Very excited to be a part of this excellent organization!
I will be the Keynote speaker for the National Association of Interpretation National conference this year.
I became a CIG (Certified Interpretive Guide) in 2017, while I was working for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The training brought a new understanding of communication skills and helped me develop an understanding of how to connect with people I had never met. I am glad to see more interest in the interpretive world to connect and collaborate with Tribal communities, and hope to see more Tribal people rise to answer the calls for opportunities these organizations create.
Broadening the public’s understanding of their American Indian neighbors, strengthening the relationship between Americans and Tribal Citizens by promoting amicable opportunities to learn and connect, and developing a better understanding of our shared history on this continent as the foundation for a better future.
Growing up, I participated in our traditional events, ceremonies, and dances. Rain or shine, the incredible resilience of our culture has no better display than an elder enduring the Oklahoma heat to watch the young ones dance. I worked my summer jobs at the Tribe in the language department, taking language classes, and helping the younger ones. When I moved to work at Williamsburg, a whole new opportunity for sharing our culture was opened to me! The environment, the mindset, the energy that surrounds the living history community is truly astonishing. In this new venue I saw the tools I needed to reach a larger audience, to help tell OUR story, the way it was told to me.
Today there are over 570 federally recognized Tribes in the United States, and the county in Oklahoma where I was born has the highest concentration of Tribal Nations in the country. Having traveled across the U.S. and Canada, for me it has become abundantly clear that the absence of Native voices has resounding consequences. Tribal People serve American history as a footnote, and in the minds of many people, exist only in the past and on the screen. Historical arts and museum interpretation may seem an odd way of helping people understand who we are today, but they are more closely intertwined than one may think...