On the weekend of Nov. 8th and 9th I attended the FALCON conference in Minneapolis, MN with a small group from SDI and POSOH. I looked forward to the weekend because it sounded interesting and exciting. Upon check-in we noticed there were students from North Dakota checking-in and I thought it was cool to see representatives from other Nations attending. Bright and early Saturday morning the presentations started. The topics varied from Land Use Impacts on Water Quality on White Earth Nation to Estimates of Logging Slash from Flathead Reservation Forest Harvests, and from Aquaponics Research to Digital Technologies in our own POSOH Project presented by our very own Reynaldo Morales.
All the presentations were educational, informational, and interesting. I enjoyed listening to the speakers, some of who seemed to have years of experience getting up in front of large audiences, and it was encouraging to see them so passionate and enjoying what they were doing. Sunday morning I had the pleasure of listening to a speech by a gentleman, Phil Baird, TCU President, from the United Tribes Technical College. It was a most heartfelt and stirring speech because he has been involved with Native American education and tradition and culture restoration for many years. It was a great start to the day that would soon be filled with interesting workshops. By this time we were made aware of the coming snow storm expected to hit by that evening. Now we needed to make the decision to stay and finish the conference through Monday, or call it a day after the POSOH presentation and head home ahead of the storm. Nobody wanted to be snowed-in for an extra day, so we packed up and hit the road immediately after the presentation.
Although we had to leave early because of the winter storm, I couldn’t have been more happy about my time at FALCON. This was my first time attending a conference and I learned so much more than I anticipated. I met a few people from different parts of the country and from other Native American Colleges. The experience was amazing and I am so glad and honored I was able to be part of it. I had no idea there was such interest, time, and work going into saving the environment and restoring our culture and traditions. The people hosting the conference and the participants were all so friendly and helpful. The presenters were all willing to tell you about their fight, their cause and they were all so knowledgeable. It was evident they put their hearts into their research and presentations. It was inspiring to see such dedication to, and compassion for, their individual projects. ~CMN POSOH Intern