By: Patti McDonald
Kaya Wilske, a Michigan State University senior who is majoring in history, recently participated in the 2023 Michigan State University Learning Abroad Conference (LAC). The annual event features presentations from students who returned from international learning experiences and international students currently studying abroad here in East Lansing.
Kaya’s presentation was called “Inclusivity through Language: Lessons from Ireland to Connect with Our Indigenous Students and Community.” She utilized what she learned about Irish history during her study abroad trip to connect with local initiatives that MSU could employ. According to Wilske’s presentation, those initiatives include a more dedicated effort to support Indigenous students.
According to the abstract of Wilske’s presentation, she uses her participation in the June 2023 semester of University College Dublin’s Irish Studies program to feature the importance and inclusion of Anishinaabemowin to MSU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) values.
“Perhaps my study abroad experience holds a piece of the steps our university and other land-grant institutions can use moving forward,” Wilske’s presentation states. “MSU is the first land-grant institution and restoring Anishinaabemowin [the indigenous language of Michigan] in our community is imperative to supporting our Indigenous students and honoring our [land-grant mission].”