My name is Lydia Yellow Hawk and I am a senior at Miami University located in Oxford, Ohio. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology with a minor in political science. My undergraduate research in both anthropology and political science examines the U.S. intergovernmental relationships that American Indian sovereign tribes have with local, state, and federal governments; by using applied anthropological ethnographic methods that focuses on community-based participatory research (CBPR) that allows researchers and Native peoples to work together in bettering their communities while also contributing to academia.
I am also an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sičháŋǧu Lakȟóta) in South Dakota. My father Royal Yellow Hawk is a fluent speaker in Lakota and serves as a tribal council representative for the RST. My grandma Sandra Black Crow was a Lakota language instructor at Sinte Gleska University for many years. I grew up with strong roots to my culture, language, and people and am an active member in my community.
My plans after graduation are to attend graduate school for either a master’s in public administration (MPA) or Indigenous/American Indian studies with the end goal of working for either my tribe or a national American Indian organization that focuses on advocating for Native issues, rights, and law. Growing up on a reservation has allowed me to see and experience first-hand the tensions between federal/state/local/tribal governmental policy and law. This is an issue I want to learn more about to help better and improve Tribal sovereign nations. I believe this internship with the Ogallala Commons and the RST Health Administration will strengthen my networking, research, and communication skills while gaining the insider experience of working within tribal government programming.