Three Bates students named Philip J. Otis Fellows
Bates College students Kara McKeever of Westport, Conn.; David Sharratt of Canton, Maine; and Amanda Smith of Santa Fe, N.M., have been named 2000 Phillip J. Otis Fellows and will each receive a $5,000 grant for research and travel to promote greater understanding of environmental issues and the connection between the environment and spirituality.
McKeever, a junior anthropology major at Bates, plans to travel to the capital of the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Mont., to investigate how Native Americans near Glacier National Park reveal their collective consciousness and relationship to their environment through a complex system of naming the landscape.
“Seeing certain places triggers memories and events that have occurred in our past, and we relive those events in our minds,” McKeever said. “When places, whether they be mountains or buildings, are connected with emotions and stories, they become holders of history.”
The service-learning component of McKeever’s project will involve working for the Blackfeet Youth Initiative, a nonprofit organization that works to promote cultural understanding between Native and non-Native Americans. The organization strives to build youth leaders in service to the Blackfeet Reservation, and McKeever plans to assist with direct counseling, program logistics and office administration.