LUNA Spring Break Trip to Seattle!

Yá’átééh and Aloha!

Hello friends, family, and extended community members. We hope this message finds you well! As the Co-Presidents of the Lawrence University Native American Organization (LUNA) for the 2016-2017 school year, we would like to ask for your support on behalf of our entire group, as well as past and future students who attend Lawrence. We would like to ask you to donate your time, energy, thoughts, prayers, and hopefully any financial contribution you can afford to a Spring Break Trip to Seattle, Washington.

The mission statement of LUNA is as follows:

Lawrence University Native American Organization (LUNA) is an open group to all Lawrence students and community members interested in Native American/Indigenous cultures, issues, and relations. We will promote awareness about Native American/Indigenous cultures through education, in addition to being a support group for the students that identify as Native American/Indigenous.

The purpose of this spring break trip is to expand the educational and professional opportunities for the members attending. LUNA is organizing this trip and its activities to empower these members to bring their newly gained knowledge back to their communities and create a supportive space for further Native American/Indigenous identifying individuals. Last year, LUNA successfully planned and carried out a spring break road trip to Albuquerque, NM. Aside from sightseeing on drive and around the city, we participated in mentoring and service projects at the Native American Community Academy (NACA) charter school, visited Pueblo tribal land and cultural centers, toured the University of New Mexico, and talked with non-profit organizations like the Native Health Initiative. In the process, we were able to better strengthen our bond as a group, taking a profound sense of indigenous identity and culture with us back to Lawrence. All of this would not have been possible without a successful crowdfunded campaign of generous donations from our family, friends, and supporters. Thank you!

This spring break, we hope to use this as a framework for our trip to Seattle, and continue to make connections with Northwest tribal communities and empower our LUNA members. Lawrence University is a small liberal arts college located in Appleton, Wisconsin. Many of the students going on this trip are from the Midwest and have not been outside of the the states that make up this region, and this trip would be the first time that some of our members have the opportunity to explore the Pacific Northwest.

We chose Seattle as our destination this year because of the abundance in opportunities for Native American cultural education. Several of us in the group have connections to the Pacific Northwest tribal communities. We have been using this to craft out an itinerary that models our previous trip’s goals for cultural education, indigenous empowerment, networking, and strengthening LUNA’s connection as a group between our members. The highlights of the trip include visiting the Evergreen State College longhouse and native programs, the Tulalip Indian Reservation, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington, The Duwamish Longhouse, and, of course, the Space Needle! Because of the long drive from Wisconsin to Washington and back again, we also plan to make stops at National Parks and local attractions along the way, particularly at Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial Monument in South Dakota.

This trip is extremely necessary for LUNA as an organization and support group because of the struggling Native American retention rate present at Lawrence University. The demographic of the students attending the trip include students who identify as Native American, Native Hawaiian, Latinx, Asian, and Caucasian. The group participating in this trip is constantly reflective of LUNA’s mission statement and are committed to combating stereotypes, injustices, and misrepresentations in the education system. Unfortunately, the cost of attendance for Lawrence University extends beyond financials and creates many other obstacles for students on top of the stress of balancing classes and work. The incomprehensible amount of stress on college students today inhibits them from raising up the expected cost of $50 per person for this trip in a healthy manner. It is not LUNA’s intention to add more stress to these students for them to participate in a very meaningful and beneficial spring break trip.

Your contributions are extremely important for they will directly and strictly be used for supporting those members going on the trip. After a few calculations and many meetings, our spring break planning committee estimated that the total cost for this trip will be over $7800. This total only considers gas, rental fees, museum/activities fees, and hotel fees. LUNA has received aid from our student government, but we are expected to fundraise close to $2500 if we wish to have no expected cost per member for attendance. LUNA is currently organizing fundraisers to support these students and lower the expected cost, but there is only a certain amount things college student will buy at a fair price.

We really do hope that if you read this far that you do consider donating a few bucks towards funding this trip for us. Our hearts and minds are in the right place, and I believe we are heading in the right direction for change and growth. If anyone has any specific questions about LUNA, this Spring Break Trip, or anything else please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you all very much for being patient and supportive. We hope to make you proud and grow from this experience.

Thank you all!

Ahéhee’ shikéí dóó shidine’é!

Mahalo nui loa iā ʻoukou a pau!

Cherise John

Lawrence University ‘17           

Biology Major

Navajo Nation

[email redacted]

Sam Bader

Lawrence University ʻ18

Anthropology Major

Native Hawaiian (Kanaka Maoli)

[email redacted]


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