Message from the Director
2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Kathryn M. Buder Center. This year the Center and Brown School will be Honoring Kathryn’s Vision…30 Years Later. The Center will continue to expand in students and program scope, including avenues for students by way of special programs, research, policy and grant writing. We will honor the Buder Family, the Buder Foundation, students and alumni during this anniversary year.
In 1990, Kathryn M. Buder made her generous gift to provide scholarships for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students to receive their master of social work degrees at the Brown School. Her vision was to give these students the opportunity to become leaders within their own communities. As an alumna of the program, I can humbly say that her vision can be seen and felt here in St. Louis and beyond.
Buder students come to St. Louis to study from across the country and this means we have alumni living in over thirty states. The Buder Center has graduated over 200 alumni representing 77 tribal nations. The Center is excited to bring students and alumni together in 2020 to create connections and share reflections with one another on how Kathryn’s vision has impacted their careers. These short interviews will be released throughout the 30th anniversary year.
The 30th annual Pow Wow will be held on April 11, 2020. The theme this year is “Steps to Sovereignty: Decolonize, Indigenize, Revitalize.” Kathryn’s vision was to decolonize Western education. She was an advocate for Native students and believed that education “is a key factor in restoring self-esteem to Native Americans, but not the sort of education that strips them of their culture and feelings of self-respect.” Her lasting vision has created Indigenous leaders that pave the way for Indigenous communities to revitalize traditions and teachings. The Pow Wow theme this year is not only a testament to, but an outcome of her vision.
As always, the Buder Center continues to prepare students to lead our Indigenous communities into a healthy, just and sustainable future. We are excited to honor our founders, our students and our alumni with you in 2020!
-Kellie Thompson (Seneca)