Ursula Pike

Question #2: How do you see your unique identities intersecting with Open?

I’m Native, I’m a member of the Karuk Tribe which is near the California/Oregon border. My background made me a little bit suspicious of the Open Education movement from the beginning. I thought, “It sure is interesting that people are questioning the concepts of ownership and copyright when those concepts are inconvenient for them but these same universities had a different perspective on ownership when it came to ownership of Indigenous cultural and religious artifacts.” There’s a history there that made me a little bit suspicious and even though I know it’s different, that was the context in which I came to Open Education. But, especially in the last couple years, there’s been a recognition of this issue and I’m not the only one who recognizes it.

Jar of applesauce with a spoon
“Roasted Applesauce with Sage” by Migle Seikyte is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

But I am also a writer. That’s another one of my identities. I know that there’s a lack of openly licensed written material by traditionally marginalized populations. Just the other day, an English professor posted on an Open Education listserv that they were looking for openly licensed writing by Hispanic authors. I didn’t know what to recommend and knew there was no great answer. It’s a thorny issue because if I want to build an audience for my writing and get a larger audience for things that I think are important to talk about then my best bet is to get that original content to a magazine that keeps the copyright. I think it’s an issue that I’m interested in trying to address. I don’t know the solution.

Finally, I also know the reality of not being able to afford your textbooks. When I was in college, I worked at the daycare center specifically because they served a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack to the children and the employees. I can’t ever eat applesauce again but it allowed me to afford an $85 economics textbook.


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OERigin Stories Copyright © 2022 by Ursula Pike is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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