Emile was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. He moved to the US (San Antonio, Texas) at the age of nine (1985), and graduated in 1999 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in studio art and anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Emile began working as an intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s Cultural Resources Center, where he continued as a research assistant and exhibition graphics contractor. He assisted both the Curatorial Department and exhibit designers with preparing content for the Our Universes gallery—one of the three permanent exhibits that opened on the Mall in 2004. Our Universes focuses on indigenous cosmologies. In 2006, Emile headed out west to Martin, South Dakota. Martin is a small (pop. 1,000) geographically isolated town located between the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. He worked as a research assistant and graphic designer for the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS), a Native owned non-profit center that aims to advance knowledge and understanding of American Indian communities by developing educational resources and projects that acknowledge and incorporate tribal perspectives. CAIRNS hosts workshops for South Dakota K-12 teachers on approaches to teaching Lakota culture in the classroom. Emile moved to the Black Hills in 2009, where he is currently a program evaluation specialist for BC Kuhn, LLC (BC Kuhn). BC Kuhn is a small company that focuses primarily on providing grant writing and evaluation services for education programs that serve underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged individuals and communities.
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