Forgotten People

Scholarship Entrant: Correena from Holgate, Ohio
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Correena: 17

I want to be an attorney in Native American Law. I wish to be a tribal court judge for the Lakota people in South Dakota. I also want to lobby for them in Pierre and D.C. I believe in what Martin Luther King Jr. said, that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” For over 500 years the relationship between the Native Americans and the United States government has been tumultuous, to say the least. The primary reasoning for this: there’s no clear definition of the status of Native Americans. They’ve been considered everything from sovereigns to wards of the state. I’m currently attending the University of Sioux Falls and I’ve spent the last two summers on the Pine Ridge Reservation doing volunteer work with Youth Evangelism Strategies. In my spare time I research and educate myself on the history and culture of the Lakota people. There’s so much going on in the reservations. I’d agree that they are completely responsible for the social issues arising on their reservations. Though, if it weren’t for our government and military they wouldn’t be there, thus, I do believe we still carry some responsibility ourselves. I believe that the social issues only they can fix, however, I personally wish to tackle the larger, more political questions. Native American’s were congressionally forced into citizenship in 1924. My ultimate career goal would be to declare dual-citizenship for all indigenous peoples’, thus to recognize their sovereignty while still offering the privileged opportunity to be Americans.

Vote for Correena: 17

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