Interview questions with Aleshia Hunt :
1. What position do you hold in the ECNAO ?
- I am the Co-Advisor of East Carolina Native American Organization. Randy Gilland also serves as the Co-Advisor.
2. Are you Native American ? -If so what % are you ?
- Yes I am Native American. I am Lumbee. Both my parents are Lumbee. From Robeson County, NC
3. Could you shortly explain any family/Native American traditions that you participate in ?
- I started dancing traditional at the age of 3.
- Learned to bead simple things like necklaces and bracelets. Then as I got older, my aunt taught me to bead using more traditional techniques and various stitches. My grandmother taught me to sew. With the combination of what my grandmother and my aunt taught me – they are useful in the aid in regalia making. (Regalias are what we were at powwows and ceremonies.) As they would teach me things, they would tell me stories of when they were little, or tell legends (traditional Native American stories). These stories have reasoning in how things are, have a moral behind it. With all these things – they are essential in what I will pass along to the next generation.
- Another important thing in our culture is food. A lot of our gathering is centered around food. Food in many cultures brings people together, so learning to cook was and is very essential. Learning to cook fried bread, stews, traditional dishes, etc.
4. Do you feel like being a Native American student it’s harder to adjust in a traditional American school?
- Sometimes it is harder to adjust to school because we do not have the representation of faculty, staff, and students on campus like most populations. Most people on campus do not sound like you (accent wise) and when people approach us, they typically think or ask us are we mixed or some other race. So you go to inform that you are Native American/American Indian – and you get the question, you still exist, follow by other random questions. Even as a professional I get those questions and it is bothersome.
- As a freshman in the dorm, I was approached and did receive many crazy questions, like to all Native American live on reservations? do you all have electricity, running water, etc? etc.
- The reason for ECNAO is for us to network and be a home away from home, so that way we have others that look like us. ECNAO has been a family for me, when I was in undergrad and even now as a staff member at ECU.
5. Could you briefly describe a little about the Native American Culture ? What’s most important ? What’s valued the most ?
- The Native American culture is family orientated. We have close family ties, and community ties. In growing up, our cousins, are as close to us as our siblings. Our grandparents take part in our rearing process. Taught to treat individual with respect, honesty, etc – as well as the earth. Why the earth? The Earth – because we are to leave it for the next generation (our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren, etc)