LACINA ONCO (Shinnecock/Kiowa)
Minors: Sociology & Certificate Program in Native American Studies
Bill Gates Scholar
Dean’s list : Fall 09 and Spring 09
Peer Mentor/Office Assistant Native American Student Services
Head Woman Dancer UMASS Powwow April 2009
Lacina Onco shares the experiences of her exchange program in Sydney, Australia
I am currently spending the fall semester of my Senior year on a exchange program in Sydney, Australia. I embarked on this journey shortly after finishing a summer internship for the Bureau of Indian Affairs where I researched Federal Indian Policies for the Bureau's budget office.
The program I am participating in is sponsored by the Capa Center for International Education. For this program I am required to take 3 courses and I must work 20 hours a week at an internship placement. I am currently using this time to work on both my Sociology Minor and my Certificate in Native Studies. I am very fortunate to have been placed in the Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Corporation, a Women's services center specializing in domestic violence awareness. It is run for and run by Aboriginal women. The atmosphere at the center makes one feel at home, and it very much reminds me of my home at the NASSS office. The people here have welcomed me with open arms and are eager to show me around the indigenous community in Sydney. I have been invited to a contemporary Aboriginal dance theatre at the Sydney Opera House, to Aboriginal rugby games, to Whale and Dolphin watching led by an Aboriginal Maritime Tribal Warrior society, and to various other social events. The people here are as fascinated with my Native culture as I am with theirs and I look forward to learning more about this indigenous community.
This indigenous community is looking after me much like Joyce and everyone involved with Native American Student Services do when I am at school. I seem to have found myself yet another home away from home.
See you all in January,
PS: Kangaroo and Emu Pizza is very delicious!