Additionally, the team at CivicEye would like to recognize some of our investors at Relevance Ventures, a Native American-owned venture capital firm. Cameron Newton and Dean Newton are members of Patawomeck Nation, and we are grateful to work alongside them.
When we asked Cameron and Dean Newton about their Indigenous identities, they described that “Our native ancestry contributes to everything we do, from our family ties and our connections with nature and the Earth to our business philosophy. Understanding the interconnectivity of all things and the exponential impact of positive contributions to our ecosystem informs our mission.”
We are grateful for our connections to these Tribal Nations, and we look forward to our continued relationships with them in the future.
Interview with Logan Ling
Last week, we had the opportunity to speak with Logan Ling, a tribal member of Nay’dini’aa Na’Kayax Chickaloon Native Village—a sovereign Tribal Government. Ling works as the Family Advocate in Victim Services at the Justice Department. He works closely with the Chickaloon Police Department to support victims and those in need within the community. Below, you’ll be able to read our conversation together in which Ling described what his heritage means to him and how being Indigenous has inspired him in his career.
What does your heritage mean to you?
Ling: I can think of a hundred different profound things I’ve heard, but what resonates with me is that it’s not one specific thing. It’s a sense of knowing who I am and what’s happened in the past—having a shared heritage of them [Chickaloon Tribal Members] being my family members. And being one people. For me, it’s knowing that myself and family [members] all come from a similar place in the past that can help guide us where we want to go in the future.
How has being Native American inspired you in your career?
Ling: I started off learning the language at our school Ya Ne Dah Ah School, which gave me a better understanding of our culture and history about the tribe, then moved into Victim Services where I am currently.
Working for the school gave me a foundation of the language and culture, which now feels very Indigenous by giving me a unique understanding of a whole person.
In my current role as a Family Advocate (particularly for Victim Services & Tribal Care Advocate), I work with people who are in crisis, and I am their voice in court. I am able to hear what it is the client wants to say and needs, and I make sure that they have everything that they need, whether it’s medical care, mental care, food, housing, and advocate on their behalf to treat the entire person, rather than the one specific reason that they are seeking help. For example, I do not want to just solve a singular issue but want to help to ensure they are on a better path. It’s important to know I don’t just work with victims of crime, but hunger and homelessness, and my role is to help tribal citizens thrive.
To take the journey I have in working my way up through roles available in my community —it’s a coincidence that it’s worked out this way so far.
I’ve always wanted to work for my Tribe, so I started as a teacher and researcher. I was able to work alongside my aunties, which was a special experience itself, learn about the culture, history, and language of our tribe, and then turn around and teach that to the children.
It’s been really beneficial for me to start with the foundational message and culture I come from to continue serving my community. I’ve had incredible role models in the community, including Chief Anthony and our tribal council. I then moved from there to the Justice Department, which allowed me to get my foot in the door, and as we’ve been developing this department, I get to take advantage of more opportunities to give back.
I hope to continue my career in law enforcement. With the foundation I mentioned, I strive to be an officer that wouldn’t go into investigations with an accusatory perspective, but addressing those that are hurting, and show how I can restore faith and measures by addressing our community’s needs.
Being Native American inspired me in a holistic view of how to treat people, and there’s a history of Native Americans and Americans that have quarreled and it’s great to see Indigenous and government to come together for the betterment of the community.
Click here to learn more about Nay’dini’aa Na’Kayax Chickaloon Native Village, their community, and how they’re empowering Tribal Members in their Indigenous identities.