Ph.D. Candidate, Native Education Advocate, Chosen for Judson Brown Scholarship
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) through its Scholarship Committee has chosen a Ph.D. candidate and Native education advocate as the 2017 recipient of its annual Judson L. Brown Leadership Award.
The recipient, Jordan Craddick, is a graduate student working on his doctorate in history from the University of Washington. Craddick graduated from Skagway High School, received his bachelor's in history from the University of Alaska Anchorage and his master's in northern studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Craddick, who intends to become a teacher, is passionate about changing educational systems that continue to portray Native people as relics of the past, he wrote in an essay to SHI.
"For the entirety of the time I've been in graduate school I have pushed back against this flawed historiography, and I will continue to do so as a teacher," Craddick wrote. "I want to see more Native students earning degrees and more Native professors teaching."
Craddick also has taken leadership roles in the Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars at the University of Washington, serving as co-president and as a senator of the group, which promotes the academic efforts of indigenous students and fosters a sense of community for them as they adjust to the rigors of college.
The $5,000 scholarship goes to students who have demonstrated academic achievement and leadership skills, said SHI President Rosita Worl, adding that only one person wins the annual award.
"Our younger generation is changing the world for the better, and Jordan is an example of that. He understands our history, he sees the injustices that still occur and he is on a mission to make our schools work for our Native students," Worl said. "We are honored to support his journey."
The leadership award comes from an endowment established in 2006 through a $100,000 donation from Chris and Mary McNeil. It was named for Chris McNeil's uncle, the late Tlingit leader Judson Lawrence Brown, who was a forceful advocate for education and leadership development. The endowment is administered by Sealaska Heritage Institute.
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research and advocacy that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.