Tag Archives: Stanford

Adrienne Keene on Native Appropriations and Academics

Adrienne Keene on using your voice “Our voices will not be centered unless we fight for Native voices to be heard.”

Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee) will begin a position at Brown University this fall as a tenure track Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department.

Adrienne Keene

Dr. Adrienne Keene

She also is the author of Native Appropriations, her website that “is a forum for discussing representations of Native peoples including stereotypes, cultural appropriations, news, activism and more.” Each of these accomplishments alone is impressive. The fact that Keene accomplished both in recent years is pretty amazing. Continue reading

Jackson Brossy | Why Not in Indian Country?

“If it takes an hour to go to the nearest ATM, banking isn’t really on your horizon as a job option”— Jackson Brossy

Jackson Brossy

Jackson Brossy

Jackson Brossy is on a mission. First, his passion to serve his people of the Navajo Nation is strong. Second, his passion for economic development across Indian Country is part of a wave making our communities a stronger place to live.

Jackson is Navajo. He grew up on the nation in Red Mesa, and spent weekends traveling an hour, to the nearest border town for groceries and to access the closest ATM. Jackson is the Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office. He attended Stanford University and then the Harvard Kennedy School.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Jackson’s roots in Red Mesa, AZ on the navajo Nation.
  • The role of parents in the college application process.
  • Jackson’s experience at Stanford and Harvard.
  • How a Native student told him not to attend the same school they did and why.
  • The motivation behind Jackson’s interest in economic development (hint: border towns & silicon valley).
  • Jackson’s question of why not in Indian Country?
  • The value of relationships versus “networks” and “networking.”
  • What the role is for economic development in Indian Country.

To hear Jackson’s story, listen to the episode.


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Listen to all previous episodes here.

Jackson Brossy’s challenge to NextGen Natives:

(ed note: as part of the show, I try to ask the guests what challenge, or question, or idea they want to share with other NextGen Natives. Here is Jackson’s)

“Let’s start talking more about what we can do to build [our] economies. In particular tech…Lets play some offense instead of just defense.”

These ideas are meant to start conversations that hopefully turn into action. Go to NextGen Native on Facebook and become part of the conversation, or on Twitter #nextgennative.

Aaron Yazzie | Navajo at NASA

Aaron Yazzie is Navajo. He is currently a Mechanical Engineer at NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Anaheim, California.

Aaron Yazzie

Aaron Yazzie’s journey began on the Navajo Nation where he excelled as a student. His mother, a teacher, and his father, an engineer, emphasized education from an early age. Aaron knew that college was in his future. But even as a gifted student, he doubted whether he was “good enough” to get into the schools he wanted to get into.

In high school Aaron attended College Horizons (and Upward Bound, too), a program for Native American high school students. The organization exposes Native students to college and vise versa. Aaron met someone from Stanford University, who encouraged him to apply to Stanford. Even with good grades, a drive for school, and encouragement by university staff, he was not confident he would be admitted. Thankfully, Aaron was only suffering from imposter syndrome, and was able to enroll at Stanford.

Aaron Yazzie studied mechanical engineering while at Stanford. He also lived at the Native American house on campus. Although gifted academically, Aaron found he had to work harder at Stanford, and that the competition was stiff. Continue reading