A collection of photos taken by PSU students, faculty and staff who were able to serve and learn about daily life on the Blackfeet Nation reservation, through the Global Volunteers organization. The trip was entirely funded by a federal TRiO Student Support Services grant. On exhibit until March 30, 2016.
In July of 2015, a group of PSU students, faculty, staff volunteered for Blackfeet Nation in Montana where we were able to serve and learn about daily life on a reservation. This collection of photos capture the shared experience as seen through the lens of the students, faculty and staff. The organization we worked through, Global Volunteers, won us over by telling us that volunteers "obtain a personal introduction to the customs and culture of the Blackfeet people in a beautiful region of the USA" and that we "will be invited to events which tourists never see - and which acquaint [volunteers] deeply with the spirit uniting Indian Country across the nation. Time moves slowly here - respecting the rhythm of nature - and often is measured in projects instead of hours or days." (http://www.globalvolunteers.org/usa/indian_country.asp) (TRIO is a federal program serving first generation college students, low income students, and students with documented disabilities since 1968 on college campuses across the nation.) Living on the reservation for a week and working on these projects was service learning at its best. Our students were exposed to a new culture without ever taking out their passports. They were challenged to look at life differently, to understand different ways of living without trying to change those ways, to respect beliefs and practices that they didn't understand, and to serve without judgement. Though its origins are not Blackfeet, a proverb I heard several times while working in Montana resonated with me: "It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story." We are using eleven voices to tell the story of a thousand moments, a thousand memories, all from one week serving Blackfeet Nation.
This exhibit was coordinated by Christopher Lee, Technology & Program Coordinator, PASS.