BOZEMAN – She is from the Crow Indian Reservation and is determined to take home what she learns at MSU to make a difference for her people.
Cheyenne Whiteman is passionate about caring for others. As a student at MSU, her goals are very clear: to become a nurse and bring home the skills to provide better care for her family and friends on the Crow reservation.
“With nursing, if there is something I can do to make people feel better, why shouldn’t I? ” she said.
In an age when nurses are in high demand and she could use the skills she will learn anywhere, there is nowhere she would rather be than at home, caring for other Native American families. like his.
“I really feel connected to my people,” she said.
Her inspiration is her grandmother Rosie Doyle, a Northern Cheyenne woman who spent 46 years as a nurse.
“Years later, we would be out there and people would remember her,” Cheyenne said.
Now on MSU’s Bozeman campus, Cheyenne is far from home, but she says knowing that she makes her grandmother and parents proud keeps her strong. She also says her busy schedule keeps her from getting too homesick. In addition to her nursing courses, she is active in many organizations and clubs and is co-chair of the American Indian Council.
“I like to be busy, I like to be involved,” she said.
Through the American Indian Council, it strives to connect students, preserve its heritage and customs, as well as the language.
She proudly spoke part of the Northern Cheyenne language that she had learned from her grandmother. She says she hopes to find out more.
“It’s super important,” she said of her mother tongue. “It makes you feel connected and it’s so beautiful. It makes me so proud to be able to do it.
On the MSU campus, she says most of her peers are open-minded. But there are some myths and ideas that she had to clear up.
“Coming here was a whole new world. I had someone in my class who didn’t even know Native Americans were American citizens, ”she said. “I politely corrected them.”
She hopes to show others that her culture is beautiful and she says most are eager to listen and learn.
“There are old stereotypes and new stereotypes,” she said. “Some people have had the stereotypes in their head all the time and they just don’t realize it.”
She thinks MSU’s addition of the American Indian Hall is a great way for people to get a taste of real Native American history and culture.
“It makes me feel so welcome and like I have a place here,” she said. “Heritage and culture can kind of unify us. It’s something to share with people.
You’ll hear more about Cheyenne when we get home with Cheyenne to the Crow Reservation. You will meet Grandma Rosie as well as her mother and father. It’s a story of two Americans that you will only see on MTN.