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Micah Swimmer, Class of 2017

Why did you choose KU’s Indigenous Studies Program?  Micah Swimmer poses with Dr. Stephanie Fitzgerald and Dr. Kelly Berkson, members of his master's exam committee
The main reason I chose KU was because the program had a concentration on Preservation and Management of Indigenous Resources: Language Documentation and Revitalization. [Ed. note: Prior to 2011, ISP was under a different name and included tracks.] After reading the core courses and requirements, I knew that there wasn’t a better place to be than in that program.

What was your main area of research/academic interest?
My main area of research was on the status of various tribes and their languages. I studied the methodologies tribes were using to save their language so that I could return home and do the same. During my time at KU I also became interested in linguistics. I feel that second language learners could benefit tremendously from a solid base of linguistics.      

How are you using that research and the skills gained through the ISP program now?
As of right now, I am developing a curriculum and guide for an adult immersion program. The goal here is to develop as many fluent speakers, or as close to it, as possible so they can teach in our schools, community, and to their families. I have been working with our brothers and sisters from the Department of Cherokee Nation’s Cultural Outreach, as they have an adult apprentice program that is doing really well. We share ideas and practices but continue to work for the main goal, and that is to save our language. We look to start our program this upcoming March.

You took a few years off before coming back for your master’s. What led you to want to finish? What did you do in the interim?
I felt like a cloud of unfinished business was always lingering over my head that was never going away until I finished or at least tried to finish. During my time off I accepted a position as an early childhood supervisor at our Language Immersion School. I wanted to focus on the school and help my second-language learner staff learn the language the best way I knew how.

Let’s look ahead a bit. What are your goals for the future?
My main goal for the future is to run a successful adult immersion program.

You’re from the same town as Ethan Clapsaddle, another ISP master’s student. How do you know each other? Have you helped push each other to finish your degrees?
Yes, Ethan I are great friends. We both have sons who play on the same basketball teams, and Ethan and I coach our boys AAU basketball team. I think it was at a practice I mentioned an assignment, and he said, yeah he’s got one due, too. I asked where he was in school, and he said KU! I immediately said, ‘Me too!’ We looked like two dogs jumping around, but after that we stayed on each other to finish.

We heard something about a road trip with you and Ethan on your way to your master’s defenses? Can you tell me a little about how you got to Lawrence for your defenses?
Every November my family and I travel to Oklahoma to visit the in-laws, and every November my daughter plays in a basketball tournament in Henrietta, Oklahoma, with her cousins from there. My son never gets to play because he doesn’t have any cousins his age that play in the tournament. So, one day, Ethan I were talking about different tournaments we should hit up over break and I mentioned taking our AAU boys to one in Oklahoma. We both agreed that it’d be good for them to play against other competition, so we put the word out to the other boys and we started fund raising. Around that time, we scheduled our defenses to fall right after we were done in Oklahoma. It was a great trip and we enjoyed every minute of it!     


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Indigenous Environmental Justice, Knowledge and Law

Deborah McGregor
Associate Professor
Osgoode Hall Law School and Environemental Studies, York University; Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice
Friday Feb. 2 4:00 PM Lindley Hall Room 317.Meet and greet at 3:30 pm in Lindley Hall, room 205. All are welcome to attend.

"Home and Away: Indigeneity and the Spaces of Critique" Lecture by Dr. Robert Warrior

Bold Aspirations Visitor and Distinguished Professor Lecture Series
Wednesday, January 24 | 5:30 p.m.
Big 12 Room, Kansas Union
Free and open to the public

Indian Youth of Lawrence Pageant
Saturday, January 27 | 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
South Middle School Auditorium
2734 Louisiana St., Lawrence, KS
Free and open to the public
Support the contestants as they demonstrate their traditional and contemporary talents, and enjoy refreshments. Titles include Miss Indian Youth of Lawrence (Grades 9-12), Jr. Miss Indian Youth of Lawrence (Grades 5-8), Indian Youth of Lawrence Brave (Grades 9-12) and Jr. Indian Youth of Lawrence Brave (Grades 5-8). To apply or for more information, contact Landri James at landri.james@usd497.org. Application deadline is Monday, January 15.


Haskell Spring Welcome Back Powwow
Saturday, February 3 | Grand entry at 6 p.m.
Haskell Indian Nations University
Coffin Sports Complex, Lawrence, KS 66046
Free and open to the public

Open Forum: Careers in the Foreign Service
Tuesday, February 6 | 6:30 p.m.
Pine Room, Kansas Union
Kristin Stewart, Diplomat in Residence, will share information about internships and the Consular Fellows Program. Diverse candidates from under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply! The U.S. Department of State offers career opportunities in foreign policy and diplomacy at over 265 Embassies and Consulates globally. The Consular Fellows program recruits Arabic, Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish speakers. Foreign Service Careers are for all majors!

KU ISP Q&A with Elizabeth Glynn, CEO of Travois
Friday, February 16 | 10 a.m.
Conference Room, 6 Lippincott Hall
ISP students can learn more about Travois, a Kansas City-based consulting firm focused exclusively on promoting housing and economic development for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.

KU Law's 22nd Annual Tribal Law & Government Conference: Tribal-State Collaborations: Advantages & Obstacles
Friday, March 9 | 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
KU School of Law, 1535 W. 15th Street, Lawrence, KS
Free and open to the public, but registration is required.
law.ku.edu/collaborations
5 hours CLE pending in KS & MO ($50 fee)

Frank Waln, Sicangu Lakota Hip-Hop Artist, in Concert
Friday, March 30 | 7:30 p.m.
Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Dr.
$25 adults | $14 students/youth
Tickets

KU Powwow & Indigenous Culture Festival
Saturday, March 31 | Begins at noon
Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Dr.
Free and open to the public
Presented by the KU First Nations Student Association in partnership with the Lied Center of Kansas, Haskell Cultural Center and Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, KU Office of Diversity and Equity and KU Office of Multicultural Affairs.

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