Andrew Brokaw, FAST Blackfeet VISTA Volunteer

What is your official Americorps title? 

-AmeriCorps Prevention Resource Center VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America)

What is your home town? 

-Cincinnati, Ohio

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

-Valparaiso University, degrees in Global Service and Humanities

Why did you decide to do Americorps? 

– I think it’s important to live in a similar way to the people you are serving if you want to serve in a meaningful way, and AmeriCorps is a great way to do that.

Why were you drawn to the FAST position?

-In my senior thesis at Valpo I advocated for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to expose and address the issues facing Native Americans today and the roots of those problems in historical forced movement and oppression. Finding an opportunity to live and work in community with the Blackfeet people is a great opportunity in line with my own interests.

You’ve been in Blackfeet for a couple of weeks – what is one of your favorite discoveries so far? 

-It’s not uncommon to see moose, foxes, and other wildlife right behind the house I am staying in.

What is working at the Medicine Bear like? 

-It’s been pretty great so far! The upstairs office space is quiet but I always have the option of going downstairs and interacting with Medicine Bear staff and clients.

Do you ever take breaks to hang out with Muffin? (Do you even like cats!?) 

– I do take breaks to hang out with Muffin, she is actually with me right now as I am typing this. She has an amazing ability to predict when I am going to have video calls with other board members so that she can come and sit on the computer. (I like cats, but not as much as dogs.)

Do you have a favorite podcast or book that you are into right now?

-I’m currently reading or have recently read books set in Montana or the Northwest, like Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky, and Thunder in the Mountains. I plan to start reading more books written by indigenous authors in the next few weeks such as Neither Wolf nor Dog and House Made of Dawn.

Welcome, Andrew!