The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation announced Friday they had selected Northland College sophomore Shyanne Eustace as a 2020 Udall Scholar. This scholarship will provide up to $7,000 for Eustace’s junior year of academic study.
A sixteen-member independent review committee selected this year’s group of fifty-five Udall Scholars from among 429 candidates at 199 colleges and universities. They based their decision on the level of commitment to careers in the environment, tribal public policy, or Native health care; leadership potential; a record of public service; and academic achievement.
“This was one of the most challenging scholarships I ever applied for,” Eustace said. “I would sit in Kyle [Bladow’s] office for hours rereading and revising.”
The application required specific reference to the writing and work of Morris K. Udall or Steward Udall. “Shyanne was able to research the Udalls and find ways to position their legacies in relationship to her own story and goals,” said Bladow, assistant professor of Native American studies.
Eustace is majoring in natural resources and co-leads the Native American Student Association, is a member of the softball team, and is a part of the residential life team. She is most interested in ecological restoration and plans to bring her teachings back to her tribal community located along the Rio Grande in New Mexico.
She has interned at Cochiti Pueblo Department of Natural Resources for the past two years where she led a group of high school seniors to examine toxins found in the Rio Grande. Shyanne is also an active member of the Society for Range Management and Wisconsin Green Fire.
“Shyanne is a standout student who has made astonishing achievements in her first two years here. I’m excited to see what she’ll accomplish next at Northland and look forward to seeing where her academic career leads her,” Bladow said.
This May term, through a sustainable agriculture practicum, she is working with Cochiti Pueblo to create a program to restore traditional farmlands.
“Most tribal communities are still heavily impacted by settler colonialism and western technology. Most of these affect human rights,” she said. “My tribe has major health problems due to toxins in the streams and wildlife—another example is the impact of commodities on our food systems.”
This summer she hopes to intern with the Department of Agriculture while working with the Inter-tribal Agriculture Council to continue focusing on traditional agriculture and restoring her tribe’s ancestral farmlands.
“My plan for life currently is to obtain my bachelor’s degree at Northland, then get my master’s in traditional ecological knowledge, then return my teachings back into my community,” she said.