Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
My name is Elizabeth Spencer and I am a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma studying Management Information Systems. I am an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. Currently, I serve as the OU American Indigenous Business Leaders secretary and a general member of the American Indian Student Association (AISA). Through AISA, I work to promote native identity and culture on campus. During my involvement, I raised over $28,000 for the longest running student-led powwow in the nation. We invested that money towards the advancement of indigenous culture at OU. Furthermore, I will work with native youth to inspire them to pursue higher education. By bringing what I have learned in school and the experiences I have gained through campus involvement, I will make a positive impact in the Native community.
"It is important for me to get involved in any way possible to give back to and support the community that has stood by me."
I help my community through my on campus and off campus involvement. First, I am very involved with the American Indian Student Association (AISA). With that association, I focus on getting other indigenous students plugged into a community. I also help plan and host events through this association such as powwows and stomp dances. I enjoy this association because I get to meet new people from all over Oklahoma and Indian country. Whenever I meet new people, especially younger native students, I am always quick to encourage them to go beyond high school. Whether it is attending a college or university, or even specializing in a trade. Any form of higher education is valuable and our younger students need to know that. Also, my sorority, Gamma Delta Pi, is involved with the organization Native Alliance Against Violence, which is Oklahoma's only tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalition. Our involvement in this organization has opened my eyes to situations which a lot of people in our community have to endure which has made me interested in being an advocate for people who don't have a voice. In the future I will help my community by being involved in programs that are designed to promote indigenous identity and well being. It is important for me to get involved in any way possible to give back to and support the community that has stood by me.