Story and Photo by: Christian Kamkoff
The cultural support of American Indians and Alaskan Natives is incredibly important to the community. A critical component of this support comes through cultural preservation. Equally significant, however, is the continued growth of Native American culture. It is important to show the world that Indigenous culture is not simply a historical culture, but a vibrant, living culture as well. I have met individuals, both from the United States and abroad, that were surprised to learn that American Indians are not a bygone ethnicity. I believe that the low percentage of American Indians and Alaskan Natives who graduate college compounds with the fact that fine and performing arts are the smallest category of degrees received, resulting in an incredibly small number of Native Americans in the arts—especially in literature. The success of American Indians in any field, but particularly in the arts, reminds the world that we are still here, we are thriving, and we have a beautiful, creative culture that enriches humanity. It is my hope to contribute as an author to the voice of this culture. By giving me the tools to improve and become a successful writer, my education will help me make an impact as an artist of Native heritage.