Friday, December 17, 2004

Indeed so many connections to me made! Now that Barb has mentioned Manong Al Robles' meeting (or is it sweating?) with the Pomos of Northern California I must say that it has long been my dream research project to document the Pomo-Filipino connection. I have met members of the Pomo Tribal council including its chief, Greg Sarris who is also part-Filipino, and we have briefly touched on the subject of needing to do such research. Btw, 3-4 of the tribal council members are half-Filipino!

So let's hope they get to build their casino in Rohnert Park... no bones about it...a lot of the money flowing into Native American projects including the recently inaugurated National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, comes from the casino industry. Indian tribes (not sure which) also recently made a donation of $5M to UCLA Law School. The Pomos have also donated $1.5M to the Native American Studies Program at Sonoma State University. Hopefully, whoever is hired for this endowed chair (we'll know soon), will be keen on seeing this kind of research project funded.

My dilemma is this: A few years ago the Filipino American community of Sonoma County launched an oral history project to document the history of the Manong generation in Northern California. As an inactive member of the community, I felt that my presence as an academic (and also as a recent immigrant) wasn't taken seriously and I felt shoved aside. Alright, I thought, they want to do this themselves and own it as a community project, without some academic person telling them how to frame the project theoretically, etc. I stepped aside.

I know what I should have done to be accepted as part of the research project. I could have invested time and energy into making sure I transition from being outsider to insider -- but I had other things on my plate.

To try to step back in now requires delicadeza.

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