2009 Del Jones Award Winner, Tayana Arakchaa
Tayana Arakchaa is originally from one of the remote provinces of Southern Siberia - Tyva Republic. She received the Diploma degree in English as a Foreign Language and French as a Foreign Language at Irkutsk State Linguistics University (Irkutsk, Russia). Tayana worked as a teaching assistant in the Philological department of the Tuvan State University untill 2006. Knowing English language has provided many new opportunities and greatly changed Tayana’s life from what it might have been. Tayana’s interest in American Indian Studies motivated her to become a Fulbright Visiting Scholar of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson. During the 2006-07 academic year, as a non-degree exchange student, she had an opportunity to audit classes in American Indian Studies and Anthropology. She learned about the Indian nations of the Southwest their lands, governments, and unique rights. It was the most interesting and exciting experience of her life. After her studies at the University of Arizona, Tayana decided to change her area of study from sociolinguistics to anthropology. Before long she was a Ph.D. student in the Irkutsk State Linguistics University in Russia. Tayana recently completed her Master program in Anthropology at Boise State University. Her thesis “Household and Property Relations in Tuva” describes the transformation of households and property relations in Tyva Republic. The thesis identifies continuities and developments in land tenure during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods and tests various theoretical propositions in Economic Anthropology. Land tenure and resource management is a central issue in Tyva. Tayana also worked as a graduate research assistant in the “Home, Hearth and Households in Siberia and Northern Canada” project sponsored by National Science Foundation. Tayana is very proud that she is the first Tyvan who has received western anthropological training. Tayana’s studies in the USA enabled her to travel for pleasure and business around the country. Almost every place she goes, she tries to see at least a few of the interesting sights. Over time, Tayana has found this to be a valuable educational experience, adding to her understanding of the country, different cultures, institutions, art, history, and geography. Furthermore, Tayana has found that to live and study in another country provide opportunities to meet with many interesting people. Tayana is going back to Tuva where she will work among her Tuvan people and continue her education. She will be applying for Cultural Studies Ph.D. program at the Tuvan State University.
2009 Del Jones Award Winner, Nicholas Laluk
Nicholas Laluk is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and is currently a graduate student at the University of Arizona. His research interests include collaboration, Indigenous archaeology, Apache archaeology, heritage preservation, Federal Indian Law and repatriation. His dissertation is titled Apache Occupation of the Chiricahua Mountains.