#HumansofCYTulsa: remembering and respecting Native American Heritage Month
Many students in Northeast Oklahoma have the honor of being a tribal citizen and I have the honor myself. Tribal communities are carefully crafted with intentional care for the collective citizenry. They aim to bless, assist and enable their people. Oklahoma has large tribes such as the Cherokee or Choctaw nations that can offer resources such as school supplies, employment, clothing vouchers and scholarships to their citizens.
I grew up and was educated in a rural Oklahoma school district severely lacking in student resources. The Cherokee Nation was there to help bridge the gap of support for Native students when the district fell short.
My mother served on the board of the local Johnson O’Malley Program, which celebrated and supported students of Native American citizenship. Johnson O’Malley offered programming designed to promote Native language learning, academic well-being, and dropout prevention. Most importantly, this program taught Native American students cultural literacy and the importance of preserving Tribal traditions.
Indigenous communities have faced genocide, injustice and continuous oppression. Despite our struggle, they continuously emphasize the importance of community, tradition and service. I have benefited greatly from these lessons, and from the educational support offered by the Cherokee Nation. I choose to serve now with City Year in order to relay these lessons, and to uplift students as I’ve been uplifted.
Cheyenne C. Fletcher, City Year Tulsa second year AmeriCorps member serving at Will Rogers Junior High
Knowing, respecting and reflecting on our Oklahoma history is important to us, and we know it’s also important to our students and community, too. City Year Tulsa is proud of each of our AmeriCorps members’ cultural heritage and the rich diversity that brings to our organization and work. #makebetterhappen #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth
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