Hometown: McKinleyville, CA
High School: Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts High School
Intended Major: Studio Art
Possible Career: Undecided
Crystal, a member of the Karuk Native American Nation, is from McKinleyville, CA. In addition to the rigorous prep program with strong emphasis on the arts that her charter school offered, Crystal supplemented her high school classes with courses at Humbolt State University. She was founder of both the Creative Writing Club and the Art Club, worked on the literary magazine and was active in theatre, traveling to China and Scandinavia with her theater troupe. She has worked as a backup singer and sound engineer as well as an actor and vocalist.
Crystal spent a 13th year as an exchange student in Germany on a Congress-Bundestag Scholarship. The following year she chose to defer college and rediscover her Native American culture. Crystal speaks Karuk, her indigenous language. She has documented many stories told by her elders, is a basket weaver, ceremonial regalia maker, singer, and post-post modern Indian. She used to be a cross-cultural educator performing for local school assemblies, and various gatherings. She has worked as a Karuk language apprentice, as a tribal camp counselor, a jeweler, a videographer, a high school teacher (film making & film theory), a community animation teacher, and as a language learning technical advisor for Indigenous groups throughout the United States & Canada. Crystal has also worked as a storyteller and spoken on panels on topics ranging from modern Native American art, to indigenous language revitalization. In her senior year she taught a course on Native California for the Anthropology department of Swarthmore College and in March of 2009 coordinated an Indigenous Women's Conference.