September 15, 2012

First American Indian sorority

Native Sorority Empowers Women and Promotes Culture

By Alysa LandryNative women enrolled in universities across the U.S. are enjoying the camaraderie and sisterhood that comes from membership in the first historically American Indian sorority.

Alpha Pi Omega was founded by four college women in 1994 on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Known as the Four Winds, the women—Jamie Goins, Lumbee; Shannon Brayboy, Lumbee; Christina Strickland, Lumbee; and Amy Locklear, Lumbee/Coharie—presented their idea of starting a sorority based on American Indian traditions to elder women representing different tribes in North Carolina.

The elder women gave the sorority their blessing, and Alpha Pi Omega pledged its first class of sisters, known as the Fifteen Warrior Women, in the spring of 1995. It received its incorporation status that fall.

Since then, the sorority has grown to include campuses across the country, with nine undergraduate chapters, four graduate chapters and three provisional chapters. Members of the sorority, who are seeking degrees from a range of colleges, including the University of New Mexico, Dartmouth College and Oklahoma State University, say the sorority is attractive because it offers something different yet familiar–a unique organization with a slice of Native culture not found on many college campuses.
Comment:  For more on Native education, see LuiseƱo Student Studies Virology and Sisseton Wahpeton Woman Named Emerging Scholar.

Below:  "The grand gathering in July was held at Oklahoma State University. This was taken outside the university's student union."

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