American Indians and the Harvard Experience

O’siyo. Education is one of the most important elements in one’s life. According to many Native people,  there are two types of education, “mother wit”  from where you gather vital knowledge from parents, culture, and community. The other is often referred to as “book knowledge”  where you gather knowledge about everything else from formal school training. Where you go to receive this second wave of education depends on many elements, and can get confusing, especially  for many high school students. Fortunately, there  are people such as Jason Packineau, who guide students and show them the  many opportunities  for them in preparing for various paths to college.

 Excerpt: An Echo of Harvard in New Mexico By Jon Chase, The Harvard Gazette

“My name is Jason. I am Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Jemez, Laguna. I was born here. This is my home, said Jason Packineau, community coordinator for the Harvard University Native American Program, as he opened his presentation at the Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque in typical fashion by naming his tribal affiliations.

The purpose of the trip was to generate interest for Harvard among Native American students, as well as to host a Harvard booth at the National Indian Education Association conference in Albuquerque.” Learn more...


Packineau speaks to a group of Bernalillo High School students

For many of the high school students we visited, the Harvard name was simply an abstraction. But when they learned the College waives tuition for families earning less than $65,000, and will even fly out prospective students who have been accepted, you could almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they gathered up more Harvard literature from the table…”

An excellent opportunity for all Natives!  Kudos to Packineau and his staff for reaching out.

“I don’t think anybody anywhere can talk about the future of their people or of an organization without talking about education. Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future.”~Wilma Mankiller

Category: Education