By Orien Longknife
Dagotee! Hello, how are you are? My name is Orien Longknife and I am a volunteer at the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW). I am San Carlos Apache and White Clay, as well as Chippewa Cree. I am born to the Surrounded by Rocks clan, and made for the White Clay. I come from San Carlos, Arizona, Fort Belknap, Montana, and Rocky Boy, Montana.
I love to create things. From drawings, ceramic works, painting, meals, poetry, songs, etc., I feel at my strongest when I am materializing my ideas.
Part of my attraction to creation is the ability to include people. By this, I mean either new friendships or sharing traditional knowledge with younger generations or sharing my art or even having a conversation with a person on the bus. I believe that when we interact with others we are taking the time to make a bond; to bring forth something new that didn’t exist 5 seconds ago which is why I choose to volunteer.
As a volunteer for the CSVANW, I enjoy my time here because of the interest I have in community and how to begin helping our Native communities. Whenever I volunteer I am able to exercise my mind and use the skills I’ve acquired as a student and young Native person to assist where I am able. The work I do at the CSVANW usually consists of meme generation, which is fun and allows me to think creatively as well as gain experience in an office environment.
I deeply appreciate the opportunity to work with the womyn of the Coalition. There is a sense of empowerment and dedication here that I don’t find in many office settings that makes me energized and ready to continue participating in this field of work, as a volunteer, and maybe one day as a professional.