Karen Poremski, Associate Professor of English

“The thing about the 2016 welcoming ceremony in Alexandria is that I didn’t go there to see Hōkūle’a. Instead, I was there with my friend Steve Tamayo, who is Lakota. He and I had been visiting with staff members in the Cultural Resources Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, and visiting various museums in and around D.C. He has helped me think about the complex relationships between museums and Native people, in part because of his work with museums, and in 2016 he was kind enough to get me into the “backstage” areas at the NMAI to talk to conservators, and tour some of the conservation and storage areas, and learn more about that work. On the last day that Steve and his wife Susan were in town, I just happened to find out Hōkūle’a was arriving, and I said “Let’s go see her!” And it was just beautiful. Just being there, going on board, and hearing the crew members talk about what they had been experiencing and learning and teaching… It was really captivating–it felt like something really special was happening, which made me want to learn more, and to tell everyone about it. You know that saying by Gandhi? “Be the change you want to see in the world”? It was like stepping into a world where Indigenous principles and Indigenous people were running the show, and that was so beautiful to me.”​ #scholarsofsturges

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