Welcome to the Spring 2019 issue of Winds of Change! This
season of fresh starts is always an exciting time at AISES, where the
Regional Conferences and Leadership Summit inspire students and their
mentors to chart new paths and reach fresh goals. Seeing our students
come together — and shine together — always makes me appreciate the
real-world benefits of the AISES connection, and I encourage
professional members to get involved with a local College Chapter and
see for themselves how amazing our young people are and what a
difference mentors and role models can make in these young lives.
Of course, behind the scenes there is plenty going on in the
organization and among our members, and you can read about some of it in
AISES Notebook. One thing our amazing staff is already busy with is
planning for the next National Conference, coming up October 10–12 in
Milwaukee. Don’t miss this unique chance to reconnect with old friends,
make some new ones, and discover opportunities at the biggest College
and Career Fair in Indian Country.
No matter where you have found your place in the AISES family, you
will discover plenty to interest you in this issue. Everyone will want
to read our take on the National Climate Assessment, which came out last fall, and its implications for tribal communities. You can find “Taking Stock of a Changing World.”
No matter where you have found your place in the AISES family, you will discover plenty to interest you in this issue.
Readers will also want to check out the personal stories of
individual members and the paths they are taking to reach their goals.
Turn to the AISES People section for a chance to meet practicing
physician Dr. Nizhoni Denipah, graduate students Tyson Jeannotte and
Ranalda Tsosie, Canadian college student Nikita Kahpeaysewat, and
pre-college rising star Marcy Ferriere.
For professionals and aspiring professionals, we have our
much-anticipated annual Top 50 Workplaces for Indigenous STEM
Professionals list. The focus of this piece — diversity and inclusion —
is an important one, not only for individuals looking for a comfortable
fit in the workplace, but also for those who want to play a role in an
organization that brings out the best in each employee. And don’t
overlook the personal rewards that can come from a workplace that values
what you bring to the table as an Indigenous professional. As Colton
Harry tells it, after he joined Procter & Gamble — which he says
excels at “recognizing and supporting diversity” — he was inspired to
delve further into his own heritage. “Now, I’m not only proud to tell
people I am part of the Choctaw Nation,” he says, “it’s one of the first
pieces of information I share about myself.”
At AISES we are proud of our heritage, and we strive to make sure
everyone is comfortable living that pride at school, in the workplace —
and everywhere we go.
Ta’Tura Tsiksu (With Much Respect),
Sarah EchoHawkPawnee Nation of OklahomaAISES Chief Executive Officer