Native American Project
For the past three summers (2010, 2011, and 2012) Human Services Students have had the unique opportunity to receive field work experience on the Navajo Reservation outside Gallup, New Mexico. This experience has been an opportunity for students to not only provide much needed assistance on the reservation but to learn about a culture that is some ways may not be that different but in many ways strongly contrasts their experience here.
The first year students helped to build a wheelchair ramp, a front porch, and painted the house for an Navajo elder. Roofed another home and fed the community and the homeless.
2011: We worked on the Rock Springs Chapter House, scraping and painting. We worked with the homessless and community. We also made progress on building relationships.
2012: We built more than a building. We built relationships. Students had the opportunity to work with the elderly, participate in a "clean-up" in Gallup, fed the homeless, and distributed food to the community. We also had to opportunity to fellowship with a Navajo leader and his family and listen to the "shortened version" of the Navajo creation story (the full verison takes about 7 days). These activities were indeed significant as it demonstrates the relationships that we have been building for the last few years.
May 2013: This year the group is going to take a road trip. We anticipate that we will stop and visit other reservations along the way. At this time we are still working on the agenda and the dates. We are looking forward to being able to immerse ourselves in the native community. Tony a Navajo Leader is going to work with us more this year on getting into the culture from various perspectives. We are not sure what our construction project will be until we get there.
Every year I am amazed what not only the students bring back but what I bring back. My heart is always overflowing for the positive impact we have on the Dine' (First People/Navajo) and each other.
Stay tuned for more information.
(Under construction stayed tuned for additional information on this year's trip.)