Letters From Students
The Longhouse project has been completed, the Longhouse project pages here are only an archive of the information.
My name is Michele K. Fetterman. I am a student at Lane Community College and affiliated with Algonquin Tribe. While attending school here at Lane, I have continued to celebrate my heritage. Lane Community College offers many classes for Native students and very knowledgeable counselors on staff to assist. Frank Merrill is the coordinator for the Native Studies Program at Lane. He is working with many people to make this campus a better place for Indian people. While enrolled here at Lane I have discovered a dream of Mr. Merrill and other teachers as well as students to build a Long house on the campus of Lane Community College. This would be the first Long house built at a public Community College in the entire United States. The Long House would be a place for Native peoples as well as other cultures to meet one another and work through differences. The Long House would be a place where diversity would thrive everyday. As a native student, I have found that we need diversity in order to survive. Native peoples all over this continent have practiced these values. Also, in this era the diversity of programs are threatened to shut down due to the budget cutbacks. We need a place to carry on traditions. The Long House would serve as a place for guidance for young people to learn from Tribal elders many precious things such as heritage, stories, and the history of there tribe. In addition, the long house would be a place to feel to be what we are Native People. for hundreds of years the people who are from this land have been crucified fore drumming, singing, dancing, and giving.
When we build a Long house we will no longer have to conform to what other non-native cultures have tried to make us believe we need. Many students are struggling to find their way and avoid the pressures of city life. There are so many things that we do not need. My belief is that the Long House project at Lane is one more small step in taking back what belongs to us as Native Americans and returning to the land that we love and that loves us. I am hoping that all Native American will help to make this dream a reality. Anything this tribe can do for me, as a Native student to help fund this long house would be the greatest blessing to me and many other Native Students on this campus. The college has promised one dollar for every dollar we provide. Anything would be very much appreciated.
Michele K. Fetterman