U student earns fellowship,

Troy Tepley

Victoria Raske, a junior majoring in American Indian studies at the University, will never forget May 9.
“It was unbelievable,” Raske said. “I was shocked and extremely pleased at the same time.”
On May 9, she was awarded a National Museum Fellowship by the Minnesota Historical Society for the 1999-2000 academic year.
Sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, the award is given exclusively to students attending Minnesota colleges. It is in its first year and includes a $6,000 grant, six academic credits and a 12-week hands-on program at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.
Initiated to increase and promote minority student interest in museum work, the fellowship consists of a series of seminars at the history center and historic sites in Minnesota. The program gives students direct experience in a wide range of museum work including curation, acquiring historical artifacts and caring for museum collections.
“Victoria was an easy choice because she has shown a strong interest in museum work,” said Brenda Child, assistant professor of American Indian studies. “She hopes of someday starting a tribal museum in Grand Portage, Minn.”
Raske, a member of the Grand Portage Ojibwe, has already displayed her interest in museum work by being a consultant for the American Indian Advisory Board at the historical society. Her role on the board is to help the historical society properly represent the Dakota and Ojibwe cultures in discussions and exhibits that they hold.
“Victoria has displayed a deep interest in sharing Native American history, so she was perfect for the award,” said Susanna Short, the fellowship program coordinator at the historical society.
In order to be nominated for the award, a student must be a junior or senior in a liberal arts discipline at a local college or university. The student must also be a member of a minority group and show interest in exploring public history.
At the University, a student also had to be nominated by a department and the nomination had to be accompanied by two letters of recommendation.
Child, along with Pat Albers, professor and chairwoman in the Department of American Indian Studies, wrote recommendation letters for Raske.
Raske said she hopes the fellowship will help her gain an even better understanding of the Ojibwe and Dakota people and knowledge she can share with others to help maintain a proper history for these two cultures.