Pool, Frisbee and other activity centered clubs were created with the intention of enjoying an activity together with other like minded group members. The new First Nations Club is unique because its goal is to blend elements of the Pierce College community with culture.
“The purpose of the club is to promote multiculturalism and diversity at Pierce College Puyallup by offering participation in various Native American activities to Pierce College students,” First Nations Club president Arsenio Lopez said.
Creating awareness and opening their club to all Pierce College students is the way the club plans to achieve this goal. The club encourages people of all heritage and ethnic backgrounds to join, suggesting that creating a club exclusively for Native Americans would not as effectively promote Native American culture as would opening its doors to everyone.
What helps distinguish their ideas is that multiculturalism tends to divide people into groups based on differences rather than unite them through their similarities. This however, is something the club strives to do the opposite of.
“There are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions out there, and we must open the club to everybody or it would defeat the purpose of promoting if we couldn’t invite others to share our culture with,” Lopez said.
The initiative to start a First Nations began last year. Early on, the club had trouble organizing enough members needed to make a club, but once they did, they enjoyed some short-lived leadership. The president had to leave shortly after creating the club in early winter quarter. Current president, Lopez was then secretary and because he was the only other club officer, he inherited the duties of the president.
The club has beading, cedar basket weaving, rose carving and dream catcher building activities planned, as well as hopes to invite a tribe elder to tell native stories and explain the spiritual aspects of Native American belief. Each activity is presented in its cultural and historical context, inclusive of the traditions of all other native tribes.
Whether or not the club will host these events this quarter is uncertain because of the clubs late start up. Meetings are every other Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. in the College Center, room C250.
The club can be contacted for further information at Firstnationsclub@gmail.com.
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