NAVA Interns interviewed Navajo People around Albuquerque about what they wanted to see in the future for the Navajo Nation as well as what they wanted in a leader.
A few of the interns from NAVA (Native American Voters Alliance) interviewed Natives in ABQ on their thoughts concerning the minimum wage.
NAVA interns went around ABQ interviewing Natives about the minimum wage.
Youth interns interview Native Americans living in Albuquerque who are affected by the minimum wage.
We interviewed four NAVA interns about their high school experiences: Angelina Henry, Pohemobaam Mermejo, Tristin Rosetta and Nez Evans. We asked them ten questions, the first five were meant to help get to know the interviewees a little better. The rest were about their high school experiences.
Native Intern Pahemobaam interviews team leader Nikke:
1. What’s your name? How old are you? Where you from?
My name is Nikke Alex. I am 29 years old and I am originally from Delcon, Arizona
2. What type of school do you attend? Public, boarding, private ect.?
Currently I attend a public University.
3. Do you feel comfortable at the school you attend?
I feel,not totally comfortable, but somewhat comfortable.
4. Do you like how the grading system is set up?
No I do not like how my grading system is set up. I’m in law school so our grading system is set up on a curve, so I feel that my grades don’t necessarily reflect my intelligence.
5. Do your teachers offer to help you on their own time? Does that help you a lot?
Yes they do. My professors have office hours during the week. Yeah that helps me a lot because I’m such a visual learner that my professors know that they need to explain things to me at a really basic level so I grew up on a ranch so my professor always try to explain things to me in cows.
6. Do you feel comfortable around your teachers? Do you trust them?
Some professors I feel comfortable around and some other professors I don’t. I think it’s the way if they ask me if I need help, they’re more inviting and some just don’t make an effort to reach out to the students so it depends on the professor.
7. Do you feel you are being treated equal by your teachers?
By some of them. I had one professor this year that would always just call on white men in class and that was always frustrating when I would have my hand raised. But in other classes in law school, they randomly select students to talk, so it depends on the professor.
8. Do you feel that you learn enough every day?
Yeah, I feel like I learned enough in law school, maybe too much sometimes.
9. Do you know your GPA? If so, what is it?
I don’t know my GPA, I know that I have to keep a certain GPA but I don’t look up my grades because I don’t agree with the grading system, so I have to keep a certain GPA for my scholarship. I haven’t heard anything that I haven’t reached the GPA, so I assume my GPA is higher than that.
10. What kind of changes would you like to see in your school?
In my school I would like to see more diverse professors. I feel like UNM has made some effort to get professors of color in the program and also I think that professors need to integrate more technology. I feel like I learn more in my classes when the professors use powerpoints or in some of my classes we have clickers where you have to click a multiple choice questions where it will show on the screen, so those classes are more engaging. My other classes where my other professors just stand there and lectures.
Native Intern Drew interviews other intern Hannaiyah:
1. What’s your name? How old are you and where are you from?
My name is Hannaiyah. I am 15 and I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
2. Do you like going to school?
Not necessarily because I think some of the people there aren’t very nice and a lot of times they can distract you from your school work and some of the teachers act like they don’t really care about whether a person passes to the next grade.
3. How does school help you as a person?
I really don’t think school helps me as a person that much because there is a lot of things outside of school they don’t teach. It’s how a person should carry themselves and become a better person.
4. What is your transportation to school?
I get driven in the morning
5. What are your grades like?
My grades are A’s and B’s.
6. Have you ever flunked a class? If so, which subject and how many classes?
No, I haven’t.
7. What changes would you like to see in your schooling system?
Well at my school I would like to see more extracurricular activities like sports and stuff because I go to a charter school and they don’t have a lot of that.
8. Do you have a lot of resources?
Yes and no because my school is connected to UNM so we get books but we don’t necessarily get enough but we get the newer stuff.
9. What do you expect from a teacher?
I expect the teacher to be a good teacher.
10. Does any of your education in school help you with things outside of school? Please explain.
Not that often. The stuff you learn in school doesn’t help you outside of school. Most subjects doesn’t help you outside of school, but English helps you learn the proper language. It teaches you how to talk to people in everyday life.
What’s your name, age and what do you do?
Baam: My name is Pahemobaam Mermejo and I’m 15. I work at the NAVA organization and I go to the Santa Fe Indian School.
Nez: My name is Nez, I’m 20 years old. I work here (NAVA) and I go to school out in a town called Claremont, CA at a school called Pomona College.
Dezbah: My name is Dezbah and I’m 18. I don’t go to school right now but I work at the Native American Voters Alliance.
What do you like and don’t like about school?
Baam: I like how the teachers offer their free time to help you with your work. And I don’t really like, I mean I like just about everything about my school.
Nez: I like that it’s in California. I don’t like that it’s got the California crowd, which is a bunch of rich people, but that’s about it.
Dezbah: I don’t really going to school really. But when I do go to school, I like learning about stuff. I just like the idea of learning.
Did you check out your own book or were they in the classroom?
Baam: The teachers assign us books and we turn it in at the end of the school year.
Nez: You don’t really check out books, really. Unless you’re at the library. You usually have to buy your books. Unless you’re smart and find them and download them for free.
Dezbah: I checked out my own book most of the time. Sometimes they were in the classroom.
Did your teachers seems to care about you?
Nez: Well I’m in college, so if you find a teacher that really cares about you you’re probably really lucky. Because most of the time, college teachers/college professors usually they have to deal hundreds maybe even thousands of students. So you’re like one amongst a couple thousand.
Dezbah: Some of them did. Since I went to a public school, most of them had too many students to notice everyone.
Did your teachers seem to be motivated to teach or that they like to teach?
Baam: Yes because they come in the classroom in a positive mood and attitude. And they do not yell at the students or get frustrated with them.
Nez: Definitely. Most of them are pretty motivated because they have to go these universities and ask them if they can teach their subject. So they go out of their way in order to be able to teach what they want. Sometimes though, and that is not always true. Because sometimes, a teacher will only work with a university because they want to get research funding. And they’ll teach like the requirements and being getting money from that university.
Dezbah: Yeah, most of them seemed like they really liked teaching. Some had been teaching for like a really long time.
What was your transportation to school? Did your school provide transportation?
Baam: I was a dorm students so I stayed at the school during the weekdays and most weekends
Nez: I usually lived on campus so I just walked everywhere.
Dezbah: I would either get dropped off or I’d take the city bus to school.
Was there art classes at your school?
Baam: Yes, there was. It was an elective, and there were some art involved in other classes.
Nez: Yeah, there were a lot of art classes.
Did you have computers, ipads, tablets?
Baam: Yes we had computers and ipads.
Nez: Provided by the school? No, you had to bring your own stuff.
Dezbah: Yeah we had computers and some classes had ipads.
What type of school do/did you go to?
Baam: I go to a boarding school. It’s private.
Nez: It’s a liberal arts private school. I went to a charter school.
Dezbah: I went a public school but before I went to a charter school.
What changes do you think should be made to make a positive impact to your school?
Baam: I think my school can maybe… I don’t know, I like everything about my school. I don’t think that there needs to be any changes.
Nez: I think there need to be a better screening, not really a screening process, but hiring process when it comes to teachers. In order to find the best teachers for the job. Its not all, if the teachers motivated enough and enthusiastic enough about the students they’re teaching, the subject they’re teaching and the job that they’re doing. I think that they’ll be able to effectively teach any kind of student at all.
Dezbah: There should be more programs that are more oriented towards Native American students. So like putting more attention to them because they seem like they need more help.
Do you think it would be a better learning environment if students learned as a group rather than independently?
Baam: On some occasions yes, because throughout their life they’ll need to be working in groups. So they’ll already have that ability to work with people in positive ways. And when they’re independent they’ll be able to analyze what they’re doing on their own.
Nez: I think that’s going to depend from student to student. Some students work better by themselves, some students work better in groups.
Dezbah: Yeah, group work is usually better because then people understand it more and can explain it better than by yourself.
NAVA - Education Project
Our mission is to organize a Native American electorate that is informed, active and empowered to participate in the development and implementation of a community and legislative agenda that will improve the quality of life for Indian families living in New Mexico.