Indigenous Student Reflects on the Importance of Recognizing, Honoring Native American Heritage Month

As Native American Heritage Month draws to a close, Anna Thompson ’25, co-chair of Hartwick’s Indigenous DEI Committee, wants the campus community to ponder an important consideration: that the College acknowledges the traditions, culture, history and experiences of Indigenous students.

To that end, Thompson and the Indigenous DEI Committee are working to bring awareness of and equity to the Indigenous students on campus. Last year, Thompson received a Hartwick grant from Cyrus Mehri ’83 to hold a Mohawk social at Pine Lake, which drew nearly a hundred people, including her family and a group of Mohawk dancers and musicians. A selection of traditional foods was served, and traditional dress and songs were shared.

 

Elizabeth Bloom

"Our Indigenous students have so much to teach our community about their culture and history."

Elizabeth Bloom

Chair of the Education Department and Co-chair of the Indigenous DEI Committee

Thompson, who was born and raised in Akwesasne (the Land of the Partridge Drum), a Kanienkehaka community bisected by the United States and Canadian border – a place, she notes is, “where my people have gathered for millennia at the convergence of St. Lawrence, St. Regis, Raquette, Grasse, and Salmon Rivers.”

Thompson came to Hartwick in September of 2021, determined to become a teacher back home in her community. She is nearing the achievement of that goal and looking forward to a J Term experience that will allow her to complete her Education Program Mini-practicum. The children in her classroom will be predominantly Mohawk students who are members of the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation.

Thompson is also a passionate advocate for her community.

Hartwick College student Anna Thompson '25

“Indigenous youth deserve to see their people recognized and celebrated as a living and thriving people. I believe that my education at Hartwick College is part of showing other Indigenous youth what is possible outside our community.”

Anna Thompson '25

Co-chair Indigenous DEI Committee, Education Major

Article submitted by Anna Thompson ’25

About Anna Thompson:
Thompson hails from the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation. In addition to her involvement with the Indigenous DEI Committee, Thompson is also active in Hartwick’s Education Club and a member of the volleyball team.

November 30, 2023
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