Cedric Sunray, 2003
Cedric Sunray (enrolled member of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians) has been a teacher for many years at the pre-K, elementary, middle high school, high school, and collegiate levels. His teaching has taken place in public, private, and Indian reservation schools and in group homes and juvenile detention centers throughout the United States and Canada. He is the husband of Kiowa tribal member Randi
Sunray and father of four children (niigan, Tdohasan, Kowi, and Onde). Cedric was born in Canada and raised on the island of Key West, Florida. He lost his father as a youth due to his dad’s involvement in the drug trade prevalent in the Florida Keys and Miami during the 1970s and 1980s. The life lessons he learned through this experience, the diversity of the places where he has lived and worked over the years, as well as being a mixed-race/culture individual, has provided him with a unique insight into the meanings of community, family, education, and responsibility. His favorite quote is by Dominican-American author Junos Dias, “You can contain multitudes.” His educational background includes holding a Bachelor of Indigenous Studies from Trent University in Ontario, Canada, a Master of Indigenous Studies from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Legal Studies in Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma. He also formerly attended Haskell Indian Nations University. His articles ranging on a variety of issues impacting Indian Country can be found regularly at state and national level media sites and newspapers, as well as in academic journals/publications.
Outside of the professional sphere, Cedric continues to work on behalf of Native people. Here's what he has to say. "I have dedicated my life to assisting and standing up for historic "non-federal" tribes across the country with a primary focus on those living in the Eastern and Southern regions of the United States. I play close attention to those "non-federal" tribes who generationally attended the federal and closely related mission Indian boarding school systems. We have a rather large website up at www.helphaskell.com which shows tons of yearbook pictures, BIA correspondence, lists of attendees, interviews with former attendees, etc. on the site. This information has been presented at more conferences and universities, as well as at the Department of the Interior, more times than I would like to remember over the years. Even so, Indian Country falls back on the status quo idea as "federal Indian as only ‘real’ Indian." How very unfortunate that the age of Internet has given voice to nameless people who spend their lives identity-policing others, when the reality for their policing is almost always their own personal Indian identity shortcomings and insecurities. But the fight continues."