In May, the Center for Civic Engagement will offer students an opportunity to discover the stories and traditions of the Quileute people. You may recognize the name Quileute from the popular Twilight series. Yes that’s right. Jacob, was a Quileute, but the movie has had less than desired effects on the actual tribe. Students will have the chance to volunteer in Washington, within the LaPush community. The trip will run from May 15 to May 26 and will cost $2,160. Applications are due Feb. 15.
The Center for Civic Engagement will partner with the Global Citizens Network, which specializes in cross-cultural exchange and has relationships with many native peoples. The Quileute people stand on a critical junction. Their sustainability and language are evaporating and the younger generations cannot soak up the local knowledge. As our planet moves toward globalization peoples like the Quileute are being left behind.
Maggie Szeman, Assistant Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, gave a statement. When asked, how the students would impact the Quileute in their search for subsistence, she said, “As with all of our trips the brevity will not allow us to change the world. That is not our place. Our place is to Go, Learn, Serve, Walk away, and have the experience impact our future.” Gaining experience can give our students broader perspective and allow them to impact lives at home.
The Twilight series may have been a blessing in disguise. The blockbuster turned a lot of eyes onto the Quileute people. In their expedition for preservation, the more knowledge they share with people the better.
The students will fly out in May just in time for the Quileute’s Annual Elders Celebration. While the likelihood of seeing a werewolf may be slim, students will gain an irreplaceable experience. Interested students should email Maggie or stop by the Center for Civic Engagement on the second floor of Lightsey room 203.
Scholarships are available and the applications can be found online.