It’s inspiring to find other souls working on Native issues in the public arena of social discourse and I recently gave a shout-out on the blog for Rob Schmidt, who, on his Facebook page notes: “I’m a freelance writer/editor who writes on business, gaming, and multicultural subjects. I work at PECHANGA.net and run my own Native-themed website, BlueCornComics.com.” Pechanga.net focuses on Indian gaming news. On a more personal front, Rob invites folks to read his daily blog “where Native America meets pop culture” at http://newspaperrock.bluecorncomics.com/
Truth is, I know of Rob virtually and first came across his work a few years ago while building a reading list for a course on Mass Media and Native Americans. My horizons widened dramatically when I found Indian identity transects myriad mediated dimensions, including graphic novels and comic books, which I discovered at his website bluecorncomic.com. Turns out one of my colleagues at Portland State, Grace Dillon (Anishinaabe) studies—among other things—Indians and comics and science fiction.
Rob has been most generous sharing my thoughts on Native science and by shooting me emails about issues that intersect with my interests. I note a stream of confluence in that Rob graduated from Occidental and the University of Chicago: my daughter Rachel is Occidental alum and daughter Megan is completing her doctorate at Chicago. Small world.
I recently explored websites that boast a link to Native science and western approaches and came across Silver Buffalo Consulting, whose director, Rose von Thater-Braan (Tuscarora, Cherokee) works to bridge indigenous science with western science. Check out http://www.silverbuffalo.org
I also discovered “Native Science Field Centers” which is devoted to integrating traditional with western knowledges. The website notes that Blackfeet Community College, Hopa Mountain, and Oglala Lakota College work together to create outdoor experiences for youth to encourage their involvement with environmental science. For more see http://www.nativesciencefieldcenters.org/
I also came across something called the Digital Library of Indigenous Science Resources (DLISR), funded in part by the National science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the Tapestry Institute. The website (http://www.tapestryinstitute.org/) describes the Institute as a “unique nonprofit corporation that works within Indigenous Earth-based worldview to explore and reweave modern society’s connection with nature. Tapestry brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous scientists, educators, artists, writers, film makers, elders, clinicians, and others who are experts in their fields.” Tapestry’s mission is to describe “different ways of knowing, learning about, and responding to the natural world.” Staff include Joanne L. Belasco, president, Dawn Adams (Choctaw) senior scientist, and Harrison John Adams, researcher.
A final shout-out to the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) (http://caise.insci.org) (also funded in part by NSF) devoted to science communication and informal science learning.