tuition increases followed, which seemed to be very counterintuitive by the way. Right. Um, and even the counter-intuitive from the student perspective, but, um, you know, can you, can you shed some light as to, you know, why that is the case? Or what is life like? Uh, what is tribal life like in America for, for, for anyone right now?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:28:04): Well, I don't want to speak on behalf of all tribes because they're just so diverse and I don't want to create, and people's mindset. They're hearing this, like, how would I share is an example of all native people? Cause that's so hap that happens to us all the time. So I want to be, I just want to be careful. Um, as I'm sharing some of this information, I'll say is recognizing that we all come from different places in space and we all have different experiences. What I will share is from the Navajo nation, cause that's where I'm going to remember. That's where I grew up. That's where I do a lot of my research still to this day and what I found. Um, so as I shared earlier as our, our Navajo nation population is increasing, our enrollment in colleges is not par in comparison to the larger population growth.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:28:56): And we know that college at the same time colleges were increasing now, right now we're at a steady level because of the pandemic. There hasn't been an increased tuition, but what I found in my, in my research, and this is some of the work that I'm writing on right now is there are systemic reasons as to why native students, Navajo students in particular are unable to afford to go to college. And these are things that we often take for granted when we are thinking about a students and their ability to go to college. So I followed 10 Navajo students during their first year in college, their high school, and then their first year in college to share with me, what are their, um, what was their experience as they transition and from high school to college and what astounded me, which I shouldn't have been surprised as how much context, how much the social political context of, of growing up on the Navajo nation impacts their, their conceptions of whether they can go to college, but then whether they can afford college.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:29:57): And so when we looked at the doubt, when I looked at the data, I started seeing that many of my students in this cohort of 10 did not have running water or electricity in their homes. So while they were a senior in high school, one girl did not have any electricity or running water in her home. So can, can you imagine, you know, trying to do homework, um, you know, uh, trying to apply for all of these different scholarships are to even enroll when everything is internet based right now. Um, and so, so when I dug a little deeper, I found that within the Navajo Homeland households, there are 16,000 Navajo house schools that do not have electricity and the Navajo tribal utility authority, which is our electric company stripes. It connect 400 to 450 homes a year at that rate is estimated. There would take maybe 35 years to get electricity to the homes that do not have access.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:30:54): And the estimated costs for all of those 16,000 homes to get electricity is about $640 million. That's what the assumption that prices are not going to go up and we're not going to need more homes that need electricity connected to that is that many homes do not have running water. That be, these are just simple things that we take take for granted when we're living in one of the most richest countries in the world, that there are these communities where majority of that are many, many, I should say, but many families don't have any water. So then when students then are thinking about going to college, they're caught in a dilemma of, do I leave my family knowing that we're trying to make ends meet, like have electricity, um, knowing that the cost for some colleges in state are about $20,000 a year. One of my students said that like by the new vehicle every year, you know, that's a low and we both laugh when we that's so true.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:31:54): And so when we have that situation and then with the, with, um, with just oppose with all of this, then poverty rate is what the Navajo 56% of Navajos living on the reservation are as impoverished, 44% are, are unemployed. And when I say those numbers, it makes it feel like, and I want to be cautionary that, oh, why can they not get a job in? Why can, why are they living in a poverty conditions? Why can't they just do this? And I used to be when I was younger, I, as a teenager, I used to struggle with that too. Like, why can't we get it together? You know, which is which

Shamil Rodriguez (00:32:36): It just feels, it feels so logical to think why can't they just get it together? Right? Like generally any, any, any suffering population, right? Like such an easy, uh, I want to call it a trap, you know, to fall into

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:32:50): It is, and it makes you feel like bad and it makes you feel mad and angry and not knowing why at your own people at your own relatives, which then I once made me go deeper into this work. Because what I found is that because of those treaties that I just talked about at the beginning, because of the way, the relationship, the racial political relationship to the federal government, the Navajo nation signed a treaty in 1868 with the federal government that allowed for our people to stay within a smaller portion of land that they once lived. And there's a long there's tormenting stories of what about before the treaty was signed. I really like to think I wasn't an 1868, you know, when I read the historical accounts or hear stories, that was a time when our people were actually in prison for four years away from our Navajo land and where women were raped, kids, little girls were raped at that time.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:33:50): They were starving. They're sick, they're dying. And they were four years in captivity. And that, and then finally the treaty was signed and I'm a descendant of chief manually tow, one of the treaty, signers and leaders at that time. And part of that treaty stipulation then was that our people could go home to it, not knowing that they're going to a smaller land base and not knowing that, um, that even what I found later is that some of that land that was taken as supporting the university of Arizona, which I'll talk about another what the moral. And so during that treaty time, then there's a, there's a relationship with our people and the government saying, okay, we are going to take care of your people because you're giving us all this land. And it wasn't, we're giving them was actually taken or manipulated stolen from our people.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:34:42): And so third now, when, when, when people are trying to start a job on or a, uh, a business on Navajo nation, they have so much red tape because of the relationship with the federal government. But I'm learning that the Navajo people, patient leader say that we're on rented land. So this idea of like, well, give me your land. That isn't really, that it's really not that the federal government still has control. So the start on a business, you have to, it goes, there's so many layers of federal, federal approval to start a land, to start a business connected to that is that lenders do not want to lend money to Navajos or businesses on Navajo land because of negative stigma because of racial capitalism. And so when you want to start, uh, I could take years to start a business, whereas off the reservation, it could take a week or so to start off and get their approvals.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:35:44): So oftentimes you have to be the persistent one for years, not knowing if it's going to get approved. So there are so and so in my book, I'm writing, I framed this as that's a financial hardship monster. It's rooted in our relationship with the federal government. It's rooted to this term called settler colonialism, which is the government's maintaining and control of indigenous land that is continuous. So that these conditions of our people, then isn't the fault of who we are. It's the political implications that have been a part of this nation state for a hundred years. And so that's why it's hard to get running water and electricity because of all of the red tape that's occurring on our, uh, on indigenous lands. And people don't know about that, then no clue about that. Not our, that's why I didn't, I wasn't taught that in school. So now I'm like, now I get, it's not are people who it's, that's why it's so hard to get a business. That's why there's only 13 grocery stores on the whole Navajo nation and the number of nations about the size of West Virginia in terms of the land base. And there's 30, there's just 13 grocery stores and, and not, and I know that our people have been trying to fight for more, but it's just, it's just the constant, um, bureaucracy that is part of that maintains our impoverished conditions. And this maintained our status quo.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:37:10): Th the idea that there isn't autonomy to make those types of decisions amongst yourselves is what, to me is one of the more surprising realities, right? Because it just sounds like everything that you would want to, or have to do to make upward mobility a possibility you are set off by Huge's demands for years to come. So, I mean, higher education is no different because if your family can't and that correct me, if I'm wrong, feel free to jump in here. And then I'm trying to synthesize everything that you're, you're, you're, you're sharing with us. If, if my parents can't get their business going and there aren't many businesses to begin with because of the time it takes to get approvals, to make a business. Now, the income is non-existent, uh, and now we're in a position where you're offering school for me at a price that is just absorbing.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:38:11): Like, it's just unrealistic, like literally just unrealistic. So, wow. Um, where, where do you think the ch uh, we're not going to jump into the changes just yet, because I want to make sure that we, we talk about the relationship between money and education, right? Because one, one aspect is that, um, a lot of people don't know what TCU is, are, right. A lot of people don't know that there are, and I say a lot of people said, how about this, myself? And a lot of other people within my community is a better way to say it. Um, don't understand or see, um, this reality, even though for a long period of time, um, I used to drive past a reservation and not even know whether it was okay for me to drive in, to go in, to see and learn more about this community or not.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:39:04): Um, so I guess what are, let's, let's backtrack for a moment here. What are some of the common myths? And I think you've, you've shed some light there because I would have thought there was complete autonomy, right? Like you said, I was not taught this reality in school. Right. It's, it's very emblematic of how a lot of societies are painted in one way or another, and then that's kind of glossed over and move onto the next thing. Um, so, so if you can, Amanda walk me in the rest of the listeners through what, what are some of those common myths, um, that you hear about? What's the difference in philosophy between education and, and money? Because clearly to me, there is a difference there, right? There is a distinction between where, you know, it seems like the F the people, the Navajo nation, or are working on this reciprocal, communal mindset, and then the larger government of America saying, no, that's not how we operate, but if you want to operate that way, you can. Yeah, sure, good luck. But we're going to continue to move forward with our, our version of capitalism and society of how we think that things should be financing. How, you know, we should co-exist. Is that, is that far off base? Or am I, am I on the right path there?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:40:20): Yeah. I feel like what you're sharing and I'm so glad you restate it. So I can hear, I want to also assure, uh, listeners to affirm that our people have resisted, you know, even they do in a sense practice, the autonomy of doing their best to maintain their survival. So who we are. And so there's a long history of our people who have fought against, um, settlers and the federal government to fought resistance, to maintain our sovereignty, to me, insane the way that ways that we maintain and see the world. Um, but of course, when you're, when you're up against, um, these large corporations and governments, and actually just society where there's just really white supremacy as pervasive, um, it's, it's definitely, there, it's a constant, I framed this in my book, systemic monsters that we're contending with continuously, but our people are strong and our people in the history have demonstrated their strength.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:41:20): And one of them was the tribal college university, like you said. So in the, uh, about 50 years ago when, um, our people were just beginning to be thought of as a college, as becoming college educated, because many people don't even know that, like, we were just introduced to college probably just a few decades ago in comparison to folks who've been introduced for centuries. And, and, and so when we were introduced, a lot of our people were not completing. And then they were problematized, which is a myth. Again, they were, problematizes the problem that they, they're not smart, we're savages that were unintelligent to, to do the rigor, academic, uh, academics. Um, um, but our people were like, that's not true. We are, people are intelligent and brilliant. And, um, and it's more of like, you universities just don't know, are we alive? Like, let's, I mean, there's, there's a wonderful, um, story that I found where it was actually with Benjamin frequence notes, where on the east coast, where there was a college there that was trying to recruit natives, and this is an east coast or Navajos, we didn't get this, um, introduction as early as, um, settlers on the east coast.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:42:39): So, um, a college was trying to recruit and the native leaders were like, no, because when we send our boys to your school, they come back unintelligent, they can't hunt, they can't survive the coal, they can't, they don't know the plants. And that, and then the, um, the, the college was, I think it was William, Mary, I might be wrong but said, no, we need your students. And the reason why they were adamant of getting your students is because they receive money. That's another thing we're constantly appropriated. They received money from, um, from England donors because to support native education. But a lot of those early colleges like Harvard and like, um, Dartmouth, they misuse those funds. Didn't actually support native education, even though a lot of their money was created off of the appropriation of our people, of indigenous peoples. So this leader was like, why don't you send your 10 men?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:43:38): And we'll educate them as fine as what he said. And so like, there's this constant resistance of our people are not passive. They're fighting. And they're saying, Hey, this is, and so the tribal college is a movement then of like, um, I'm really proud of our dinette people and Navajo people. Cause there were the ones that had the first tribal college and almost because right after the world war II or many of our, our young men and women were in the war and return, or it was men who returned and thinking that they fought for the country and were treated like crap and were just discriminated. And, um, again, returning to racist country and our people were like, we need to make our own education. So that way our people are going to be able to, you know, create a strong Navajo nation. And so that the net college was then came in 1969, the first college, and then on the premises on educating our people to help sustain the tribal nation.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:44:40): And so now we have, I want to say 38, maybe the most recent number of tribal colleges across the nation, or really their goal is to educate the people and run the area. And it's open access. These all causes open accidents, access, but really it's founded on incorporating indigenous knowledge. And self-determination, uh, that, that means, um, language increasing indigenous language and tribal governance and sovereignty of cultivating the land, all of these things of, and not only that, but also just to eat those just their genetics are about relationality kinship, Kat, you know, those are the philosophies that they're, that they're, that they're doing, what their student affairs folks, where people and the administrators are thinking about those philosophies that are in many ways, antithetical to predominantly white institutions where it's about individualism, the hierarchy, Neil, Neil, liberal capitalist practices. You all got me started. So yeah,

Shamil Rodriguez (00:45:49): Yeah, no, no, I we're quiet. Cause we, we love, we love what we're hearing here, you know, you're, you're dropping a bomb, so Amanda, keep it coming. Daphne. Uh, I'm sorry. Uh, jump on in for sure.

Daphné Vanessa (00:46:01): Yeah. So you guys were really going in. I love it. I had a question about going back to the root sovereignty and what role that plays in today's disparities in higher education. I know it's a packed question, but to enlighten our listeners just a little bit, bring it all together.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:46:24): Yeah. Sovereignty. I want to, from the way I look at it and is differently from nation state sovereignty. So I think federal government of sovereignty is possession control domination, kind of this hierarchy. Whereas indigenous sovereignty is really framed around relationality and taking care of the people and taking care of the land so that we have a future so that our future generations can breathe, can drink water, can live a joyful and happy life. And so when we think of that, in that sovereignty sense, then, um, working with tribal with working with institutions, I find that of higher education. I find that they often disregard sovereignty amongst tribes when they're doing their work. So institutions have a long relationships with federal and state governments. They even have offices, dedicated staff who nurture the relationships with the federal and state public relations, but they don't include often don't include relationships with tribal governance de-valuing that there are tribal people with their own government system within their state, within this nation who have a political relationship with the state and the federal government.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:47:49): So there's only a handful of institutions that actually have a dedicated staff or team. And it's usually just one person that actually does tribal relations work. So then they're the ones who are similar to the state and folks at their institution that nurturing tribal relations, but vast majority of institutions don't have that. And so then they're not recognizing that this is a political entity group here at the state of Arizona, 30% of the land base and the minerals and the resources are on tribal land. And that's huge. And so then if you're going to be working, then it's adamant then that state governments and institutions work and in relationships with tribes, cause they're sharing, they're sharing each other's resources there, you know, of course. So it's, it's important. And I think institutions need to really be aware of that. They need to know their nearby tribes, um, and nourish those relationships.

Daphné Vanessa (00:48:50): Absolutely. And hegemonic organizations like the United States government appears to have this same belittling framework with the tribal community as with others, we'll call it other ism. Why do you think that is? And what value is there to all of the different others working together? That'd be definitely theater for you right there too much.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:49:26): You know, again, this is my perspective, but I think that the federal government and society at large belittles and creates damaging perspectives of native people and they've always been doing it and it's their way, their way to maintain control of us and also their way to maintain control of the land researchers and a wonderful native scholars have written and documented that the fact that native people are living as a threat to United States because United States wants to ownership of all land. You know, they've always been that, that type of empire since arrival and our people, people across this nation, state indigenous people are still today to this day, fighting for recognition and land and terrible and, and, and the resources and caring for that land. It's it's it's. So that's what I think it is. It's just it's and that's settler colonialism, settler colonialism is a structured to contain and maintain control of it, Digitas lives and land insane.

Daphné Vanessa (00:50:35): And so how are you even going to have a shot at an education? If your governance framework isn't even respected as being a valid entity, it's almost institutionalized.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:50:46): Yeah. That's the, those are tensions. You know, those are definitely tensions. Um, but we have to, we have to keep fighting. I mean, you can easily get dismayed and the strong anted by the enormity of settler colonialism. And, uh, but we been here for hundreds of years, we're going to still be here for a hundred more. And part of that is getting the education so we can have the tools to speak against draft policy, to think for being collectively. Now, I don't want to say that getting a higher ed education is the only way. Definitely when we bring our indigenous ways of knowing as, as powerful weapons to help us to. Um, but definitely higher education helps in learning the languages,

Daphné Vanessa (00:51:39): Right. Almost like learning how to operate in another country, even though technically this is your list.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:51:46): So I think, I think this is a good segue. Uh, definitely Amanda, to talking about the, um, like where do we go from here? Right. Um, like you said, Amanda, that the child communities have been resilient since the beginning. Right? I think it's the best. That's the way I look at things. I look at the beginning of that way to suggest the encounter of when the settlers came over. Um, and that era of life began, but I know that you've worked on, on, on what that might look like right. With the declaration of major purpose in higher education. So would you mind giving a synopsis of what that is, what that might look like? Right. Let's, let's take the listeners through what moving forward to improve that status quo actually looks like from your perspective.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:52:38): Yeah. And thank you for mentioning the document. And so everyone can see and read it's available online, the declaration of NEDA purpose in higher education. This was, um, a document that many folks put together and the American Indian college fund was the lead in publishing and getting folks together. But the impetus of that potential, um, that many strep was because there were, there was a story of two Mohawk boys who were on their way to take a tour in Colorado to a dream school. Now, these boys were musicians, they were smart. They did everything right to set up an orientation, you know, to they, they did all the research and they actually applied to the tour and they, they drove seven hours to this university. And that was the first time they were, they drove without their mom. And you can imagine I'm a mom, the mom, you know, allowing them, giving the keys to your teenagers, to go to college, to go on this college tour that's hours and hours away.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:53:50): You know, I just think about that and how proud I would be if my son he's an acre to now did that, I would probably be nervous, but so proud that he did that due diligence. So they got though they got to the tour a little bit late and we can all imagine trying to find a tour date on any campus, um, the tour starting place. And when they came, they're apprehended by the police right after they arrived. And there has been, um, police, um, boys of the call of nine one, one, and one of the woman who was a white mother called the police and said that she was scared. And she used the term that there were freaking kids. They did not belong and they were scaring her. And so the boys were apprehended and questioned by the police. And of course, one of the boys got his cell phone and verified orientation, enrollment, registration, and the police where it said, okay, well, you all can go, but, but this is after being questioned.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:54:53): And you know, and they called their mom and they just traveled back home, took that long drive back home. They didn't finish the tour. And so that created so much, um, conversation on social media. Yeah. And many of my friends and colleagues were more all advocates of higher ed or just distraught. And I actually just off how that was handled and how, what they were feeling. And from that, then that event, it put the call to action for educators to come together to address this ongoing issue of that case racism and erasure, the, the lack of the invisibility, that what you just shared at the beginning of this, um, Shamil of just the unknown of our people. Um, so that dog's through conversing after a few days with a bunch of us in Colorado, we then created this report and which is eight declarations that we felt institutions of higher education.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (00:55:57): And these are not tribal colleges. These are predominantly white institutions should take up and consider when, if they're thinking about supporting native students. And so, and so you can read all the different eight declarations there, but we provide now, this was all synthesized from the convening notes, um, that were transcribed. Students were a part of that convening, like I said, educational leaders, both native and non-native institutional presence, presidents and tribal college presidents and predominately white presidents were also present at this meeting. So it was a strong group of folks that came together to, to help institutions saying, come on, here's some guidelines, eight declarations that we feel is imperative to support native students. So things that would, so what the two Mohawk boys would not ever have to encounter a no other students should ever have to encounter something like that.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:56:56): It's terrible. I mean, it's terrible that that's, that was the experience. And it's, to me, you know, just a quick side note, it just makes me think that that was an example of how you had mentioned before Amanda, the systemic issues that exist. But to me that was a by-product that phone call that script. That was something that, that per that color didn't even, I want us to tell, to say, don't know, because it kind of withdraws a responsibility for doing that, but it's like, you can see the indoctrination. Right. Um, and, and just the way you described it, where it's, these people are different. They're like to have you mentioned the others, right? Like there's just this distinction here. And because something is not what I perceive as normal, it's a threat. Um, and it's, it's, it's sad because when we mentioned the th the systemic issues that are creating this disparity in higher education for native students, imagine what that drive was like, coming back home.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:57:59): Why would I want to go to school after that? And that's not to say that that's not the case, but like how excited you were, like you said, as a mom to give your keys to your son as a, Hey, I can't wait to hear how well it goes, you know, you know, spread your wings and fly, and then you come back and it's like, you know what? It's not, for me, it's not what I thought it was, you know? And now you've, you, you've, you've really disenchanted to other people that could have changed the world in the education space in that way. Um, so I think it's just a really poor example of how much we still need to go, but to see how detrimental even literally one phone call can be, and now we've seen this and we currently still see this every day, unfortunately in America.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:58:47): But I like that you're on talking about it because oftentimes native Americans are not the subject of that conversation because it's often overlooked. Right. It's like this, like bookmark of like, well, you know, they're, they're, they're right. Like this, like, it's this weird conversation where, like you said, like people just overlook the, the, the, the realities there, and I'm glad you're bringing it up, but I'm sorry. I didn't want to go back into that, that whole, but it just really feels really it's, it's, it's aggravating. It's frustrating. It's exactly what you say it is. Right. And I think, um, I want to make sure that we're capturing that because when you had said, when you were a teenager and you were wondering why can't my people do better, like, why can't they just do a, and we hear this all the time sometimes from, from leaders in America that say like, Hey, just pick up yourself from the bootstraps.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:59:40): Right. We all talk about that. You know, what if I don't have boots and this, this, this, this, like, what if I can't even get access to a store that allows me to sell the boots, because there's so much bureaucracy and we don't have the independence to create the business and do that in the first place. Right. So, um, that's me on my soapbox. I apologize, man. I just feel like I had to synthesize what you're saying there. Yeah. But it is, it is. It's, it's, it's real. And what, what, what are some of the tangible, um, outcomes that you expect and that your team expects coming from the declarations moving forward? I mean, I I'm grateful that at least under this Biden administration, under the recent announcement, that there is going to be funding specifically mentioning TCU. Right. Like the idea that TCU specifically mentioned, you know, uh, was to me a big win. So do you see that as a glimmer of hope or, you know, is it just being placated, like, you know, tell, tell us a bit of, what do you think from your perspective is the, is the, the way to go in the right direction? Like, what are, what are the tangible steps that can happen that can actually make some sort of impact here?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:00:49): Yeah. I definitely feel like, well, thank you for synthesizing everything. You're so you're so good. And it gets me all pumped up too.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:00:59): I definitely feel like that is a good, that's good. Like any news like that comes out. Good. And I want to recognize that there's been a lot of people for decades. Who've been advocating for funding for TCU because they're not getting the money that they're supposed to get every single year. And so while, while Biden's administration is providing that, it's because of the efforts of many people, the American higher education consortium, even the American college fund and the presidents of travel nations and tribal leaders that have been drumming that, um, for, for a long time. And I think for me, in terms of what does this mean? I feel like it's too soon to tell yet I'm running a, you know, we're just barely into this new administration, you know, I'm an optimist at heart, for sure. Um, but I definitely want to see the long haul, the long run with, with efforts.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:01:52): I am though. I am though really motivated and inspired by social movements that have been happening since the pandemic, the black lives matter has been really amazing to see the efforts there there've been at infusing within art, both in the world, the abolitionists movement that's happening too. I think those are that's. What gives me a sense of hope is that there are these there's, these efforts of solidarity could happen that is happening or focusing come together to really understand that, you know, we have differences in histories, but we're also finding the same stem. It monsters a lot of ways of white supremacy, capitalism, and for native folks and settler colonialism and anti-blackness for black. So we definitely have these, um, these movements and I don't even know movements accurate term, but these long traditional ways of resistance between our people and other people who have been fighting injustice.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:02:52): So that gives that's what gets me pumped up and seeing those efforts, because if anything, I know our young people are listening. I know my daughters are listening and it only gives them more to fire to, to speak against the injustices that been impacting our people for a long time. And so one of the things that I've been drumming along with others is I feel like institutions should be free. Like the colleges should offer free, um, education and higher education for our people considering the long overdue debt of the lead. And so what I was sharing earlier is that there was an amazing research that was done by high country news called the land grab university. I don't know if y'all saw that it was it's remarkable. So a team of folks actually looked at the moral act of, I can't recall if it's 1862 or 1867, the first moral at which is, which gave Leningrad access, um, access to monies to support land grant universities under the guise of public education.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:04:00): Um, but was not mentioned in the moral act or even that time period is that monies were generated were from indigenous lands. So stolen indigenous lands. And those monies then were generated to build the endowments of land grant universities today. So when I said earlier that the treaty of 1868, that my people signed, my ancestors signed some of that money was Len holdings. That was once where they lived and thrived since time and moral were given to the university of Arizona and to the stay, your baby benefits every year, the money generated. So the moral act could be go to land grab, I think lamb grab.org is a website. And I might have said that incorrectly you'll they did a phenomenal job of looking at the maps of all the inserts of the United States and connected those land, grab universities to the tribes that the lands are taken.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:05:01): And then, um, and they calculated the money's generated for endowment of those institutions. And so, so they're third tracing that there's money that institutions have garnered, and that's not even including what I started earlier, colonial callers that use native people to go to England and then parade them around to get the fundraising dollars to start Harvard and to start many of these elite institutions and, and many universities, um, are also benefiting from these lands. And this history is closely aligned with enslavement of blacks who are off of their bags and labor had to build many of these universities. So, so I, I definitely think that there is a case to say that native should go to school for free because of the, the history and because of the ongoing money that is generated in perpetuity because of, because of landholdings and lead generation office stolen indigenous lands.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:06:05): Um, and you know what we will, we will make sure that we link that into the show notes. Uh, you know, it is land grab and a letter U so it's land grab you letter u.org. Um, and so we'll make sure that we've absolutely been in the show notes, but Davin, I feel like you were going to jump in there. Oh, my heart is heavy. I'm so sorry, guys.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:06:26): This is, this

Shamil Rodriguez (01:06:26): Is more difficult for me to know. We may have to make a part two of this episode, ladies and gentlemen. So going to school for free, uh, what, or if you could give me two or three other ideas, in addition to that, I want to make sure that we, we, we at least briefly discussed some other ideas that you might have that you think could start moving us in the right direction of actually, um, actually just saying that, that way it's moving in the right direction. Right. Cause what, what is the end state? What is the end goal?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:06:56): Yeah. Yeah. And I don't know if there's an end goal. I definitely, well, maybe there is, I, I need to think about that a little bit more, but I think one of the foreign parts too, that institutions could do is really taking care of the land, taking care of the waterways. And, um, because institutions are, are powerful, you know, stakeholders in this nation state, and we are in a crisis of, um, of our climate. And when for me, I want to go to bed and feel like my babies and my next generation will be able to breathe and eat healthy food and drink water, you know, and how can institutions like universities help do that? I feel, and that could be that then I think is important for tribal relationships to happen. So it could be really talking closely with tribal communities about, okay, what do we need to do to safeguard that aren't in Arizona, our water can sustain us.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:07:58): What could we, how can we work together protect to protect the land and to protect our, our water? I feel like those that would be really powerful and that would be a way to remain, create. I call that I think about a returning to our mother ways. That's a myth menstrual lineal thinking has to remain straight to take care of our mother earth. And, um, that to me, I feel like that's just what B is what we need to do and, and what we can do. And I know that there are some movements and some institutions that are cultivating community garden work or are working with folks on sustainability efforts. And, you know, also that's the there's universities who are doing that. And I think really working with tribal people and really using indigenous knowledge systems, I think would be really powerful because we've been here for a lot longer than we, you know, these, these, these mountains are though it's changed over the years and generations we come from it.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:09:02): And so I think there's, there's really important teachings that could be learned. Um, so, so, so that would be one, one idea. And thinking along that line, um, I think another one that gets me that I think about is really just how can we think about our relationship with students? And when I think of the Mohawk boys and other native students as how can universities really be operating in an ethic of care and ethic of love. And I really rely on bell hooks is work. I'm all about love that she wrote that really helps us to think about how capitalism and heteropatriarchy and, and white supremacy really separate us from love. And what if institutions were really to cultivate, what does it mean to love and work in relationality with others, which is then connected to working with the land? So how can we, so I teach a class in the summer called love and healing and higher ed, and it's actually a new class and actually was actually hap um, that cultivated because of the COVID last year was so hard in the summertime.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:10:13): And I was diving deep in a lot of readings of love and healing with my colleagues and friends. And, um, one of my friends, she texted me and said, well, you know, what could I offer as some reading, she texts a group of us because she was teaching a summer class. So I, how can you talk about organizational culture at an institution like your class when death is happening every day at that time? So we kind of pulled together some readings, which ended up being this course that I'm teaching now, but in that class, I, I, our, our main question is how can we work as an, the love ethic to our students? Because the students were in my class are student affairs, partitional potential administrators, or working in non, um, nonprofit educational that circles are. So we talk a lot about what does that look like to, to, to, to, to love each other.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:11:08): Um, and so then students are talking about, wow, this policy that I'm developing at my job, I'm recognizing how it's actually could potentially harm certain students and looking at it through love ethic ethic. We can see it a little bit more. And so it makes you see things, or hopefully I'm hoping that it makes us see things differently when we look at our work, our practice through, through love. And so on the declarations, we kind of wrote that as one of them, like, we believe that colleges and universities have a duty to cultivating an ethic of care and supporting native peoples by listening, learning, and engaging with native students, faculty, and faculty. And I think those are things that we take for granted. We're such an operation of, let's get this done quickly. I don't have time to listen. You know, when we really, and I think COVID is teaching us.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:12:03): And for me, it taught me to slow down. Time is precious. We only have, we never know, and I love it. Go ahead. So we need to listen to our bodies, listen to each other, take care of each other. So I'm hoping that, you know, I, I don't like this language of returning to normal because normal, for many of us who wasn't good, but I feel, you know, but I feel like we're in a state of, like, I've been saying, telling my friends, like, I feel like we're in an interlude, a space of possibility because I think a lot of us have been, yeah, death has just been in our corner and, and the social unrest has making us see how we treat our, our black relatives or Asian relatives. Um, and so I'm hoping that raises consciousness of love amongst people in ourselves to take care of each other more deeply, more expansively,

Shamil Rodriguez (01:12:57): Speaking of love. And, and, and you just mentioned, uh, black and Asian communities and really celebrating with each other and expressing that love, uh, amended. Do you want to share an upcoming, uh, event that you have that I believe is going to be along that same lines? Is that correct?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:13:15): Yeah, I'm so excited. So, so, and see, I feel like that's the other part of our work is we have to find the joy because it's just so hard to hear what I just disclosed it with. Y'all unloaded in the last hour. Um, but there's glimmers of joy that we can do and cultivate. And so in working with this, um, so Dr. Ebell Ewing is from Chicago university of Chicago. She and I are, co-creating a conference that's free and virtual, um, June seventeen, sixteen, seventeen, and 18 call cultivating black and native futures and education. And the premise behind this really, I give a lot of credit to Dr. Ewing. She outreached to me and like, Hey, you want to do something like, Hey, what, like, what about this? All right, let's do it. And it was really because we wanted to be intentional about cultivating solidarity and recognizing that it's happening, um, that our people from have, have, there's a lot of tension with different folks.

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:14:20): And, but, and there's also a lot of strengths and coming together and learning. And so the conference is designed to bring community folks, educators, to come together to share what they are doing or what they hope to do. So there's an array of, we want, we were intentional in creating a conference that, that had space for art from use it for poetry, you know, for research and, um, just a space for cold coalition-building. And we were really intentional about creating a space that we hope would heal and, and provide those ethics of love. And so we were intentional about that. And so we're really excited. So if folks are interested in participating, our registration is open, um, it's all zoom and will be virtual, but we're hoping that people get energized and be inspired to do that work in their own communities, or just be affirm that they're already doing that work. And yeah, there's other folks doing it too. And the more we can do that, the more that we can draw solidarity, the more that we can fight against these systemic monsters. And that's what I, I believe and feel there's possibilities and there's strength in coming together. There's straight and relationality that, that's why I'm here today. I'm alive because of that. And so I feel like that that conference is an example of that. So check it out, come and hang out with us virtually, um, that for those days,

Daphné Vanessa (01:15:55): Yes. Who knows, we could come out with the standardized new template of America's history lessons for the truth during the conference. And then that can be the new education system that we teach our kids and people will know the truth. Who knows?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:16:12): You never know, that's what we keep telling. That's it sounds like I said, you never know, because even I have a text and sometimes we be, wow, we're doing this. And like, well, we never know. We just like, keep, you never know what's possible. You know, it's, I'm glad you said that, but that's something we keep saying to each other.

Daphné Vanessa (01:16:31): Yes. I love your energy. Amanda, you stay so positive. And so forgiving despite what your community has gone through, I'm super inspired because as a black person, it's hard for me to forgive people and I really don't even know how you can be so forgiving of people given the environment. So I just want to say that this conversation was inspiring enlightening and I'm so happy we came across each other's lives

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:16:59): Thinking definitely

Shamil Rodriguez (01:17:01): Amanda, uh, before we wrap up here, um, how can folks get ahold of you? I know Twitter is a platform that do use,

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:17:09): Correct? Yeah. Folks can my Twitter handle, I think that's the word and my last name T a C H I N E. So at touchy a at touchy Navy, and folks will also email me too at Arizona state university. And that's my name, Amanda dot cine@asu.edu,

Shamil Rodriguez (01:17:31): For sure. And I think what's great here. Uh, Amanda, I want to make sure that we highlight as well. Is that, um, based on that conversation, you're very much open to collaboration as you're doing with the conference. Uh, we came across to you and your work because of our interview with Dr. Catherine Weedo from the Illumina foundation on the, uh, student, uh, borrows, borrows of color, uh, report. Uh, so I think that, you know, if there's anybody out there that was to reach out to Amanda, I think, uh, she is a great resource, uh, to work with. Uh, as you can hear, she's very passionate about this subject and with good reason. Um, so please, if you guys are interested in reaching out to her, please do it. Um, if there's any comments or questions you have food that are posted on the show notes page itself, I will open up the comments if you guys want to reach out to her.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:18:21): Um, Amanda, we'd like to end on a final message. Now. I know, I feel like you've had like five mic drops in this podcast alone. Um, but if you were speaking to someone right now, one-on-one, and let's imagine there's a listener out there who happens to just, for some reason, life just allowed for this podcast to be playing in the background and they heard your voice and they were feeling a bit down and out on their luck. What would be your message to them about persistence or what would be your message to them in general, to wanting to keep moving forward and operating in love? Like you so eloquently put it before?

Dr. Amanda Tachine (01:19:00): Ah, that's a really good question. I think whenever I'm confronted with someone who's down and out, um, I tell them, go to your teachings of what gives you strength, whatever that is, whether it's praying, whether it's going for a run, whether it's singing, whether it's crying or sometimes it's even like screaming, like what gives you strength? Um, those teachings are a part of you and they've been passed down to you for a reason. And so those are the things that I often do to when I'm feeling like I can't do this anymore. I go to prayer and I ask creator for strength and intelligence and understanding to help me. Cause I know that my work is for not for myself, it's for my kids and future generations of my people. And I got to keep being strong. So I would ask folks, just do that. Wow.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:20:05): Awesome. Thank you so much for joining the show. Um, we look forward to having you back on when you release your book. Um, hopefully we can bring you back onto that podcast. That would be great. We love you as a guest. I really enjoyed this and thank you so much. Thank you, Amanda. Bye bye bye. For more information on today's episode, visit the student loan podcast.com for sash episode 50. That's the suit alone podcast.com for sash episode 50.

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