As Native communities navigate new challenges, due to the pandemic, it is critical for Buder graduates to serve within their communities, to create innovative solutions and new opportunities for Indigenous peoples. The Buder Center has and will continue to prepare future American Indian leaders to practice in tribal and urban settings, making significant contributions to the health, wellness and sustained future of Indian Country, to combat disparities and face significant challenges, like Covid-19, that have the potential to disrupt community health. To accomplish this, we continue to provide support to students, conduct research with tribal communities, provide educational, leadership and professional development opportunities for students outside of the classroom, inform the AI/AN curriculum within the Brown School and collaborate with faculty, organizations and alumni.

A central aspect of our work is the belief that traditions and culture are integral to success. In the spring of 2020 to protect the health of our communities, the Center cancelled our 30th annual Pow Wow. We will continue to honor our traditions and plan to celebrate with you in 2021. The theme for our Pow Wow is Steps to Sovereignty: Decolonize, Indigenize, Revitalize. Preparations for this event are underway, with our Buder Scholars organizing this event.

The Buder Center program has graduated 212 scholars. It is a time for Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous ways of knowing to thrive, for the benefit of our peoples, the land and the environment. We must rise to this challenge, and we must walk through together.