The Tribe fosters Native community on campus

Carley Nail

ULM is a diverse campus filled with students of many ethnicities and people groups, which means it has many different cultural Registered Student Organizations. And there’s a new one to add to the list.

The Tribe is a new RSO that focuses on Native American culture and heritage.

Although ULM has Native American students, there has not been a space for these students to get together and create a community.

This is why Student Advocacy and Accountability Office Manager Jeanae Clark felt inspired to bring a Native RSO to ULM.

“Having a Native community brings not only diversity and culture to the campus, but also a sense of belonging to Native students,” Clark said.

According to the Administration of Children & Families, American Indians and Alaska Natives make up approximately 2% of the U.S. population.

Because they are a minority group, it is important for Native students to know that they have a support system where they can make connections right here on campus.

Clark said that there are many benefits that come from tribal enrollment on a government level that would help Native students with their college education. She works with The Tribe, informing them about these benefits and how to obtain them.

The Tribe also raises awareness about Native culture, and it encourages students to look into their family ancestry. They even offer resources to help you if you want to figure out your family history but don’t know where to start.

Coming from many different tribes, students can share unique information relating to their own families and experiences.

“This is what it means to be native,” Clark said. “To pass down the history of your tribe or your family through sharing our history with one another.”

The organization is currently working on outreach to let students know they exist. Members of The Tribe recently passed out informational flyers with snack goodie bags in the HUB, hoping more members would join.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and to learn about culture,” The Tribe President Wyatt Purdy said. “It’s open to everyone on campus no matter what culture you are a part of.”

The Tribe’s next meeting will be held on Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in Stubbs 100.