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Cougar Chronicle

The Student News Site Of Central Kitsap High School

Cougar Chronicle

The Student News Site Of Central Kitsap High School

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CKHS Hosts a “Candid Conversation With Women” for Women’s History Month

From engaging in historical education of blood quantum to elevating artistic talents and local activist ambitions, this “Candid Conversation” aims to encourage compassion and pave pathways for future students.
Noel Purser discusses with Aiyana Riley during the women’s day event.
Daniel Granstaff
Noel Purser discusses with Aiyana Riley during the women’s day event.

Story written by Journalism 1 students Lily Cogill and Nadalie Hills

Central Kitsap High School celebrated National Women’s Month with an all day “Candid Conversation With Women” event on Thursday, March 28 2023. The event was organized by different teachers and staff from the school. It was created to “get students exposed to more views of what women can do and what they can be,” according to Emilia Ford, event organizer and CKHS teacher.

Many speakers spoke at the event, including activist Noel Purser. She spoke on blood quantum and her experience with receiving criticism as a Indigenous woman. 

Purser, who is from the Suquamish tribe, shared her paper titled “How to Kill an Indian With a Piece of Paper: Blood quantum laws and contemporary American Indian Identity,” which was written for one of her school assignments. 

Purser explained in a YouTube video that she posted the paper on one of her blogs with a pseudonym for her teacher to see. Overnight the blog got around, and someone was so angry with what she wrote that they found her real name and address and sent hate mail to her for a month. That struck a nerve with Purser, and she deleted the blog; yet, she focused her capstone on this topic. 

“Blood quantum has been obsession of mine since I was 15,” said Purser.

Purser said blood quantum history has impacts on the community. Two weeks ago, her tribe voted for lowering blood quantum requirements. 

“The more I dove into it, the more patterns I saw,” said Purser.

Purser said she was not raised on reservation, but she helps keep the language of her people alive since the fluent elders passed away. She said she dropped out of school to go to a private school to have more time helping the language. 

Other speakers included local artists, activists and veterans. Seeing as the event was a success last  year, organizers said they want to keep this and similar events recurring each year. 

“I think society always should be recognizing somebody’s history because we don’t always see the other person until we better understand where that person is coming from,” said event organizer and CKHS paraeducator Laramie Amezquita.

Organizers said they hope to make students more aware of the diverse experiences and careers women have and open the doorway to a variety of future paths for the students, in addition to creating a better understanding of others and their histories.

“I hope that they get to see just a diverse group of women from different backgrounds in just the most different array of career paths and nonlinear paths,” said Ford. “…Breaking these norms for all students, not just women, that you don’t have to be defined by what society says you should do, breaking those traditional roles and perceptions.”

With the many speakers with different stories, experiences, backgrounds and history women have to share, the event gave a voice to the women of this region.

As a woman, I’m excited that there’ll be multiple women coming in to talk about their experiences,” Amezquita said.  “Because women tend to have battles with how they get into different workforces.”

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