- Fort Bend ISD
Native American Heritage Month Spotlight: Assistant Director Bobbie Anderson (11/16/2023)
Fort Bend ISD (Nov. 16, 2023) - November is National Native American Heritage Month, and it is especially significant for Fort Bend ISD’s assistant director of Collaborative Communities, Bobbie Anderson.
Anderson traces her Native American lineage on both sides of her family tree.
“My maternal grandmother and grandfather, and paternal grandfather all carried Native American bloodlines,” she said. “I descend from the Cheyenne people. The name given to me is Meaneve Ese he, which translates to Summer Sun.”
The Indigenous culture has a wealth of history, spirituality, wisdom, and a deep connection with nature and strives to express gratitude, even in challenging situations.
Anderson said “the Native American culture includes great respect for its ancestors and recognizes the significance of upholding traditions and roots.”
Her maternal grandmother was the biggest influence in her life, teaching her work ethic, how to overcome challenges in life, and that kindness can heal those who are broken.
“She did not have one day of formal education but was the smartest person I knew,” Anderson said.
Her favorite memories involve her grandmother’s kitchen – the food, laughter, and dancing.
“She was always teaching me to cook, not from a recipe book, but by using my senses of taste, touch and smell,” Anderson said. “She taught me that love really was the secret ingredient.”
“I was a kid during the disco era, and she would dance around to the Bump, the Hustle, and the YMCA, and we would fill the kitchen with our giggles,” Anderson recalled. “She lived to be 94, passing away a few years ago. I miss her every day.”
Anderson was born in Houston and raised in Texas and Oklahoma. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Arts and Sciences and a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from the University of Texas at Tyler. She is currently working on her doctorate in Organizational Development.
“I enjoy being a lifelong learner, formally and informally,” she said. “My husband teaches at Kempner High School, my youngest son at Schiff Elementary, (his wife) my daughter-in-law at Commonwealth Elementary, my middle son in HISD, and my oldest son in Cy-Fair. My daughter is a regular volunteer at Shared Dreams, and so is her husband.”
Anderson believes the month-long celebration of Native American heritage allows communities to learn about Indigenous people's diverse cultures and traditions and promotes preservation and celebration of Native American languages, arts, traditions and practices. She said it helps break stereotypes, dispel myths, and provides a better understanding of Indigenous history.
Anderson’s message to everyone is “accept yourself and be proud of your culture. Open your heart and mind to learn from others who are different from you. Lead by example with kindness and fairness, and let your inner greatness shine quietly for all to see.”