Eagle’s Nest Foundation acknowledges, with respect, that the land on which we provide programming is the traditional, ancestral land of the Cherokee people past and present. We recognize that our organization and its participants are guests on this land. We are committed to learning more about the land’s history and creating programs and opportunities that are respectful and inclusive of the Cherokee people.
Eagle’s Nest Foundation is committed to the creation of a positive and inclusive learning environment that is sensitive and supportive of the gender identities of children, teens, and adults. We teach and foster empathy and respect throughout our community. The ways in which we are able to programmatically address gender identity on our residential campus are constantly evolving, and our goal is to ensure all people feel safe and supported regardless of their gender identity or expression.
At Eagle’s Nest we have been learning about how we can provide a more equitable, just, and inclusive experience for all of our participants, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees. In this effort, we have been combing through our institutional culture for practices that are derived from Native American traditions in a concerted effort to replace these practices while retaining the educational aspect of this work. We are working toward the removal of elements in our program that are disrespectful, harmful, or simplistic uses of Indigenous cultures. Though our practices arose in admiration, our use over the years amounted to appropriation and oppression.
In 2016 we began this process by revising how we describe camp advancements, the names of the group leaders and other portions of our community ceremonies. In 2021 we restructured our camp “tribal” system to become Kindreds and removed symbols, names, and activities irreverent of Native American peoples and cultures. We recognize this work is ongoing and welcome your assistance in identifying other areas in need of change as well as ideas for new or revised practices that honor our core values, support our mission, and nurture a community of belonging, and respect.
In keeping with our Transcultural Commitment we know we need to continue to educate ourselves. Here are some ways to take action to support the Black community: Join us in listening, reading, watching, and learning; call your communities to this work; listen to Black voices; stay updated and engaged.