Welcome to the Fall 2021 issue of Winds of Change! In every fall edition I look forward to the article on Native STEM enterprises to watch, partly because it nicely dovetails with the National Conference. After all, both the article and the conference are about showcasing ways that talented individuals are building satisfying careers and Indigenous communities. One of the enterprises you can read about is telecommunications firm Alluvion Communications. General Manager David Ackerman says, “We have a higher vision of touching tribal communities not only in our state but also in the United States in ways that do not now exist. We dream big.” I hope that reading about the Indigenous organizations on these pages will inspire you to “dream big.”
You’ll find a different kind of inspiration in the article “When Art and Science Meet,” which explores the intersection of creative arts and innovative science. Especially in academic circles, there is a lot of conversation these days about “STEM” and “STEAM,” and here we take a look at creativity and some of the many ways science and art are complementary.
Especially in academic circles, there is a lot of conversation these days about “STEM” and “STEAM,” and here we take a look at creativity and some of the many ways science and art are complementary.
As we always do in the fall issue, we introduce the winners of the annual AISES Professional Awards. And don’t miss my favorite section, “AISES People,” where you can read the stories of inspiring AISES members. One is Leah Creaser, who initiated an introduction to TEK that’s now a required part of the first-year curriculum at her Canadian university. Or Joseph Casila, who was so determined to pursue bioengineering he finished three bachelor’s degrees in four and a half years. Or mechanical engineer Jacob Belin, who made the most of an AISES internship with Stellantis, where he now has his full-time dream job working toward a future of electric vehicles. Or Dr. Denise Gabaldon-Thronas, who changed careers to become a health care practitioner in a field that allows her to incorporate Indigenous cultural beliefs. Or environmental science graduate student Mariah Gladstone, who hosts Indigikitchen, a digital cooking show that combines her tribal heritage with her scientific training.
Stories like these remind me how truly special the AISES family is. Thank you for being part of our efforts to support many more bright, talented Indigenous people like these as they find a professional home in STEM.
Ta’ Tura Tsiksu (With Much Respect),
Sarah EchoHawkPawnee Nation of OklahomaAISES Chief Executive Officer