On November 5th, Marcus Grignon of Hempstead Project Heart presented at the 25th Annual Hemp Industires Association in Los Angeles, California. Marcus presented on the future of TCU's (Tribal College/Universities) and their opportunity to be beacons of Indigenous research in hemp. His story detailed his experience at the College of Menominee Nation and the imprint that was left on him. Marcus phrased that Indigenous research and understanding the Indigenous perspective can be narrowed down to one word: Indigenunity.
Marcus stated the Navajo Techincal College has already begun researching on hemp fuel used to power rockets. The college has an articulate agreement with NASA and are solicting tribal nations throughout the United States to help them cultivate enough bio-mass to make rocket fuel. With the future passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, TCU's are prime to be reshaped into hemp based research institutions that find solutions to the challenges we face in the 21st century. John Trudell's last wish to Marcus was that Marcus would become a thinker and not a leader. John felt the thinkers are the ones who find solutions; not a leader nor a politician.
The ability to influence seven generations of Indigenous thinkers to work with and experiment on hemp leads to a prosperous future where hemp is part of the solution. 2019 will be the year Hempstead Project Heart focuses TCU's and the part they will play in the coming decades for hemp research. The world needs more Indigenous thinkers and Hempstead Project Heart is here to usher in the dawn of a new era: where tribal knowledge is taken seriously and applied throughout American society.