Since becoming a 2022 Class of Social Action Dreamstarter, Kyle Swann (Piscataway Conoy) has made tremendous strides in developing an understanding of and tackling the big-picture issues that the Piscataway Conoy Tribe have been facing for many years- homelessness, inadequate healthcare, unemployment, and affordable childcare.
Kyle’s dream is to create an accurate, point-in-time snapshot of Piscataway Conoy Tribal data, of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe in the Maryland area. In just a few months, he is able to provide up to 300 entries of collected data per tribal member, with approximately 1,000 members documented so far.
Kyle was able to get most data pertaining to tribal members while in the process of documenting enrollment, household, medical, and personal information. Kyle gathered information at various events like vaccine clinics, community rallies, and gatherings. He also visited tribal members’ houses to help them complete the necessary paperwork for the information he is gathering. Recently, Kyle has expanded his scope and he has started to collect information related to the employment, education, and community involvement of Piscataway Citizens.
As he continues on with his dream and broadens the data he is collecting, the Piscataway Conoy Tribe can more clearly see how many issues they are facing and how they have become deeply intertwined throughout extending generations- issues like undereducation, unemployment, lack of opportunity, homelessness, inadequate/ inaccessible healthcare, predisposition to genetic & hereditary diseases/disorders, unstable family dynamics, affordable childcare, lack of household necessities, etc.
By having approximately 1,000 enrolled tribal members documented so far, The Piscataway Conoy Tribe is able to have a large-enough community sample size to analyze the demographic statistics of the tribe more accurately and relay that information to the appropriate resources while providing tribal aid. Kyle states, “I hope that by collecting and compiling information pertaining to the Piscataway Conoy Tribal Community, I spark future interest and desire into others for complete sociological studies to be performed with native communities.”
In Kyle’s own words:
Although it has not yet been a year since becoming a Dreamstarter, I believe I have accomplished many achievements that I would not have easily done as before… I have been able to drastically increase my community presence and outreach while advocating for the issues that the Piscataway Conoy Tribe are facing. I have been able to create long-lasting relationships with other individuals, charitable organizations, business entities, politicians, and tribal leaders from the connections made through becoming a Dreamstarter. Lately, I have taken focus into aiding my fellow tribal youth, mentoring them as they navigate their way into early adulthood, creating opportunities for us to learn our culture together, and understanding how to remain connected to ourselves and tribal identity while living in an urbanized environment. As I progress in my work, I hope to nurture the connections being made and to inspire others to persevere in the work they want to accomplish.