My internship experience with First Nations Development Institute and Ogallala Commons is one I will certainly never forget. I have been able to meet so many new people and make a new family through this opportunity. Traveling down to Texas for the Intern Retreat was a little nerve racking for myself, as I had never heard of OC prior to this opportunity and didn’t know anyone other than my colleague Yadira, an OC Alumni. Once I got down to Texas I met my new relatives from Rosebud, SD and that made the experience so much better. I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to network with fellow Native students on a one on one basis. During the orientation, I was enlightened to the history, operation, and organization of Ogallala Commons. In addition, this provided me a valuable opportunity to do some self-reflection on my own work habits and my downfalls at this point in my career. I realized how short of a time 240 hours truly is and having that in mind, it really put into perspective how productive I had to make each hour to be successful. Having this realization prior to getting started on my projects really helped myself in creating an excellent project to First Nations that was well received and applauded.
My project was primarily doing a data compilation for a Food Price Index (FPI) project First Nations has going on currently. In addition to that project, I assisted with creating an abstract for the FPI to submit it to the Native American Nutrition Conference in Shakopee, MN. This will be the first time this research is being presented to the public in this format and I’m honored I was able to help the project become accepted to the conference. In addition to working on the data and abstract, I also conducted a literature review of studies currently published that could help strengthen the final report of the Indian Country FPI project.
Some of my success, in my opinion, is creating graphs and figures from the U.S. Census data that will help strengthen the final FPI report. On the other hand, one of my failures was not taking the time to check on the proper channels of communication during my abstract creation. I failed to take the time to ask my supervisor who should look at the abstract from First Nations to ensure it aligned well with the Mission and Vision of the organization. I apologized for my mistake and went forward and followed the proper channels for the final revisions for the conference.
Overall, I’m really thankful I was able to have this opportunity and hopefully I can create a career with First Nations Development Institute in the near future.