Volume XXIX Number 2 Friday, February 17, 2012
Wanbli Ota Begins Hozhoni Days Efforts
Alyce Spotted Bear, recently selected by the Obama Administration to serve on the National Advisory Committee for Indian Education and former chair of the Affiliated Tribes, is on campus this week as part of the Native American Center’s Elder in Residence Program.
Alyce Spotted Bear -
NAS at Fort Berthold Features Traditions By Ryan Desautel When sitting and speaking with the Native American Center’s Elder in residence Dr. Alyce Spotted Bear. We discussed her own Native American Studies program at Fort Berthold College and what exciting ideas they are making happen to strengthen their program. Dr. Spotted Bear is the Vice President of Native American Studies/Tribal Relations and is largely responsible for developing their NAS program at Fort Berthold College in North Dakota. Dr. Spotted Bear’s goal is to see the language and culture continued, particularly the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara. They are accomplishing this goal by archiving tribal elders who still speak the language and are rooted in traditional culture. The intention is for their ancestors to hear, watch and learn the language and culture. Dr. Spotted Bear said “culture is in the language”. The archiving process will take place in a language and culture lab, which is funded by grant money. The idea is to have tribal elders come in so they may be recorded. The elders will tell of their biographical histories, as well as, sharing what stories, songs, and prayers they know. This valuable information will then be recorded for future use and safekeeping. In my opinion this is a great way to have collaboration with tribal elders and have them be involved with the continuing of Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara culture. Another goal the NAS program at Fort Berthold
that Dr. Spotted Bear would like to have achieved is to offer degrees completely online. As of now they have a hybrid online degree. When they complete this individuals will have the opportunity to take classes to earn associate and bachelor degrees. She wants to have this online option so that people interested about Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara history may have access to the opportunity to learn regardless of geographic location.
By Sunshine Perry The Hozhoni Days (“Days of Beauty”, in Navajo) celebration has been known to attract anywhere from 4000 to 5000 participants and visitors from across North America. The Shalako Indian Club (“shalako” is a Zuni word meaning “dance”) was the original club that started Hozhoni Days. The name of the club was changed in the 1970’s to Wanbli Ota (“wanbli ota” is a Lakota word, meaning “many eagles”). This celebration is one of Fort Lewis College’s oldest and biggest events. The 2012 Hozhoni Days powwow will be held March 30th and March 31st 2012 in the Whalen Gymnasium. Friday will consist of an evening session followed by two sessions on Saturday. The crowning of the 2012-13 Miss Hozhoni will take place during the Saturday evening session. John Emhoolah, a member of the Kiowa and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma, will be the 2012 Hozhoni Days powwow emcee. Emhoolah was part of the Fort Lewis College Native American Center’s Elder-in Residence program back in October. He is an educator and leader of his tribes and also a long time resident of Denver, Colorado. He has had management roles at the Denver Indian Center and is the director for the Adams County Five Star Schools Indian Education Program. Randy Medicine Bear, Fort Lewis College alumni, will be taking on the role of the powwow arena director. Corey LeClaire, a Lakota/Navajo from Durango, will be the Head Man dancer and Prairie Jack will be by his side as the Head Woman dancer. Last year’s drum contest winners, The Boyz, will
Please see “Hozhoni Days,” Page 2
Members of the Wanbli Ota student club have begun their fund-raising in preparation for the 48th Annual Hozhoni Days events! You can help the club - just check at the Native American Center.
Lady Skyhawks Ranked Movie Review.......................3
Protecting Sacred Island Mascot Issues Continue.......5
Colyer a Local Treasure.....7
Identity Key to Sucess.........2
Life or Student/Parents......4
Ft. Berthold Tribes Teahonna Joins NAIS.........6
Nature Inspires Art Elder Day Announced........8
February 17, 2012
IN Student Editorial The Intertribal News welcomes the comments of its readers. If you would like to express your opinions, please write us a letter. All letters must include the name and contact information of the author. Letters may be edited for length and journalistic concerns.
Home is always where the heart is - for many students, the challenges of coming to college seem massive. But keeping one’s focus on building the knowledge and skills to help communities can help!
Remembering Who You Are is Half the Battle By Lloyd Padilla So you’re thinking about leaving the Reservation to start college? How are you going to survive? Where will you live? Who’s going to cook for you? Many of today’s young Native Americans are forced to answer these questions when thinking about leaving “The Rez” for school and higher education. In today’s Native American society, it is hard for young Native students to leave home and pursue a higher education because of their rich cultural values and spiritual beliefs. Living conditions on the reservations have been cited as “Comparable to Third World” (May 5, 2004, Gallup Independent). Many homes are overcrowded with family and often the grandparents are forced to raise their grandchildren because of the parents’ need to move away and find employment. Many young Natives today are forced to grow up early and are needed to take on adulthood at an early age. As this happens, the desire to go to school drifts away and their primary focus is to make money now and support their loved ones. “Leaving my family and knowing my grandparents were looking after my nieces and nephews was
The road to success has always had Native roots. Tribal values remain a strong point in many students’ lives.
hard to deal with at first but my grandparents always assured me that everything was fine and that I needed to stay in school. They really stressed the importance of getting an education. Casey Jones, sophomore, says when asked about leaving the responsibilities of life on the reservation. There’s always going to be the questions of whose going to look after who when you’re gone and will everything be okay. If you’ve never left the reservation much, most of the time you won’t know what to expect or know how the “outside world” is going to treat you. A lot of students deal with this same situation when planning for college. Researching schools and the programs they offer may help you feel more comfortable about leaving home. Some schools offer scholarships strictly for Native students, some even offer tuition waivers. It’s all about finding the right college for you and which one best fits your needs. “It took me a while to settle on coming to Fort Lewis but once I visited the campus a few times and met the teaching staff they really made me feel welcome” says freshman Erica Sanchu, FLC freshman. The key is to believe in yourself and realize that everyone has their own path and their own expectations of what they want out of life. Leaving the reservation doesn’t mean that you’re forgetting and leaving your tribe or religious beliefs behind. It just means that you’re pursuing your future goals as the best Native American you can be. The beliefs and traditional values you’ve learned as you have grown up are tools that will only make you stronger as a person if you stay true to yourself and true to your cultural beliefs. No matter where you go, no matter how high, no matter how far, always remember where you came from.
Hozhoni Days From Page One be this year’s host Northern Drum group. Twelve Gauge, from Ignacio, Co will be the host Southern Drum group. The head judge will be Ian Tuiss. There are numerous specials being planned for the powwow, “more specials than we have ever had”, says Myra Britton. There are various specials planned from different families and at least two specials sponsored by Wanbli Ota. Wanbli Ota is planning on having a Chicken Dance Special and a Hand drum Contest. They are estimating anywhere from five to seven specials throughout the powwow. Wanbli Ota is the non-profit organization hosting the powwow. The planners will be looking for volunteers to help with setting up, cleaning and other miscellaneous duties the week after spring break. If there are any people interested they can either attend the Monday night meetings at 6:30 in the Native American Centers conference room or contact the Native American Centers Administrative Coordinator, Myra Britton at 970-247-7221. Any ladies interested in the Miss Hozhoni Pageant details or information is asked to contact the current Miss Hozhoni, Tawnie Knight, at TSKNIGHT@fortlewis.edu. An interview with Tawnie Knight can be watched at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm-xtEFfpN8 to hear a few of the roles Miss Hozhoni has in representing the Native American population at Fort Lewis College.
A FORT LEWIS COLLEGE STUDENT PUBLICATION
Editors Noel Altaha Zach Hooper
Ryan Desautel DJ Seeds Taryn Yuzos
Reporters Kyle Arnold Tina Billie Sharilyn Browning Lloyd Padilla Sunshine Perry
Now on the Webat: http://nac.fortlewis.edu/intertribal_newsletter/ www/index.html Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Rick Wheelock firstname.lastname@example.org The FLC Intertribal News is a publication of Fort Lewis College students. Opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Native American Center or of the College. The Intertribal News extends its special thanks to the John and Sophie Ottens Foundation, FLC Student Services, the Native American Center and the Department of SW Studies and American Indian Studies for their generous support. Any donation which would help us with our production costs is greatly appreciated!
February 17, 2012
Intertribal News Movie Review -
Journey Two is Pretty “Mysterious”
Here they are: Erin Curry, Ashley Kuchar, Katerina Garcia, Stephanie Beeman, Jenna Santistevan, Katie Ellerman, Kaile Magazzeni, Mary Rose Paiz, Emma Hattman, Erika Richards, Jamie Simmons, Alex Easterbrook, Dana Schreibvogel, Mary Brinton, and Christie Groh!
Lady Skyhawks Achieve National Ranking By Taryn Yuzos Early success ended in defensive failure for the Lady Skyhawks basketball team, led by 7th year coach Mark Kellogg, played two games on the road with a 50-50 answer. On February 10 at the Massari Arena, Colorado State-Pueblo suffered a loss after a tremendous comeback in the second half. The Lady Skyhawks were shooting a vague 28 percent but their defense proved to be yet another remarkable team performance. They held the Lady Thunderwolves to a 32.8 shooting percentage. Coach Kellogg said of the second half. “We did a pretty good job and forced some tough shots.” According to Chris Aaland, The Lady Skyhawks went on to win 61-55, maintaining their ranking of sixth in the nation in division II women’s basketball and in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). The next night however, would end a little differently for this Fort Lewis College team. Playing the Lady Mountain Lions of UC-Colorado Springs, the Lady Skyhawks saw their 3rd loss of the year with a score of 84-78. The team played a hard game in the Gallogly Events Center, but as coach Kellogg said “It doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win tomorrow,” speaking of Saturday’s tough loss. Before this weekend of events the national rankings put out by the National College Athletics Association (NCAA) placed your Fort Lewis College Lady Skyhawks at number six in the nation! But due to their unforeseen loss against the Lady Mountain Lions they have dropped four slots to being ranked number ten. It is the only women’s team, besides Metro State, from the state of Colorado to be in the top ten. The Lady Skyhawks now have just two weeks left in their regular season with yet another tough challenge of away games to come February 1718 against Colorado Mines and Colorado Christian. The RMAC is the conference that the Skyhawks play in and have had years of success, with the loss on
Saturday they are now ranked 2nd, behind Metro State. In an interview with Coach Kellogg he stated that, “he believes whole heartedly into the program he has built and with five seniors this year it is no wonder that they have a tremendous amount of chemistry.” Don’t count the tough defensive Lady Skyhawks out; they are still 19-3 on the year with a 16-2 conference record. The end of the regular season is going to be one hard battle for the Lady Skyhawks and Coach Kellogg who said after the loss to UCColorado Springs, “Now we just opened the door for a lot of other things to happen, every end season game counts” of the RMAC standings. Come out and see what your team is made of and support them at their last home games of the regular season on February 24-25 against Western State and Colorado Mesa!! I believe Coach Kellogg, “they have the heart for it and are hungry!” To learn more about your Lady Skyhawks, log on to goskyhawks.com
By Zach Hooper Giant bees, small elephants, and gold lava! Oh my! These probably won’t excite adults as much as their children who will certainly enjoy the film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island recently released on February 10th. A somewhat implicit sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), this film has pleasing special effects, adventure, and quick thinking characters all loaded with humorous dialogue. The film starts out with bursting action. Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) desperately tries to get away from the police on his bike. He doesn’t get very far when he accidentally falls into his neighbor’s pool. Straightway, one can feel this film was going to be about family values when stepfather Hank (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) tries to connect with Sean as the parental figure. He helps Sean decrypt the Morse code hidden in a secret signal from his lost grandfather, Alexander (Michael Caine). With the beautiful Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), her silly father (Luis Guzmán), and the charismatic Alexander, this gives the film a rather comical atmosphere despite the fact that everything on the island will soon be under the ocean. The specials effects made the Mysterious Island come to life and created great details of the island like the overview of the lost city of Atlantis. The plot is rather straightforward in the film: survival. The characters must survive against deadly giant creatures, from birds to spiders, along with finding a way off the island before it sinks! The characters, despite everything, kept a strong sense of being a family. The overall film is entertaining but only to the younger generation. Adults may find the 3D effects too nauseating especially on the bee scene where everyone hitches a ride on the giant bees; fun for kids but maybe a headache for the adults. Also, the theme of the film may seem too much a clichés about family being more important than anything else. So all in all, children and teenagers will like the movie more than the adults but occasionally there will be a few snickers from the lot. So again, if you like finding lost cities or just want to see the Rock bouncing his pecs bring your kids along to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island at your local theater. ForShowtimes: http://www.storytellertheatres.com/loc_highfive.asp
Durango offers two theaters, the Storyteller Durango Stadium 9 and the Gaslight theater. Our review of the film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island should inspire readers to sample the movies of the day!
Araya, second from right, pauses for a photo with her friends from FLC’s Family Housing in the Centennial Housing Complex. Student parents face many challenges in providing for kids, too!
Life for Student/Parents -
Being a Strong Student and a Super Mom! By Noel Altaha Most readers may be unaware of the lives of Native American students that are also parents, but it’s a reality for many FLC students. As a two-part series, this article explores the challenges Native American students at Fort Lewis, who are also parents and how both their roles shape their experiences. According to Richard Miller, Executive Director of the Department of Institution Research, Planning and Assessment, the FLC student body population is 3,856 this 2011-2012 year. Native American students make up 20% of 3,856 at Fort Lewis College. According to information provided by Miller, 140 distinct Native American/Alaskan Native tribes are represented at Fort Lewis this year. The largest tribe represented is Navajo Nation at 48.49% and Cherokee at 6.51% of the Native student population. “We conduct a census of students annually each Fall. The census figures represent the most current figures for FLC. Enrollment changes modestly between first and second term,” says Miller. There are approximately 740 Native American students attending Fort Lewis, but there’s no statistical data available on the students that are parents. According to Julie Love, the Director of Student Housing and Conference Services, “FLC housing does not collect ethnicity/race data but from observation, the staff agrees that a vast majority of residents in Family housing are Native Americans.” In this first article of a two-part series on Native student parents, this reporter will share experiences as a student-parent. As a full time parent of my sibling Araya Velasquez, 11, I personally know that I do not live the life of a typical college student. I wake up at 6:00 am every morning and get my sister ready for school. She eats her breakfast while I drink my coffee, then she catches the bus to the local Escalante Middle School. If she misses the bus than my whole day is thrown off. I have to take her to school, call to excuse her tardy, and rush to my 8:00 am class. In between classes I may need to take her to doctor visit, dental appointments or the recreation center. Being a parent and a student, I have to manage my time wisely. For instance, if I want to exercise, I
have to get up at 5:00 am and rush to the Student Life Center because the rest of my day is jammed packed with classes, work, Araya’s basketball practice, her homework, dinner, getting her to bed, and finally my homework. It’s a full time job taking care of a “tween” and still maintain a 3.3 cumulative G.P.A., but I know that many of my Native American colleagues are also parents and very active in school, in their children’s education and in their Native communities. Native American students enrolled in K12 may get community support from Bruce LeClaire, the Title VII Family/School Coordinator of Durango School District 9-R. LeClaire shared his perspective on the Native American students he works with on a weekly basis. “Most all middle school students say that they are going to college. I believe the students think it ‘sounds good.’ LeClaire encourages students to be truthful with their academic goals. LeClaire focuses on the importance of daily efforts that support their goals. “IF you want to go to college than you need to pay attention in class, take notes, do your homework and study every day,” says LeClaire. Occasionally, one of LeClaire’s students will mention that their parent is a college student. LeClaire works with the Native American students from elementary through high school in the school district and focuses on maintaining a good self-image, self-esteem, pride, cultural identity, building a sense of community, and a sense of belonging. As far as support for students who are parents from the Fort Lewis community, Brenda Shockley the office manager of Program for Academic Advancement (PAA) said, “PAA provides space and support for nursing mothers who are attending classes; our advisors assist parent-students who are seeking adequate childcare with information and referrals to local agencies.” PAA provides free childcare during PAA’s banquets. PAA currently provides limited emergency food assistance as well as referrals to the Durango Food Bank and occasionally throughout the year, PAA offers events that are family inclusive, like Family Bowling Night and Movie Night. Another support system that many Native American student-parents can take advantage of is the
February 17, 2012 Native American Center. Jim Engle, the Native American Student Enrichment Advisor says, “We try to do whatever we can for Native Students at FLC. We have toys available for children who are at the NAC, and we try to make all the Village Gatherings family friendly.” Engle says the “Dinner with a Doctor” series is a chance for parents to ask health related questions to a doctor free of charge. “We recently hosted a parenting class / wellness dinner with Student Health” says Engle. Despite the challenges of being a student-parent, the experience has shaped my academic and personal life positively. By developing strong qualities like time management and persistence, Araya sees my development and I hope in her future she will develop them too. Araya attends lectures, documentaries, panel discussions, workshops and meetings while on campus with me. I hope her experience has been just as rewarding as mine, even if she won’t realize it until later on down the road. In our next issue I will share insights of such families that represent this very different type of college student. Link for further information on the FLC stats: http://www.fortlewis.edu/ir/home.aspx Link for the Intertribal News issues: http://issuu.com/fortlewiscollegeintertribal/docs/2.3. 12complete
Dr. Henrietta Mann, widely-known Cheyenne scholar, teacher, administrator and inspiring role model, spoke at the Native American and Indigenous Leadership Conference as this issue is produced. Watch for our report in the next issue of the Intertribal News!
February 17, 2012
Native American Mascots: Respectful or Controversial?
This 1870 photo shows the use of the sacred island by ancestors of today’s Native people in what is now California. A developer’s plans to build luxury homes there violates what many see as a sacred site.
Generations Battle to Protect Sacred Island By Kyle Arnold Rattle Snake Island is located in California about 125 miles north of San Francisco, the island is about 56 acres and lays a few hundred feet off shore from Elem Indian Colony on the eastern end of Clear Lake. The island has been a spiritual center, burial and ceremonial grounds for Pomo Indians for thousands of years. Archeologist have carbon-dated obsidian projectile points around the Elem colony dating back to 14,000 years ago, this is some of the earliest documented evidence of human occupation in North America. This island has been the spiritual epicenter for Elem Pomo for thousands of years; the island is known to have 5 documented village sites along the land. The island was stolen from the Pomo Indians back in 1877 when the Governor of California furnished title to white settlers coming through the area. This was done illegally because the Elem Pomo never sold or relinquished aboriginal title to the land, and the tribe could not take their case to the courts because it was illegal for Indians to testify in the California judicial system.
This generation’s battle to protect Rattle Snake Island as a sacred place continues.
The Elem Pomo have fought hard against any development of Rattle Snake Island, back in 1970 the Boise Cascade Company had paper title to the island and they decided to make luxury home sub-divisions on the island. To stop the destruction of the sacred Island the Elem Pomo went and occupied the island so that there would not be any future development of the land. The current threat to the island comes from the lands current owner John Nady who is Bay Area millionaire and co-founder of Nady Systems which specialize in wireless microphones. Amongst John Nady multiple houses he already owns, Nady is attempting to build sustainable vacation homes on the island. In May 2010, the Lake County Planning Commission ruled that they would not approve grading permits for the project until a more extensive Environmental Impact Report is prepared. Despite local and tribal opposition John Nady continues to strong-arm his way into obtaining proper permits to build on the island. Rattle Snake Island is the traditional home and ceremonial lands to the Elem Pomo and is one of the last sacred places left in California if there is a home built on the Island the sacredness will be gone, and the island is considered last sanctuary of the Elem Pomo. The Elem Pomo are asking for financial and political support from the public. For more information about the history of Rattle Snake Island and how to volunteer or donate money please visit the links below. Pomo Resistance 1970 https://diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/1878 01 Donations and Volunteer work http://friendsofrattlesnakeisland.org/donate.html Facebook Site http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001499 506747&ref=tn_tnmn#!/ProtectRattlesnakeIsland?sk =info Rattle Snake Island Info http://www.elemmodun.org/
By DJ Seeds In the sports’ world we see a lot of interesting characters whether they are athletes, coaches, referees, or the goofy mascots. Often times, the mascots represent an animal of some sort and do not feature an ethnic group that is- with the exception of Native Americans. Currently, turmoil is erupting in North Dakota as the university is split between either keeping the ‘Fighting Sioux’ nickname or changing their mascot. According to CNN, UND is the last school to either drop their name or receive tribal consent. For the University of North Dakota though, it’s a bit more complicated than that. According to indiancountrytoday.com, the effort to ban the mascot use has occurred since 2007, and has undergone several appeals by the NCAA, UND school board, and the State of North Dakota. The NCAA policy in 2005, required various schools to either change their name, get consent from respected tribes, or remove all Native American memorabilia, including mascots, symbols, war chants etc. due to being deemed ‘hostile or abusive towards Native Americans’. Schools such as Florida State, The University of Utah, and Central Michigan, obtained permission from their specific tribes and continue their use today. Other schools altered their names or changed their team representatives completely. I asked Native students whether or not they felt that Native American mascots use was alright and why it is or why it isn’t, and Kyle Arnold, a junior/senior, responded with, “No, especially if there is history behind the logos like the Chicago Blackhawks. Blackhawk was a leader chased down and killed by Illinois militia, now he’s a face of a franchise. It’s kind of messed up, plus you don’t see any other ethnicity except the Irish as mascots.” It’s a very good point that Kyle pointed out because the Chicago Blackhawks are franchise owned, the only way to remove their mascot would be for the owner of the team to do so. Same goes for the Cleveland Indians and our nation’s capital team, the Washington Redskins. Only time will tell with cases such as these and the University of North Dakota’s ‘Fighting Sioux’ whether or not the use of Native Americans as mascots are controversial or respectful.
The University of North Dakota “Fighting Sioux” mascot has been in the news for years. Though some think it demeans Native people, at least one tribe of Sioux people have supported its use. Under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, that’s enough for the university to keep the mascot.
February 17, 2012
Teahonna James Joins NAIS Team
This famous 1940’s photo reveals the pressures the tribes experienced when the Garrison Dam was built on the Missouri River. Prine tribal lands were inundate. Today, the tribes have much greater control over their resources.
Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold -
Native Nation Continues Self-Determination By Ryan Desautel On Wednesday February 15, the Native American Center’s Elder in Residence Dr. Alyce Spotted Bear gave a public presentation entitled, “An Introduction to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation”. It was presented in the Lyceum room in the Center for Southwest Studies. In the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1851 the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara were treated at the same time and became known, by the BIA, as the Three Affiliated Tribes. Believed to be descendants of the Cahokia, a great Mississipian culture, the 3 affiliated tribes migrated along the Missouri river and took up a sedentary lifestyle farming corn, beans and squash. They lived in large earth lodge communities and were known to be great traders who played an impor-
tant role in helping the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804. Again in the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1851(which is written on their tribal logo today) the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Akira established their territory with other Plains tribes. But unfortunately in 1870 an Executive Order established reservation boundaries and the Three Affiliated Tribes went from 12 million acres to I million acres. The tribe owns less than half, non-Indians own 400,000 acres (thanks to the Homestead Act 1862), and the remaining belongs to IM individuals. The reservation is located in West-Central North Dakota and the 1 million acres is broken up into 6 segments. The Fort Berthold has experienced some serious environmental impacts, most notably was the construction of the Garrison Dam. The dam had significant impact because it flooded the reservation causing an immense loss of cultural and natural resources. Also issues of oil and gas are a part of the MHA Nation’s history. The leasing of lands to oil companies became not only environmental issues but financial issues as well. In current times though the Three Affiliated Tribes have fought to make reparations for past wrongs. The tribes are trying to buy back as much land as they can, they received a large settlement from the Garrison Dam in a case over them not receiving just compensation, and they are now overseeing and in charge of oil and gas on the reservation. The speaker Dr. Spotted Bear is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Tribes. She is a professor at Fort Berthold College and is building a Native American Studies program there with an emphasis on language and culture. Dr. Spotted Bear earned her undergraduate degree in Education at Dickinson State College, graduate degree at Penn State, and Ph.D. in Education at Cornell University. She was also the former chairman for here tribe. Dr. Spotted Bear increased knowledge and understanding to students and the public which meets the efforts of the NAC Elder-in-Residence program.
By Sunshine Perry Teahonna James of the Tlingit and Athabascan Tribes of Alaska has joined Fort Lewis College’s Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) program as the Activities Coordinator for the title III grant. Her hometown is Tacoma, Washington where she grew up going to the Puyallup tribal school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She would visit her Alaskan family during the summers and also her family in Colorado. Teahonna started at Fort Lewis College in the fall of 2006, and graduated in December of 2011. James double majored in NAIS and Humanities (Soc, Poc Sci & GWS) with a minor in Spanish. She says her Fort Lewis College experience was, “pretty amazing I was able to travel abroad, learn about so many different perspectives on life, be in a community where sustainability has some importance, I was able to be and still participate in culture and traditions, and thoroughly enjoyed the small community.” When asked what advice she would give to new students, graduating students and all of the students in general she replied, “Persevere and push through, make your family and your people proud. I would also say this when education may begin to seem like the least important thing for a Native person to be doing in life, because education was the catalyst for our colonization, but just know and keep reminding yourself that you have gotten this far so you have to finish”. “To Native people this is just something we have to do to receive accreditation, decent jobs, to go back and to effectively help our people.” Teahonna is a leader at Fort Lewis College and has a strong goal to help as many Indigenous Peoples as she can, this jobs seems to fit her well.
Teahonna James graduated recently from FLC. She now works with the Native American and Indigenous Studies Department as the activity coordinator, Honoring the Sacred Trust, a position funded by a federal grant to the college.
February 17, 2012
Marilyn and “Rory,” a friend’s dog, pause in front of an old structure west of Mancos Canyon, across the canyon from her Hooten Holler Ranch. -Photograph courtesy of Erica Walker
Mancos Valley is Home for Marilyn Colyer By Tina Billie It is said that everyone has a story to share. This following story is from a woman whose intellect and expansive knowledge is astounding. In my opinion, she is one of the few woman I know who has lived a unique, independent, and self-sufficient lifestyle, outside the ordinary and the conventional, whose stories have made a deep impression on me. Marilyn Colyer is of a diverse heritage, belonging to a lineage comprised of farmers, ranchers, and teachers. Her family lived in the mountains, living out of two old buses. Describing what her earlier life was like, she recalls, riding horseback often with her mother from spring through fall; hauling water, cooking meals over a camp fire, and observing nature about them. At times meeting up with neighboring ranch families. “[Living] this [way of life] was our choice and it was wonderful. This was our way of life, and I wanted not other.”“ she related. Of that time, Colyer fondly remembers “exploring trails in the mountains became an obsession to me; observing coyotes, little wrens, collecting mushrooms to eat, fishing for the native cutthroat in streams, and picking wild strawberries.” After completing high school, Colyer was awarded a Boettcher Scholarship. She went on to attend Colorado State University where she carried a nineteen-hour load each quarter. Overtime she earned a Bachelor of Science degree, gaining a teacher’s certificate, and ventured into a Master’s program. In addition to her studies she also worked in the Botany Department Laboratory where she received ninety cents an hour for pay, and joined the hiking club where she met the man she married soon after. Before graduating from CSU Colyer gained employment at Mesa Verde National Park, as a museum aid, cataloging artifacts, working for the Wetherill Mesa Archeological Research Lab for three years. For a time, Marilyn had been paying on a 225 acre ranch, Hooten Hollar Ranch situated on the West Mancos Canyon, where she still currently resides. She left M.V. when she was far along in pregnancy, expecting her only child, Tern. During her ten-year absence from M.V., Colyer took up work selling Fuller Products as a sales person
for eight years. Herr family’s lifestyle consisted of raising a fair amount of their own food, operating a small sawmill to supply material for the ongoing project of building various structures on their ranch. Another farm project Colyer focused on, years later, was planting grass and irrigating for pasture for her cows, horses, sheep and goats. Whenever she could, she would ride horseback with her young son Tern, traveling the familiar trails of her youth. Eventually, Colyer received a job offer from a M.V. park official who encouraged her to return to the park, which she did, working indoors, at a desk, for several years. This felt to her like, “it was a way of slow death-sitting there in a chair in a building day after day”. Until she was “rescued” by the Superintendent, Robert Hyder, who offered her an Air Quality position, moving her outdoors into her preferred environment. With a smile, she shared that her reaction to this change was exuberance “Whoohoo!” Later, Colyer again transitioned into the newly created Natural Resources Biological Technician position, which she fervently retained from that point on until she retired from M.V.in Dec.of 2007. Perfectly matched to this job, Colyer studied and compiled studies of the flora and fauna, of wildlife activity, and of the water sites within the park. Including, conducting prior compliance work at various proposed construction project sites, observing for sensitive or endangered plant species that could potentially be impacted, and overseeing vegetation restoration projects in disturbed area. Other relevant tasks Colyer performed were: training fellow staff members in Natural Resources and writing for the park newsletter for the park; taking visibility readings at the Far View Center for air pollutants emitted from nearby coal power plants, measuring for acid rain, sulfur dioxide and other gases, mercury, and particulate mattter. The idea of possibility of advancing into a leadership position was unappealing to Colyer. Her response to the question “why?” is simple and direct, “because that would’ve kept me from the field” she asserted. Of the many tasks she accomplished during her career professional career, during her nearly forty years of service at Mesa Verde National Park, two key
Page 7 priorities for her were completing various surveys and maintain expansive stretches of fence bordering the park boundaries. A close friend to Marilyn for many years is Ilse W. who Colyer describes as “my kind of person,” both share many similar interests.Around age 25 Ilse rode horseback with a good friend from Wyoming to Texas. Her story, like Marilyn’s is impressive. Ilse described Marilyn as “ Here are several interesting tidbits on Colyer: she has kept two favored dog breeds, a Pekingese since 1954, and the Norwegian Elk Hound. Her extended animal family, besides the farm animals, includes a Pekingese named “Panda Bear” and the two elkhounds named, “Var and Oden,” each with distinct personalities. Colyer often shares with friends and family amusing moments she observed in the behavior of her dogs behavior that occur on their regular, daily walks. She considers their exploits as “entertaining than anything.” Freedom and family are important to Colyer. What is profound to her are “making day to day, minute to minute decisions.” As equally important to personal freedom, Colyer cherishes her family whom she regards, “are my life and savior in many ways.” The Norwegian culture has enthralled her for years. About two years ago she with her family visited Norway. She recalled of that visit that the Viking museum and a particular fishing village were spectacular. As a fun fact, her two weaknesses are fry bread, and fruitcake, in that order. In an earlier article from the Cortez Journal, features a photograph of Colyer in park uniform, standing near a lookout pointing, with the maze of canyons and steep cliffs in the background. She related about that particular photograph that, “I insisted having my faithful had lens, binoculars, pen and pad in my hand...saying these were my most important tools during thirty years at Mesa Verde” she said. Essentially, her work at the park was to “observe continually and record what I observed.” This statement by Colyer is indicative of her role as a lifelong student of the natural world. She is an individual who for many years and at present, even in her retirement, is dedicated to following occurrences in throughout the surrounding region. A final note on Marilyn Colyer is she certainly possesses much gumption. Her life story reveals a significant character quality that is her determination. I extend appreciation to Marilyn Colyer in sharing a little of her life journey.
Marilyn Colyer enjoys her walks, here with Hesperus Mountain in the Background. -Photograph courtesy of Erica Walker
February 17, 2012
FLC Art Gallery -
Nature Inspires Us All... By Zach Hooper Heavy snow, the freshness of spring flowers, the cool rainy summers, and the bright colors of fall attract many students and tourists to Durango. But why? It may seem a cliché but the outdoors is appealing and it is this appeal that inspires artists to create very “hozhonii” works of art, as we Navajo say. The Fort Lewis College Art Department is the source of artistic inspiration on campus. Artistic students put their works on display to illustrate a theme or subject. But there is one important, powerful subject that is in many works of art: nature. Such works range from simple sketches of scenery to the most abstract sculptures representing nature as in the case of Louise Grunewald’s Kinaesthetics in the Art Gallery. As I walked through the Art Gallery a question popped into my head. Does nature inspire an artist? It’s a rather simple question but has more meaning to it. In the gallery, Grunewald’s works are displayed. Her work has multiple elements of calligraphy and abstract figures with an organic or aesthetic appeal. “I was drawn to making calligraphic marks that suggest imagery from nature,” according to her placard on expressing nature as calligraphy, “And using dynamic line to suggest natural rhythms.” Her inspiration came from the outdoors and she creates “an environment through words.” Now that I think about it a lot of works have been influence by nature. Photography certainly highlights the wonders or phenomenon of nature. Navajo artists also do the same. For the Navajo, many works come from nature in terms of observing it like Grunewald’s work. Weaving rugs illustrates natural elements like symmetry of designs, natural symbols like mountains and clouds, and even the creation story behind weaving. How weaving and the string games originated from the Spider People, according to the old Navajo stories. In a way, Navajo art is similar to what other artists are doing in terms of incorporating natural elements. Nature is one source of inspiration but it is certainly the most influencing and powerful in some instances. The Gallery receives a variety of works come from students, local artists, faculty members, and alumni. Right now the Kinaesthetics is on display in the Art Department Gallery from February 3rd to the 25th. Come see it and get a sense of how nature inspires us and how we, regardless being an artist, interpret and represent it.
FLC’s Art Gallery currently features student art. Many might find similar inspiration in nature.
Nature inspires art. This view from the FLC west rim is a familiar, inspiring one to many of our readers.