Going “Home” to Chickasaw

I love working in Indian Country, but nothing feels like working in Chickasaw Country.  Last week, I was invited to Ada, Oklahoma to speak in the Chickasaw Clemente Course at East Central University on Crossing the Digital and Media Divide in Indian Country.

The audience waits for Dr. Traci Morris to present a lecture

This is one of my areas of specialty and I’ve spoken all over the nation to different tribes and to tribal leadership on this topic.  But, it was special presenting this information in my Chickasaw homelands, to my people, to students and community members.  The audience consisted of Chickasaw elders, Chickasaw nation employees, tribal members, and ECU students.  Since I don’t live in the homelands, going “home” is always a positive experience, but this event really stands out.

While I was at Chickasaw Nation, I also made time to visit the Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities.  They sponsored my lecture and have sponsored me for other events in the past.  Additionally, they have this amazing new building with an art gallery in the front.  I enjoyed seen the works on display and talking to friends that work there.

I also spent some time at Chickasha Poya, the Chickasaw Cultural Center and the Holliso Research Center, both in Sulfur, Oklahoma near the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.   This is an amazing campus and I look forward to many visits in the future. Here’s a great video on this site: Holliso Center for the Study of Chickasaw History and Culture

Published by Traci L. Morris

Dr. Morris, the Director of the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University is a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Under her leadership, the AIPI has grown and diversified its service to Indian Country via an MOU formalizing a long-standing partnership with the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) and forming the Tribal Economic Leadership Program offering training in Tribal Economic Governance and Tribal Financial Management; access to Entrepreneurship training and tribal business support through Inno-Nations; and Economic Development Consulting; and, the formalization of the Institute via by-laws and an advisory board comprised of both internal ASU leadership and external tribal and non-tribal leadership. In her work at both ASU and prior, Morris has worked with Native American tribes; Tribal businesses; Native American non-profits; Native media makers, artists, and galleries; written a college-accredited curriculum in Native American new media; and has advocated for digital inclusion at the Federal Communications Commission and on Capitol Hill. Morris’s research and publications on Native American media and the digital divide is focused on Internet use, digital inclusion, network neutrality, digital and new media curriculums, digital inclusion and development of broadband networks in Indian Country. Her book, Native American Voices: A Reader, continues to be a primary teaching tool in colleges throughout the country. Dr. Morris is Affiliated Faculty at ASU's School for the Future of Innovation in Society, an Affiliate of ASU's Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology, a Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, President of the Board of the Phoenix Indian Center, Board member of the Arizona American Indian Chamber of Commerce, and on the Advisory Council of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums. Formerly, Morris served member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Labor's Native American Employment and Training Council and served a two-year appointment (2014-2016 and 2010-2012) on the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee. As an entrepreneur prior to her ASU appointment, Morris founded Homahota Consulting LLC, a national Native American woman-owned professional services firm working in policy analysis, telecommunications, education, and research assisting tribes in their nation-building efforts and working with Native Nations, tribal businesses and those businesses working with tribes. Morris has an M. A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona’s American Indian Studies, in addition to a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Colorado State University.

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