2020-2021 LITTLEMOON SCHOLAR
My name is Kehaulani Lagunero and I am a Cultural Anthropology student who graduates Fall of 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Indigenous political science and in linguistics. I am a Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) and have always had an interest and passion for assisting indigenous communities with the intention to help revive indigenous cultures, communities, languages, and practices. I was raised in a predominately Polynesian and Asian community and was taught from a very young age of how to dance Hula Kahiko (ancient Hula) and Hula Auana (Modern Hula) through my father’s side of the family. I also practiced Hawaiian Oli (chant) and Mele (song) through my Hawaiian cultures, while learning Tahitian dance.
I had the opportunity to be awarded with the Indigenous Research Scholarship from Sweet Grass during Fall of 2020. The information of the scholarship was forwarded to me by my Archaeology professor to recommended that I apply, and I am very grateful that I did.
My experience at Sweet Grass has been extremely insightful and meaningful for being more involved with the analytical side of helping with indigenous communities. I have learned about exciting projects for Native American communities that I had the opportunity to be a part of, learned more about processing, cleaning, and coding data for such projects, and completing work that involved transcriptions and case studies. The things that I enjoyed that the Indigenous Research Scholarship had was the affective teaching when it came to doing any tasks, and also how involved the tasks were. For example, all the tasks I have done contributed to something bigger within that project and were actively helping the Native communities that we were working with. The lessons I’ve learned from this scholarship was that I can still help indigenous communities without being there in-person. I got this scholarship during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I like to think that it is what kept me engaged with pursuing my future career in Cultural Anthropology while transitioning from predominantly in-person school semesters to online learning. Another lesson learned that this scholarship provided for me was learning more on how to use certain methods for collective data and research. I am going to continue my academic career in graduate school Fall 2021, and I think that this scholarship has gave me an extra helping hand in subjects that involve quantitative and qualitative data recording because it was one of the things that I learned during the scholarship.
I think that the Indigenous Researcher Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity for those interested or pursuing a career working in Anthropology, or in fields similar to Anthropology. This scholarship provided many different teachings and lessons that I will continue to practice throughout my academic career, and also will apply to my future career in Cultural Anthropology.