TBC News, Issue 47 FEATURED

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from An Interview with Michael Byrd, Deaf Native American by C. Robin Massey

"I hope to be able to instill in other Native Americans a strong feeling of self worth, a willingness to achieve their educational desires, and to develop confidence in who they are. I think it’s essential that we have a secure identity and accept who we are, so that future generations of Deaf Native Americans will be much better off. If there is no one to teach these values, then how can the quality of life improve for all Deaf Native Americans? Currently, there is a strong influence from the white culture and it is taking away from our culture. We need to cultivate the spirit so people can prosper as Native Americans."


from Let's Start at the Roots by Nelly Hencker Owens

"From this experience, I learned that it is essential for the Deaf community to take action seriously in our Deaf schools to ensure that the majority of board members, staff, office workers and maintenance are Deaf. We should be involved in the decision making processes regarding school philosophy, communication modes, staff development training, etc. Most Deaf schools are still run by hearing people. In the case of my school, not one Deaf person was asked to be a part of the committee to appoint a new superintendent. We Deaf people must do something about it or Deaf schools will continue to be stuck in the same cycle. We need to protect our Deaf children by controlling their education. Let’s start at the roots and work our way up and determine how the future generation of Deaf education will be different from today.."

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