Accenture's Native American ERG Attends (AISES) 45th Annual National Conference
Indigenous / Native
"This year over 2700 people attended and included 207 sponsors. Among the highlights were the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla people that performed their songs and dance alongside their young people, the Soaring Eagle Dance troop who performed at the closing banquet and pow wow with one of their young dancers speaking his fluent tribal language to present the Chicken Dance story, and Bird Runningwater’s keynote address about his experience in Indigenous film and TV and who for more than 20 years has led Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program and nurtured over 100 Indigenous filmmakers to put Indigenous Cinema on the global film scene.
Equally inspiring was the number of high school students experiencing their first AISES conference and the world of possibilities they may not have otherwise imagined. Many of them stopped by our Accenture booth to learn more about us too, leading to some fun conversations. I had other great conversations with candidates and educators at tribal colleges and universities, seeking to learn about opportunities for their students. My Native American ERG co-lead Jason J. Clark, MSc. & I met so many of our ERG-lead counterparts and had great connections through the AISES Corporate Advisory Council meeting. Shout out to the Google & Amazon teams that I shared some pivotal moments with. It was incredible to exchange knowledge related to Indigenous networks/ERGs. Perhaps one of the most moving events personally was experiencing the Women’s Talking Circle where I felt held by a powerful force of Native women. Alone, many of us feel disconnected. Together in that room filled with the smudging of sage and ancestral knowledge, there was a sacred power. I am forever changed by that experience. "
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