From UW's Perspectives
After two ferry rides and seven hours of driving, Tahoma Wrubleski was having second thoughts. He was headed to Bella Bella, British Columbia to attend the Qatuwas Festival, a gathering of Northwest tribes to mark the end of their annual Tribal Canoe Journey. Event organizers had invited Wrubleski to attend as a volunteer, but as an outsider he still had misgivings. Then he remembered his UW professors encouraging him to take risks. “I could have turned back and headed south,” he says, “but I knew I’d never forgive myself if I did.”
Wrubleski, a UW senior majoring in Latin American and Caribbean studies, ventured to Bella Bella to engage in research as part of the UW Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities (SIAH), now in its eleventh year. Created by the Undergraduate Research Program in collaboration with the Simpson Center for the Humanities, SIAH is a rigorous nine-week introduction to research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. A team of four faculty members works closely with 20 students as they pursue individual projects around an annual theme. Past themes have included disease outbreaks, borderlands, and the media’s impact on the individual. This year’s theme, Native Modernities, encouraged students to explore issues of indigeneity in the contemporary world.