- By Native News Online Staff
Whitman College, a private, co-educational, residential liberal arts and sciences undergraduate college located in Walla Walla, Washington, has chosen Roger Amerman (Choctaw as the O'Donnell Visiting Educator in Global Studies for Spring 2024. Amerman is a distinguished alum of the Class of 1981.
Amerman recently served as a beadwork consultant for Marvel's Disney+ series Echo, featuring the Choctaw superhero Maya Lopez. Amerman's traditional beadwork, emphasizing tribal designs, is prominently showcased in Echo's attire. The meticulous process spanned five months, involving a thoughtful exchange of ideas and packages between Amerman and the Marvel team. Notable in Echo's ensemble is a Sun and Fire medallion, designed by Amerman, serving as a visual representation of Choctaw cosmology and spirituality, adorned with sacred ancestral symbols.
He will bring his talents to share to the college classroom that showcases the intersection of traditional Native American art with modern academia. A current resident of Stites, Idaho, Amerman brings a wealth of knowledge on Native American culture and history.
"Marvel is working closely with many Choctaw Nation individuals to ensure authenticity and true integrity. I look forward to seeing what tribal consultants in linguistics, weaponry, and other subjects contributed to the series." Amerman said.
While recognizing that Echo's outfits are not strict representations of Choctaw regalia, Amerman expresses enthusiasm for the potential of young kids wearing Echo-inspired clothing, providing an opportunity to explain the symbolism. Reflecting on the collaboration, he highlights Marvel's commitment to authenticity by closely working with Choctaw Nation individuals in various fields.
Following his work with Marvel, Amerman will teach an interdisciplinary Ethnogeology class at Whitman during Spring 2024. This unique course delves into the paleo-history, history, and ethnogeology of salmon-centric tribal peoples in the southern Columbia River Plateau. Amerman aims to "Indigenize" earth sciences by exploring traditional knowledge and customs related to landscapes. The course seeks to deepen students' appreciation for the intricate relationship between Indigenous knowledge and the land.
Amerman's dedication to connecting Indigenous understanding with academic education extends beyond the classroom. In 2022, he co-directed The Long Tent, a series celebrating Native American culture at Whitman. His involvement in the inaugural Pášx̣apa Powwow in November 2023, where his hand-beaded crown adorned the first Miss Pášx̣apa, further emphasizes his commitment to fostering authentic understanding of Choctaw heritage and Indigenous cultures through art and education. Navigating seamlessly between the realms of Marvel Cinematic University and Whitman College's academic community, Amerman creates a meaningful pathway for cultural appreciation and identity recognition.
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