The growth and continuity of our home the Earth, as well as an eco-system, a seed, a student, or a community, requires the support, communication, and action of many.
The American Indian College Fund’s Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design and Stewardship (SEEDS) programs logo, symbolizes these considerations and solutions that exist within in our tribal colleges and universities and communities (TCU).
The SEEDS program continues to build upon the College Fund’s work in the environmental and sustainability fields at TCUs. The SEEDS program works with TCUs to develop integrated grants that develop environmental, natural science, and sustainability programs and curriculum, along with faculty and student opportunities that incorporate place-based knowledge and inter-generational knowledge exchange.
As part of this work the TCUs and the College Fund recognized that a program’s goals are not simply met when a student obtains a degree or a new course is created. There is an understanding that needs to be developed in order to assure that students are both completing their academic programs and being provided opportunities to grow and understand their development and establish relationships with peers, teachers, and community members that will continue to support them and that they will in turn have the opportunity to support. The SEEDS program explores how TCU leadership, faculty, staff, and students are engaging with environmental partners, community members, and cultural knowledge keepers in ways that lift up the voices of the community and its environmental needs in and beyond the classroom.
The SEEDS program also explores ways in which Native students come to know themselves within their educational endeavors and how these endeavors align with their academic activities, their values and the values and needs of their respective communities and the world. It also asks whether Native students have access to research and scholarly works developed by other Native and Indigenous scholars.
The College Fund’s SEEDS program proposes it is not enough to go through a degree program and come out with a degree. Native students’ emergence throughout the entire educational process and within their own communities is also essential to support.
SEEDS recognizes the intersections of Indigenous and contemporary knowledge systems and tools, provides opportunities for TCUs and tribal communities to think intentionally and plan fully about how they participate in place-making. It helps students and communities ask whether the TCUs and communities are working together to think about long term community development and environmental changes and shifts occurring in ways that allow for TCUs to develop responsive programs to address real world issues?
A college degree does a student and a community no good if students, graduates, and community cannot work together to develop solutions for the challenges we all face.
“The SEEDS logo embodies a lot of symbolism – from the seed representing the hope of good things to come, to the circle with four quadrants representing the four stages of life and growth. This was truly a collaborative effort from conception to the final design.” – Dr. Natalie Youngbull
Many thanks to Dr. Natalie Youngbull, Faculty Development Program Officer (College Fund) and Jack Soto, Program Administrator, Internships and Career Readiness Programs (College Fund) for their contributions in the development of the SEEDS logo and to Johnathan Nelson, visual artist, contributor, and SEEDS logo designer.