The Morris and Stewart Udall Foundation has named University of Minnesota Twin Cities junior Dustin Morrow among its 55 Udall Scholars for 2020.
Udall Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence, integrity, leadership and commitment to public service related to conservation of the environment or Native American affairs. Dustin, a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, is majoring in Linguistics and Ojibwe Language and working to develop Native American and Indigenous language studies in Wisconsin schools.
Dustin graduated from Hayward High School in 2005 and worked for several years before enrolling in classes at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College. There he discovered a passion for language studies and the challenge of indigenous language revitalization. Inspired by the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Immersion School at Lac Courte Oreilles and other community initiatives to develop fluency, he began to think about how knowledge and identity are tied to language. In 2018, he transferred to the University of Minnesota, where a growing cohort of Anishinaabe teachers and students were working to preserve indigenous languages from extinction. He became an Ojibwe language tutor on campus with the Circle of Indigenous Nations, and he developed a range of informal opportunities for students to comfortably practice their skills.
With a group of graduate students, he organized campus events last fall in recognition of the UN Year of Indigenous Languages that introduced challenges of and resources for indigenous language revitalization. At the same time, his studies in linguistics helped him to develop a broader perspective on languages and the professional tools to study, preserve and promote Native languages. Looking forward, Dustin plans to complete graduate work in linguistics and expects to contribute both to preserving indigenous languages and to creating an educational curriculum that presents a more than superficial understanding of Native cultures.
Dustin is the ninth student from the Twin Cities campus to be named a Udall Scholar and the third in the Tribal Policy category following Alexandra Johnson (2015) and Christopher Smith (2019). Five students from the U of M Morris have also received the award in the past. Scholars receive up to $7,000 toward their undergraduate academic expenses and an expenses-paid professional development workshop in Tucson, Arizona.
Students working toward the public good with respect to environmental challenges or Native students dedicated to careers in tribal policy or healthcare in Native communities should contact the Office of National and International Scholarships about applying for a Udall Scholarship at 612-624-5522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Arts and Humanities