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INDIGENOUS Fa l l 2 0 0 9

Teen Profiles of the American Southwest

The Culture Within

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from the Editor: This is not the end; it’s only the beginning

Dear Reader, I would first like to thank you for reading our last issue of Indigenous for the 2009-2010 school year. Not only is this the last issue of the school year; it is also my last issue as managing editor. I am truly going to miss writing for Indigenous. This issue has taken longer than we expected. It has been hard to get this issue finished with our hectic every-other-day schedule. This last February, students from Indigenous applied for a chance to go to the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop in South Dakota. In March, three students were accepted to go; Cheyenna Sherlock, Madaline Hatch and myself. No one knew what to expect from this trip. Once we got there, we learned many new skills in journalism. This experience didn’t only leave us with new skills; it has also left us with new cultural insights.We learned how to make ourselves stand out as Native American journalists. This conference wasn’t all about the learning experience.We also had chances to meet new people from different cultures. Most of the students at Crazy Horse still keep in contact today. We also had a chance to meet many professional journalists, who each told a story about what their culture has to do with their profession, including Al Neuharth, founder of the “USA Today.” As editor, I learned more than expected. This conference showed me how to be a stronger writer and editor. It taught me to be more confident in what I write. I love to say more but I need to get back to the stories in this issue.We have a combination of stories which include a little section of stories from our trip to South Dakota.You will also learn about a day of silence that was held at MCHS this past April, a Navajo class trip to Canyon de Chelly and a report about our school’s dropout rates. In the viewpoints section you will read opinions about how children should learn the Ute and Navajo language because they are going extinct and I add my thoughts about what is like to be raised with two cultural backgrounds. For a conclusion story, Mr. Thompson writes about Gerard Baker, a successful Native American who works for the National Park Service and what he has to say about us being the next generation of storytellers. This experience has taught me a lot. It has taught me to never forget my dreams. And today, I am following my dreams and taking what I learned -- to pursue a career in journalism at the University of New Mexico.



Teen Profiles of the American Southwest Managing Editor

Kidnapping causes controversy 6

Bianca Rivas

Copy Editor Kolena Begay

Business Managers Kelia Yanito Keely Yanito

Staff Writers Marlena Atene Brandon Avon Jaime Buck Keano Davis Chaz Hamlin

Madaline Hatch Tereno Littleben Esainea Mills Ruby Rosales Cheyenna Sherlock

Indigenous invites your letters, comments and questions. Letters will be edited based on content and conciseness. Contact us at: Montezuma Cortez High School Attn: Indigenous Mag (c/o Nate Thompson) 206 W. 7th St., Cortez, CO 81321 (970) 565-3722, ext. 148 E-mail: The M-CHS Indigenous Magazine is an open forum which operates under RE-1 district policy. The RE-1 school district, board, and staff are not responsible for the information and opinions expressed in this publication. Submission Information Any submissions will not be returned to author unless otherwise noted.


Dropout Rates


Antenna: a new point of view


Wilma Mankiller


Journalism workshop gives voice to Native students 12 13

Create a lasting memory


Lady Gaga gives


Canyon de Chelly trip


Abourezk wants to help young people pursue dreams Screams of silence 19

Copyright 2010 M-CHS Indigenous Magazine or by the individual authors. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: $20 for four issues $50 for a classroom set

Entertainment of BMX


Ellsbury continues to inspire Navajo youth

Viewpoints 21

Amelia Joe-Chandler


Unity:The Last Chapter


Reviewing Hopi footprints

For All Your Glass And Window Needs

Emotional events 24-25


Preserving the Ute Language


Youth and the Navajo Language

Stor ytelling Elders’ Rest 28-29 30

Two Cultures Collide

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Journalists encouraged to focus on positive stories

On the cover: Photo by Cheyenna Sherlock Nena Lopez, sophomore, wearing her fancy regalia.

Fax 970-565-4356



Kidnapping causes controversy By Marlena Atene

As ten Americans from a Baptist church in Idaho were leaving the country of Haiti they tried to take thirty three Haitian children along with them. Haiti, known for its earthquake on January 12, 2010.When asked about the death toll of 300,000 men, women & children dead, Alma Ross said “That’s Horrible! There wasn’t a way to prevent it. . .but we should definitely be helping that country.” Before the earthquake, Haiti was very poor because of there high population, and partly why there earthquake left them homeless is cause of the way there houses were built and it couldn't face the earthquake. If the earthquake were to happen somewhere around here not many people would have died. The five men and five women were charged with kidnapping. Each of the kidnapping counts carries a sentence of five to fifteen years in prison. Haitian authorities said they lacked the authorization and legal documents needed to take the children out of the country.The U.S people claimed that they were taking the kids to an orphanage where most of the children’s parents that were alive believed they would have a better home and lifestyle. “We didn’t know what we were doing was illegal,” said Paul Robert Thompson, a pastor who led the group in prayer during a break in the session. Each of the five men and women could face up to fifteen years in prison. Even though they had no authorization to take the kids out of the country, the judge reportedly said he was ready to release the people from jail, after finding that there was no criminal intent in what they tried to do. The leader Laura Silsby of the ten intruders said the Haitian children came from orphanages or from distant families who could not

provide for them. But investigations say that a majority of the 33 Haitian children came from one village decimated by the earthquake, and most of the children had at least one parent still living. “It’s good to help orphans but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, and they definitely did it the wrong way,” Alma Ross, MCHS staff member said, regarding her reaction to the ten Americans that were rescuing orphans in the name of Jesus. "We simply wanted to help the children. W e petition the court not only for our freedom but also for our ability to continue to help,"Group leader Laura Silsby said at the hearing. The groups lawyer Edwin Coq attended the hearing said he was only defending the group except the leader Laura Silsby who helped organize the trips to Haiti. He Marcello Casal Jr/ABr/Wikimedia claims they are innocent and got caught up in a scheme that they did not understand. Coq says he will do anything to get the nine out. He says they did not know that they needed travel documents for the children, but Silsby did. The Home Land Security says it is ending a program that allowed orphan Haitian children not yet adopted to come to the Unites States. The local town of Durango, Colorado recently donated 17,250 to the American Red Cross through the Southwest Colorado Chapter.

“We simply wanted to help the children.”


Spring/Summer 2010

Wikimedia image originally from the United States Central Intelligence Agency's “World Factbook”

How Long Will You Last? By Russell Smith

There are a lot of factors that go into why kids dropout of school, including Montazuma-Cortez High School. The first one you can think about is bad grades and the sudden schedule change for this year to an every-other-day schedule, four days a week. Because MCHS is a small town, some people think that most kids won’t dropout and will graduate. One reason for this is that students attending Southwest Colorado Community College have to make a “C” or better in order to pass lier than if they stayed at the regular high school. their classes and if they fail they will owe the disBut for the most part students dropping out is “When you trict the cost of tuition. And if they don’t pay that entirely up to the individual.And when asked about can cause them not to graduate.That is a personlive in a small dropping out, Jungle Cooper, an MCHS junior alized academic experience that happened to town like Cortez said: “I would only drop out if I was a senior and me. it’s hard to stay I was failing.” Mancos and Dolores High Schools have a Dropping out happens a lot at Montezumahigh academic performance compared to on task and finish Cortez High School.And when this happens peoMCHS. And some kids at MCHS are very disschool, ‘cause ple can see hw it affects the person who does it. appointed with the schedule change and the your looking for But there are many alternatives to dropping recent add of the class referred to as Career out. A person can choose to get a GED or take more.” Pathways. online classes. However, some jobs don’t allow When students drop out, it effects them and people to work with a GED, even though i’ts still a -Ted Newcomer their communities and they will probably earn a lot better than just dropping out. But it isn’t that easy smaller salary in their life time. If they do graduate for some. they are likely to earn thousands of dollars more in a “When you live in a small town like Cortez it’s hard to year.That makes a big change in life.And for most kids that stay on task and finish school,” said Ted Newcomer, an MCHS don’t want to stay at MCHS go to an alternative school like sophomore, “cause your looking for more.” Southwest Open High. For some that do go there, they find themselves graduating ear-




By Keano Davis and Brandon Avon

-ChannelsKREZ - Albuqerque KCNC - Denver KUTV - Salt Lake City

Not your grandma’s antenna ... Antenna is a nearly free television service. The fees antenna users pay for are the antenna itself and possibly a digital converter box and, obviusly, a television. Once you have that, there are no aditional charges, and you have access to over 60 channels in the Montezuma-Cortez area, now that antenna service has gone digital. There are several kinds of new stations including ones for sports, news, and entertainment. In addition, there are channels broadcasted in Spanish, as well as an all-day children’s channel. Antennas may not offer as many channels as cable or satellite, but it’s free and it has more localy relevent news channels.

KSL - Salt Lake City Universal Sports - Salt Lake City Weather KOBF - Farmington

KASA - Albuquerque KSTU - Salt Lake City KDVR - Denver

KUSA - Denver

KBYU - Provo HDCreate - Provo KOAT - Albuquerque KJCT - Grand Junction KMGH - Denver

KRMA - Denver MHZWORLD - International KUED - Salt Lake City WORLD - Salt Lake V-ME - Salt Lake City


Spring/Summer 2010

Pros of Antenna: Cons of Antenna: 1. Colorado News

1. Tends to lose signal during stormy weather

2. Utah News 3. New Mexico News 4. Texas, International, Los Angeles, and Chicago News Channels

2. No “Movies on Demand” or Pay-Per-View services 3. Fewer Choices 4. Picture goes out on occasion

5. No long-term cost 6. All day kids channel 7. Spanish Channels 8. 60+ channels

5. Only 63 channels available in this area 6. With didital converter box, sound quality has been reduced

9. Multiple sports games in one day and Alrenative Sports coverage

7. Many repeated channels

10. Community Channels

9. Initial Cost for Antenna and/or Digital Converter Box

8. No “Guide” service


Wilma Mankiller (1945- 2010) By Kolena Begay Wilma Mankiller died April 6, 2010, from pancreatic cancer in her Oklahoma home. She was only 64 years old, and was successful a succesful leader and an activist. She was the first Native American female in the Cherokee Nation to be a chief. Mankiller was the only female Deputy Principal Chief for two years. Later, Mankiller was sworn in as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985 where she served as chief for ten years starting from 1985 to the year of 1995. She was disapproved by many of her peers because she was a woman and the tribal government was dominated by men. During her term in office, the Cherokee tribe doubled in enrollment in the population. Mankiller ‘s main focus was on improving tribal education, health and housing. She had built childrens’ youth programs and health clinics. Mankiller was presented with many awards, especially the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 given by Bill Clinton.The medal is the highest civilian honor a U.S. president can award. Also she was presented with other Honorary Doctorate Degrees for the work she had done within her tribe. After Mankiller completed her term as Chief, she taught at Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth she was also awarded the Montgomery Fellowship. "A Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation and the first woman to lead a major North American tribe, you have devoted your talents as statesman, social worker,

and community organizer to helping Native Americans overcome the adversity of poverty, unemployment, and inadequate health care,” Former President of Dartmouth James O. Freedman stated in the official citation of Mankiller. The Current Chief of the Cherokee Nation is Chad Smith. He took office of Principal Chief for the Cherokee Nation in 1999 and is still there today. Chad Smith heard the news of former Principal Chief, Wilma Mankiller, passing away. "We feel overwhelmed and lost when we realize she has left us but we should reflect on what legacy she leaves us.We are better people and a stronger tribal nation because her example of Cherokee leadership, statesmanship, humility, grace, determination and decisiveness.” Chad Smith said, on the family Website. “When we become disheartened, we will be inspired by remembering how Wilma proceeded undaunted through so many trials and tribulations. She said Cherokees in that community learned that it was their choice, their lives, their community and their future. Her gift to us is the lesson that our lives and future are for us to decide.We can carry on that Cherokee legacy by teaching our children that lesson." Mankiller wrote six books in her lifetime. Her first book was called, The chief

She was a national icon and role model for women and Native Americans everywhere.


Spring/Summer 2010

Image from, no rights reserved.

cooks: traditional Cherokee recipes published, in 1988. Mankiller’s most recent book is “Reflections on American Indian History: Honoring the past, Building a Future.” It was published in 2008. Mankiller had two daughters and was married to Charlie Soap. She worked with many individuals throughout her term as Principal Chief and well throughout her career. She had touched many people with the work she had done for the Native Americans, non-natives, and women society. “All Oklahomans and every Native American who knew her mourn the passing of Wilma Mankiller,” U.S. Representative Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, member of the Chickasaw Nation, said on “Chief Mankiller was not only the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, she was a national icon and role model for women and Native Americans everywhere.”

The Entertainment of BMX By Tereno Littleben


BMX Racing

MX or Bicycle Motocross is a sport of all ages. It uses manual powered bikes to race in competitions. The races are 30 to 45 seconds, depending on how fast the competitors are. Kids were the first to race in BMX and now teenagers and adults are interested in competing. Races are organized into boys and girls classes. They also organize them by age and skill level. The riders start off as Novice class and make their way up to the Expert class. BMX is based on your performance including your team effort. Racers compete by ages or class, but when the riders’ birthdays come around they have to move up in classes. Some people worry about the dangers of BMX, but it has proven to be one of the safest sports extreme sports because each rider has to follow all safety requirements, including wearing long sleeve shirts, long pants and a full face helmet. Sainte Maxime - France - 23th April 2005 -Wikimedia


A tailwhip being performed on a BMX. Unknown rider at World MTB championships in Canberra, 2009. David Hellmann - Wikimedia.

BMX Freestyle

reestyle can be traced back to the late 1970s. Riders spent a lot of time on their BMX bikes located at concrete skate parks. During the end of 1979, the first organized BMX freestyle team was created. After BMX freestyle became known as Trick Team it quickly gained prominence. The American Freestyle Association (AFA) was the first governing body for BMX freestyle, founded by Bob Morales in 1982. Bob Osborn founded a slick quarterly magazine devoted solely to freestyle. In the summer of 1984, Freestylin’ Magazine made its debut. The BMX world suddenly noticed the sport's massive potential. Manufacturers hurried to the drawing boards to develop new freestyle bikes, components, and accessories, and began searching for talented riders to sponsor. Bike shops began stocking freestyle products.The AFA began to put on organized flatland and quarter-pipe competitions. During the years from 1981 until 1988, the sport of freestyle was at its peak. During this time period, the sport progressed with new bike models being released all the time, as well as new components and accessories designed strictly for freestyle Indigenous



Crazy Horse Journalism, 11 years of Inspirations By Bianca Rivas

Crazy Horse Memorial, S.D. -- Native American high school students from seven states gathered April 19-23 to find inspiration, training and mentoring they need to further their education and careers in journalism. The Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop, in its 11th year, attracted 33 students and 45 volunteers from around the nation. Within that week included speakers, special instruction in journalism trends and a newsroom laboratory in which students produced a newspaper, The Native Journal, and Web site. Key speakers included Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, and Ruth Ziokowlski, widow of Crazy Horse sculptor Korczak Ziokowlski. “This workshop was created out of a need so Native Americans can be heard,” said Jack Marsh, vice president of the Freedom Forum. Native Americans are the most under-represented minority group in American journalism. But there are many people who have been working to change that. That small group included Marsh and Arnold Garson, now president and publisher of The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., who beginning in the late 1990s became concerned about the limited number of Native journalists. “There were not enough Native American voices in the news department to reflect (their) interests,” said Garson, a member of the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Minority Affairs Committee, which organizes and manages the conference. During this year’s conference, students learned the history about Crazy Horse. They got a glimpse of how it all came together. During one of the days the students got a chance to go up the mountain and take pictures. They also attended classes to learn more about journalism. One class focused on how to take notes and write a story.Another taught students to use audio during an interview. Finally, they were taught about photojournalism. Not only is this workshop about learning journalism, it’s also about getting to know new people – other students and professional journalists from around the nation. Throughout the week, the students got into groups and learned to work together. Students also got a chance to see what it was like to work in a newsroom.They were assigned stories and mul-

timedia projects to complete on deadline. Val Hoeppner, manager of multimedia education at the Freedom Forum’s Diversity Institute, said she likes how the applicants were chosen because they are more likely to be journalists. She also likes how she now gets to know students better than at past conferences. Another difference this year is that one college credit is being awarded to those who attend and complete the workshop. This is the first year this is being offered. Not only do the mentors like the workshop, the participants also are enjoying it. Alicia Gangone, a senior from Tiospa Zina Tribal School in Sisseton, S.D., has wanted to attend this workshop for three years. “I feels great being the chosen one,” Gangone said. Before she came to this workshop journalism was in the back of her mind. She was planning on going to college to major in archeology. That all changed once she got to the workshop. Now she wants to become a journalist and make a difference. Throughout the past 10 years, many things about the workshop have changed. This year, the students were required to go through an application process before being admitted; 84 students applied. In the past, conferences were open to both college and high school students and applications were not required. “Some weren’t ready to give full attention to the program,” Garson said. “ We wanted to make sure who can and will make a difference.” Original organizers chose the Crazy Horse Memorial because it was an environment where the students could feel comfortable. In 2002, Randell Beck, publisher of the Argus Leader, was also on the same page as Garson and Marsh. “There aren’t as many journalism programs for Native American students. It’s harder to reach through newspaper activity,” Beck said. He thought he would become a volunteer to inspiring a young person to go into what he loves to do. “Light a fire in being a journalist,” he said. It turned out, those who were involved had made a big impact on the workshop. There have been many students who come and enjoy their time here. Some, even come back over and over again. That is what this workshop is all about, making a difference. Some people who came to this workshop went to college and pursued a career in journalism.This is something everyone here at the workshop would like for many of the students to do in the future. “There is nothing more fulfilling than the next generation of journalists,” Garson said. “It’s like giving back.”

Create a

lasting memory

By Cheyenna Sherlock

Editor’s Note:All the stories written about the Crazy Horsse JournalismWorkshop were originally printed April 22 in the “Native Journal” and online at

In the eighth grade, Justin Hayworth decid- his shoulder to show “a new Indian and an ed he wanted to be a newspaper photogra- old Indian,” he said.“It was a nice juxtaposipher. He hung out with sports photojour- tion of how things have changed.” nalists at basketball games and bombarded According to Hayworth, the three elethem with questions about their work. Today, the 32-year-old is a profesPhotojournalist Justin Hayworth’s sional photographer for the Des Tips for Great Photography Moines Register in Iowa. For the past several years, he has taken time out of 1. Pick an object to photograph. his busy career to help students shoot great photos of the Crazy Horse 2. Decide what’s important and what’s not. Memorial during the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop. 3. Make sure there is good light. Any visitors can take great pictures of the 563-foot-high memorial, even 4. Choose a good location to with a $6 camera, Hayworth said. shoot from, the closer the better. The most memorable picture of Crazy Horse he has seen was taken by 5. Provide a sense of scale by using a a student who knelt down on the person, a vehicle or other surroundings. observation deck and used their camera to capture the monument in the 6. Take as many pictures as possible. background and the two telescopes as the foreground. The student also 7. Reflections are a good way of included trees in the picture so viewfinding a different perspective. ers could get a sense of the memorial’s size, Hayworth said. His favorite picture of the mountain that ments of photography are good composihe has taken is of a boy with a red mohawk, tion, good light and a great moment. who was standing in front of Crazy Horse. “I try to make sure I have at least two of Hayworth shot the boy’s profile up close the elements,” he said. with the Oglala Lakota chief looking over Val Hoeppner, multimedia education

manager for the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute, has known Hayworth for seven years and said he is creative, talented and committed to photojournalism. Hoeppner said she calls Hayworth the “Photo MacGyver” because he “builds all these crazy photo contraptions.” For example, he used a cheap camera, an egg timer, a screw and an old tripod to take a 360-degree panoramic photo of Wednesday’s blast at Crazy Horse. With another camera, he shot eight pictures per second for a total of 65 photos. He documented the beginning and the end of the blast. Some pictures show the dust forming light-brown clouds around the base of the mountain. Other pictures show the reaction on visitors’ faces after the explosion. “Shoot a lot,” Hayworth said. “The more you shoot, the chances are better” for getting a great photo of Crazy Horse. To get a creative picture on a cloudy day, Hayworth said, visitors might want to wait a little longer on the observation deck. “You might get lucky and get that burst of light.” Inidigenous



L A D Y G A G A’ S F I G H T F O R H A I T I! Story By Ruby Rosales Illustrations By Dyllon Mills

On January 15, Stefani Germanotta, famously known as Lady Gaga, made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about her childhood, her costume designs and what inspires her life. She also promoted a concert where she donated all the money from her ticket sales from her Monster Ball concert in New York on January 24th. The money earned from the merchandise she sold on her website went to the victims from Haiti, who are suffering from a massive earthquake. When Lady Gaga talked on the Oprah Winfrey show,

she also revealed her feelings over September 11th, when the U.S. was attacked by terrorists. Lady Gaga wanted to get involved because of the terror she felt when she was living in New York during the terrorist attack. She expressed herself by saying that, "no one really understood what they were going through in New York and I worry about that for young people, that they don't know enough about what is really going on there."

It'll help out the people in Haiti.


Spring/Summer 2010

Lady Gaga used the Oprah Winfrey Show to promote more donations from her Monster Ball concert.

Her loving fans say Lady Gaga has really out done herself with her music, outrageous costumes and her donation to Haiti, winning over their hearts. Lady Gaga's donation made a big impression on her Montezuma-Cortez High School fans as well. “Hopefully her kindness will reach others into helping too,” Kaldurion Pinnecoose, an MCHS junior, said. “Lady Gaga is a huge pop star and she enjoys having her music spread world wide. Sharing her story of growing into the spotlight, she now generously donates her money to the disaster in Haiti. “Personally, her style is too much, but heIt'll help out the people in Haiti.r music makes up for that. Knowing that there is someone else who cares is amazing. People should care about what happened because a disaster could happen to us in Cortez and wouldn’t we want someone to care about of grievances. She’s someone who gives, but what of the other problems in the world? It seems that people with money only show sympathy when on a large scale (disaster) occurs. Perhaps, Lady Gaga would be one of the few with this type of generosity. Lady Gaga’s heart is reaching those in despair.” Some other of Lady Gaga's fans had some more to say bout her. Kelsey Mercure’s thoughts about Lady Gaga’s donation were “(It'll help out the people in Haiti.) I thought it was nice because she’s helping out Haiti. It made me happy to see that they’rere getting some help.” The selflessness of her acts is the heart of it all, fans say. “What Lady Gaga did was really unselfish,” Ana Rosales said "I feel proud because she gave them something when they had nothing and it showed her genuine heart."

Spring/Summer 2010



Canyon de Chelly: memory keeper By Cheyenna Sherlock

Photo by Cheyenna Sherlock

The opening of Canyon de Chelly.

In life, there are many things that we cherish, whether it be by hearing it, seeing it, or actually doing it. The last weekend of April, the Navajo language classes and three chaperones - Elsie Walck, Nate Thompson and Tina Lopez -- had the privilege of traveling to Arizona to explore the natural wonders of Canyon de Chelly. The class endured activities that required them to step outside their boundaries. In preparation for this trip, the class had to decide where and when to go.We also had to know why we were going there. The places that were chosen were the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Canyon de Chelly, all of which are in Arizona. The studetns chose Canyon de Chelly, for its rich history and beautiful scenery. “The idea of having a class trip came up last year when the students were reading about the history of the Diné people,” stated Betty Ray, Navajo teacher at MCHS. In February, the class sold Navajo tacos and frybread at home basketball games to

raise money for the trip. “It was fun selling frybread and Navajo tacos, because the customers would say nice things about the frybread or the Navajo tacos, and that’s always great to hear that they like it,” Lakeesha Dance, senior, said. The class raised about $1,000 in those few basketball games. “I was shocked to hear that we raised that much money,” Dyllon Mills, sophomore, said. The students, including myself, worked their hardest to achieve our goal. We also researched the history of different places in Canyon de Chelly like the White House Ruins, Fortress Rock, and Spider Rock. With the money we raised, we had a wide variety of activities to choose from. The activities we could do were camp, hike, or tour the canyon by horse or within a jeep. We decided to do as much as we possibly could and did it all. Mrs. Ray told us constantly that the weather would be a huge factor with the activities we had chosen, because the

“It was a great cultural experience,” Dyllon Mills said.


Spring/Summer 2010

canyon keeps the heat or cold locked in. It didn’t matter to us, because we were so excited for this trip. The big day had come; it was sunny with a light breeze. We all met at the school -bright eyed and bushy-tailed -- and we packed our bags in the bus. Mrs. Ray came on the bus and informed us that we might be staying at the hotel, because the night before it had rained in Canyon de Chelly and it was freezing.That was a jaw-dropper for all us, because we were excited to camp. So it was put to a vote: we either stayed in a hotel or camp.We chose to camp. Twins, Keely and Kelia Yanito, were telling us on the way up to Canyon de Chelly, that they struggled to find their camp gear and were bummed to hear we may be sleeping in a hotel and fought to camp during the trip and successfully persuaded to do the same. We arrived at the Cottonwood campground and set up camp. We went to the White House Ruins and hiked the 2.5 mile trail. On the way down, we saw the natural beauty of the canyon. We got to the base and it was surprising to see vendors there. The vendors hike down there on a daily basis to sell their artwork and jewelry. Keely Yanito presented her report, of the

Photo by Nate Thompson

Photo by Nate Thompson

White House Ruins, in which she had being working on for the past month. We hiked back up and headed over to Justin Tso Horseback Rides, for our horseback tour.We picked out our horses for the next hour. We set out and rode over to the wash. The horses we used were old rodeo horses, so they had a mind of their own. Mr.Thompson’s horse ran into a cottonwood tree on the way back and the branches scratched his face and gave us all a laugh. Eva Luther, a senior, and Elsie Walck, the MCHS counselor secretary, horses raced against each other, every chance they got. “That was so much fun because I haven’t ridden a horse since I was five,” Mills said. After the horse ride, we went back to the camp site and started cooking. As a team, we made dumpling soup. Ray, Walck, and Lopez made tortillas and frybread.Walck shared with us her way of making blue corn mush. After half an hour, dinner was ready; we all crowded around the picnic table and ate dinner. Night fall was fast approaching and a campfire was built. We pulled up a chair and told a little something about ourselves, while eating s’mores.Thompson sang a few songs for us on his guitar. We got into our sweats and went into our tents and fell asleep. Pondering of what the next day would be like. We woke up to a sunny and breezy day, ate breakfast, took down our tents, rolled up our sleeping bags, and loaded it back into the bus. We headed to the Thunder Lodge, for our jeep tour. We were thrilled for the tour. Our tour guide showed us different hieroglyphs and told us their meanings.The farthest we made it was to Fortress Rock, we couldn’t go to Mummy Cave because the river was above average level and we didn’t want to get stuck. It was a fun ride, even if we almost fell out. Sadly the tour came to an end, but we had one more stop to make. It was at Diné College in Tsaile, AZ. We got an exclusive tour by the college campus security guard. “It was nice to see the college,” Eva Luther said. She will be attending Diné College next semester, to become a registered nurse. “This trip has been a wonderful cultural experience for me,” Dyllon Mills said.

Top Photo: (left to right) Emily and Elsie Walck, Keely Yanito preparing the dumpling stew. Middle Photo: The Navajo class students stand infront of the Diné College in Tsalie, AZ. Bottom Photo: Leona Platero, Dyllon Mills, Elsie Walck, and Tina Lopez look out into the canyon.

Photo by Nate Thompson




Abourezk gives back to Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop By Madaline Hatch

One of Kevin Abourezk’s dreams is to help people. That’s why he’s at the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop — to help young people pursue their dreams of becoming journalists. At 35, Abourezk is working as a journalist, and loves it. He wanted to be a college teacher so he could help young people. He dreamed about teaching at a school with a large number of Native students. “Helping the young people with the tools they need to provide for themselves — (that’s) a great way to make a difference.” But for now, he gets his classroom fix as

a teacher at Crazy Horse. He recalled his younger days. Abourezk was born March 24, 1975 in Green Forks, N.D. He grew up in Gregory, S.D. He is from the Rosebud Sioux tribe. His mother is Oglala Sioux. His father is Rosebud Sioux. Abourezk covers the higher education beat for the Lincoln Journal Star. He produces videos and fills in as online editor and said he “loves the Internet.” He has been at the Journal Star since June 1999. He lives in Lincoln with his wife and 7year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. His family is now adopting a third child from the Rosebud Sioux. Abourezk has three half-brothers and one half-sister. “Family is the most important thing to me,” he said. He admits it’s hard being away from his family for a week. But knowing he is helping the next generation of journalists prepare for their future makes it easier. Abourezk graduated from Gregory High School in South Dakota. He got his bachelor’s degree in English at University of South Dakota. He is now working on a master’s degree in news-editorial and plans to complete it in May 2011 at

University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He decided to pursue journalism following an internship at the Journal Star. Over the years, he has been working with the young people. In the summer of 1998, he was an editor for Upward Bound. He joined the Crazy Horse Conference in 2002. He has been here three times and 2007 was the last year he attended. “I haven’t regretted it,” said Abourezk. During his internship at the Journal Star in June 1999, his first assignment was to go back to his reservation at Pine Ridge to cover a story about two murders. Doing journalism for him means to tell stories. “To help my people, make a difference and have fun, fun, fun!,” he said. Randell Beck, publisher of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., met Abourezk about five or six years ago at Crazy Horse. Abourezk was a mentor then. Beck called Abourezk a good editor and reporter, “one of the best in the Midwest.” He is a very good as a mentor at Crazy Horse, building relationships, coaching students and bringing a Native perspective to all things, Beck said. Cheyanne Bear from Blackfeet Learning Academy in Browning, Mont., had Abourezk as a mentor in her time at Crazy Horse. Bear said an interesting thing about Abourezk was his long hair. She found him a helpful person, very nice and quiet. She said he has good perspective on things and enjoyed working with him. “It’s a sacred duty,” he said about being a part of the Crazy Horse experience.

Screams of silence

People need to realize just because how By Chaz Hamlin someone dresses or has a different hair style then other people doesn’t make them differM-CHS participated in the Day of Silence for awareness cause. This is a ent it makes them an individual. national youth movement that brings the nation together to be silent for one day Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender to show respect to Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. Many peopeople usually get harassed when they are in ple today are scared to come out and say that they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, high school because everyone wants to fit in transgender because they are hated or discriminated against. They also shouldwith others and because they look, dress, n’t be scared to tell someone they love them without worrying if they will be and act different they get bullied.The D.O.S beat up or killed. is a way to let these people get respect and Most of us probably know or heard the story about 16 year old Fred Martinez support from their peers and hopefully who was an openly gay Navajo from Cortez and was a student at M-CHS. In make a difference in their lives. 2001 he was beaten and killed and they did catch the person who killed him. “I have been taking part in D.O.S for three Many people probably do not know how much hurt and the pain gay, lesbian, years now and I decided to make people bisexual, and transgendered people feel when they are called names and make aware.” Sam Dale said.There are directors at fun of them for being who they are. Words people say are really hurtful to the some schools who are in charge of the D.O.S gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. In some cases it could possibly and Bennie Palko the MCHS drama teacher drive the people who are getting made fun of to commit suicide because they was the person who organized the D.O.S feel like they are not wanted or others hate them. D.O.S is something that peothis year at M-CHS. ple do to support their friends, family, or themselves. The Day of Silence is not going to make “I’m supporting D.O.S because I have a lot of family who are gay, lesbian, people stop saying hurtful things about gay, bisexual, and I think that they should be able to go out publically without anylesbian, bisexual, and transgender people one saying hurtful things to them,” Sammi Montgomery, sophomore said. “I’ve but hopefully it will make a difference in the seen so many students hurt and bullied for their sexuality also for looking difway people look at gay, lesbian, bisexual, ferent i.e. short hair on girls and long hair on boys,” said Sam Dale, junior. transgender people.


Ellsbury continues to inspire Navajo youth By Keely Yanito

“It shows that everyone can make it, and that your dreams can become true if we actually push ourselves to become what we want.” The first major league baseball player of Navajo descent is Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury was born in Madres, Oregon. He went to college at Oregon State.Who is now known as a professional baseball player, and plays on the Boston Red Sox. He bats left and throws left. He is one of the first Native American people to make it pro. According to, Ellsbury is the first Navajo person to reach the majors. He gets the help and the encouragement from his family members, but they didn’t always have to praise him. Jim Ellsbury said that Jacoby had the passion for every sport while he was growing up – and the ability to play all – but didn’t really focus on any particular one. “He always wanted to be the best, and he

Image from Wikimedia Commons 20

Spring/Summer 2010

never brags about what he does and he’s me want to do my best since there is already agreat athlete,” Jim Ellsbury said, via tele- a guy who showed us that it could be done.” phone from his home in Madres. Jacoby Ellsbury has had a rocky season. Jacoby Ellsbury is more than a profes- The Red Sox website reported in May that sional athlete; he inspires young Native he “took his most significant step since Americans to achieve their goals. being placed on the disabled list when he “It shows that par ticipated in batting everyone can practice make it, and b e f o r e that your Tu e s d a y ' s dreams can become true if (May 11) game against we actually the Angels. It push ourselves is a step that to become what Ellsbury and we want, and I’m pretty sure the club had been hoping that’s what would occur Jacoby did, so for several I’m going to be days. pushing myself “ T h e to achieve my dynamic leadgoal,” Josh Whyte, a junior off man has been out since at MontezumaHigh School, April 11, when he sufsaid. Not only do fered a hairline fracture younger people look up to in four of his Image from Wikimedia Commons Ellsbury; older left ribs following a collision with teammate Adrian people do as well. “I think Jacoby Ellsbury inspires a lot of Beltre. Assuming Ellsbury suffers no setnatives,” Jonathan Diné, a father of five, backs, he should be on track to get in some said. “I’m sure a lot of young Native kind of game action in the near future, even American boys look up to him, because he if it's an abbreviated Minor League rehab got himself recognized and he made it to assignment.” the big time.And plus he showed us Natives The site went to report that Ellsbury's that it could be done and I admire him for impact is noticeable because his speed can that. really change a game. In the meantime, he Jack Watts, a sophomore at MCHS, will continue to impact the lives of many agrees: “I think it’s pretty cool that he is the young Native Americans because of his only Native to ever go pro. It should make inspirational story.

TÅxÄ|t ]Éx @V{tÇwÄxÜ An inspirational art teacher and a traditional Native American Jeweler By Esainea Mills Cortez Middle School Art Teacher Amelia JoeChandler instructs her students during class this spring at CMS. She is known for her dedication to her art and students. Her artwork can be found at

AmeliaJoe-Chandler is an art teacher at CMS and an entrepreneur who makes Native American jewelry. While most people know Mrs. JoeChandler as an art teacher, she is also a Jeweler who won the Indian Arts and Crafts Association Artist of the Year for 2006-2007. She was 16 years old when she started selling sand paintings to bring money into the house hold. Back then she sold her sand painting at the Four Corners. She favored Japanese tourists the most, because they came on huge bus loads. But now thanks to her brotherin- law, who is a Web page designer, she sales her work on the Internet. The cheapest item you could buy from her would be medicine man earrings which would be for $65.00, an indication of

how in demand her art has become. The most expensive art you could buy, would be one-of-a-kind pieces, which would include containers, chest boards, and tea pots. The amount would vary depending on the kind of work, but would be more than $500.00. Her inspiration for going into business for herself would be her husband, says JoeChandler. “I wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for my husband (Eric Chandler).” Mr. Chandler is a science teacher at MontezumaCortez High School. The two spend their summers traveling and selling art around the country.

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U n i t y : The Last Chapter ? By ReeAnna Mills

At Montezuma Cortez High School the Native American students are participating in an organization, United National Indian Tribal Youth also known as Unity, but over the two years it’s been here, Unity has been slowly dying. The number of students has dropped by great numbers. Being the Vice President has shown me the problems and it gave me thoughts for the solutions. Nothing is ever going to be easy and the members know they will have to work hard on trying to keep the program going for years to come. This program serves to teach the leadership needs of American Indian and Alaska Native youth for over 30 years. Today Unity is a national organization with over 150 youth councils operating in 34 states and Canada. These young leaders represent the thousands of Native American youth. This program was introduced to the students by Afrem Wall during the 2008-2009 school year. Now this program means a lot to some of the students participating in it. Some students seem to find the organization almost like a second family. Through the eyes from the outside; it may look like a bunch of Native American students making jokes and messing around. Through the eyes of the Unity members it looks like the are having a meeting. Over the years Unity looks as if it may be falling apart.Unity used to have a good number of students when it first started. Now the numbers of students who attend the meetings have decreased by more than half. Communication through the members is impossible.The meetings get so out of control, it’s where you have to talk over everyone to get your voice heard. Many threats from the school have been made to end the organization because the

program is not benefitting the school. None of the faculty has come to sit in with a meeting to see if it’s worth keeping or not. The strong point may not be organization but they are strong and they are brave.They stand for what they think is right or wrong. The organization doesn’t stop them from planning activities that anyone is welcome to join. During a meeting on March 4, 2010 the topic of Unity closing was discussed. Although some students thought that closing Unity wouldn’t be a good idea more students thought it was a good idea. Consider the fact that there is no organization within the meetings and fundraisers. March 24, 2010 I officially declared I was quitting Unity. Because I didn’t show up to the meetings, the members thought that I wanted nothing to do with the process. They didn’t know the things I went through keep the program alive throughout the years that I will be there. I knew the consequences of not being there, but nothing could have been done. I was still well informed about the things happening at the meetings. I knew I would have to act faster than I thought. Seeing Afrem Wall at the education center one day after school, I had informed him what was happening his reply was, “Yeah I’ve been trying to get down there to see what’s happening. It’s just been busy up here.” He made that comment after finding out that the Unity meetings had stopped and there was nothing taking the place at lunch. Some students who look forward to attending meetings every Wednesday or, whenever the meetings were called. Stephan Hatch, the new UNITY advisor, is all for the students it just seems he isn’t there for his Unity students.

Review of Hopi

Footprints of the Ancestors by Jaime Buck In mid-June Hopi elders, high school students and their teachers traveled, to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to learn the best practices in producing museum exhibition about Native Americans. From Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, the group and staff went to Suitland, Maryland to the museums cultural resources center where they viewed ancient Hopi cultural items. The group was able to view the museums collection of Hopi objects, like woven clothing,which were several hundred years old that most people had not seen. The trip was the conclusion of a six year project. Based on what the students learned they will extend multimedia exhibitions in the coming months. During the past several years, the program, funded by the National Endowment for the humanities, has brought the students to Hopi archaeological sites. Students learned about the footprints of their ancestors. A

professor at the university stated the program extremely affected the students involved. I would think that this is a good program for high school students because it’s helping them by learning different things that are based on immersion student learning, the student learning service and multimedia product development. It involves activities by visiting the archaeological sites across the American southwest to draw footprints of the Hopi ancestors. The Hopi youth would go in to modern Hopi villages to participate in service learning projects that would help them take responsibility. They also would construct “Digital Hopi Youth Guides” like DVDs, websites, podcasts and museum exhibits. Its good the students are learning the best practices in producing museum exhibitions and that they’re tracing footprints of the Hopi ancestors. It’s good to know about your ancestors cultural.

It’s good that the students are learning best practices in producing museum exhibitions.

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s t n e v E l a n o i t o Em By Kelia Yanito

The events that happened in the movie Avatar reflected in the real world of many ancestors.


watched a movie called Avatar about Native Pandoreans on another planet. The movie kind of made me mad because of how Americans tried to clear the Pandoreans off their land. The name Pandora goes back to Greek mythology. It’s actually a box that belonged to a lady named Pandora. According to the myth Pandora is the first woman on earth. The gods granted her with many talents and beauty. A box was given to her by the gods and she was told not to open the box. Pandora became very curious and opened the box and let out all the evil that took over the earth. The only thing left at the bottom of the box was hope. That message is found in the movie Avatar as well. American’s represent Pandora and the Native way of life on the planet represents hope for our planet and the environmental problems we are facing today. The movie is based on the fact that Americans are looking for a certain kind of rock that is worth millions of dollars. Unfortunately, this expensive rock is located on the Pandoreans land and the Americans have to remove the Pandoreans off their land to get it. These Pandoreans are 10 feet tall and have blue skin. These Pandoreans roam their homeland not knowing that someday they would have to fight to keep it. And a big part of the movie centers on the fact Americans pretend to be Pandoreans in an effort to get the locals to leave peaceably. But the Pandorean look-a-likes – called Avatars – were unsuccessful and result in events that are somewhat related to the Native Americans in U.S. history. Some of the similarities with our history are that Pandoreans used bows and arrows, have a scared place and want to keep their homeland.The indigenous people in the movie also used huge horse-like creatures for their transportation, much like my

culture used horses after they were introduced by the Spanish. Many Indians today still choose a horse they can bond with and work to tame it. Pandorean men also chose their mate and needed to have approval of their father. This is similar with my native culture, where men had to win their partner over by showing her father that they were worthy to marry. The ladies never had the chance to choose their husband. And so when one of the main women characters chose’s a mate of her own, one outside her culture, it caused huge family conflict.The same thing happens today when Navajo girls try to marry non-Navajo men. My dad always tells me that I need to marry a Navajo man, no other nationalities. Avatars sacred place is a huge tree between the mountains. The tree has white long strings coming down that represents the spirits of their ancestors. It speaks to them and helps them, because it is known as their mother. Nature is mother to the Navajo people as well but like the Americans of old, the futuristic ones in Avatar destroy land and have little care for scared places.And like the people in the movie Avatar, Native American Indians were removed from their lands and forced to walk across America to different places that they did not know. Unfortunately, the indigenous people of America were not as successful as the Pandoreans were.That is what makes this movie fiction (aside from the fancy graphics depicting a fantasy world). The truth is that most of the Native Americans did not last on these long journeys, because of the lack of food and water. I remember my grandma telling me that some of our ancestors had gone through the long walk and it is a sad story because they were over powered. Trying to change the Indian culture was also a disaster. The Indians and the Pandoreans were both

killed or tortured on their native land. Basically what almost happened in the movie Avatar, happened in the real world – to my ancestors. People killed all the Indians just because they were different from the English people. They took everything they held sacred, almost wiped out many generations of the Native American families and the culture suffers today because of it. We are

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The Evanescent Ute Language

By Madaline Hatch

In the present day on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation the Ute Language is starting to slowly fade. Being part of the Ute Tribe myself I hardly know my own language and it makes feel ashamed for what is being lost. To make our tribal language survive, we as a tribe need to put more work in teaching our otherselves what our language is. Starting out at a young age, such as when the children start talking, is a way the language can start to build up. Having them know the language as they grow up, is how their generation will help the

ing company so our tribe and people all over the world can learn to speak our language. Our language needs to be all over and not just in certain spots. if it is going to survive. Having recordings of the elders voices to hear how the language was spoken is essential. This could be as easy as using our cell phones to record a conversation.We need to video our elders and let them talk about our culture and language. Hearing the language is one thing. But seeing someone say the words is important, too. The videos could be made into history and used to pass on the Ute ways of speaking what has been spoken for many years before. But when will all this happen? It is up to us. No one else.We need to go to college and major in linguistics and journalism -- so we can be the next generation of story tellers. Having these ideas will help the Ute language to be spread and it gives me hope of keeping it alive. The Ute language is a part of our culture.What are we without it? It shows who we are as a tribe and as a member of our Ute tribe. The only members that can speak our language as a regular basis are our elders. But they are starting to get older and are not able to carry on our language. So, the kids should spend time with their grandparents, aunties and/or uncles. Like our parents are still learning today how to speak it. Not speaking it very well is because of our hitory with the Caucasian people, but that isn’t the case as much today. It is up to us, to demand that the Ute language be taught in our schools. In the school in Cortez the main language here is English. No Ute classes, just Navajo are taught. By starting to spread our language there could be a Ute class that is offered also. As a member of the Ute Mountain Tribe I would like to see our language thrive. Many younger kids like me will participate in what’s going on with our Tribe if they make it happen.

The Ute language is a part of our culture. What are we without it? It shows who we are ... learning spread and preserve the Ute language for future generations. At the daycare/school in Towaoc is where use of the language takes place, but not as much. Some of the older ladies speak in Ute, but mostly the workers talk in English and it’s obvious that the kids don’t understand Ute as well as they do English. Hearing the younger generation speak the language will let people know that our language will be around for many years. Back when I was younger there used to be an after school program called Thursday Club. It was held every week at the Recreation Center in Towaoc. This program was a place to have kids do fun activities.We also used the time to learn our language. They gave us booklets of animals and how they were written in Ute. But nowadays there is nothing like that going on, and I think that it should start up again to show the kids that want to learn, theat this is a way to learn our language. Since elders are passing on and not much is being taught or written down to show to the younger generations, there should be some kind of recordings to pass on the Ute language. Maybe the tribe can contract with Rosetta Stone language learn26

Spring/Summer 2010

Youth need to learn the Navajo langauge By Kolena Begay

My grandfather is right in so many ways.

the lost tribe in the future. The thought struck me hard and I knew what he was talking about. My grandfather is right in so many ways. Only a few of the youth today are into our native heriage and the rest are not paying attention to what is going on around them in their traditional homeland. I think people who don’t know our traditional language can’t teach it to our children or grandchildren.To me, it’s embarrassing that I only speak English and many of the older individuals would make fun of me. It all falls back on my parents and grandparents and I don’t want to blame them because its not their fault at all and I think that all the young people and I should step up and show other people that we can learn and speak our language. Learning our language and knowing where we come from is our way, especially because we live in Tsé Yaatóhí (Cortez), near one of our four sacred mountains: Dibé Nitsaa (Mt. Hesperus).


In today’s world, everything is changing very rapidly. Many of the younger generations today don’t pay attention to the culture and language within their tribe or ethnic background. The most endangered gift that is presented in many different cultures is the language. Around the world there have been more than 750 languages that have gone extinct over time. A hundred years from now, many of the languages of today will be extinct. Hearing this makes my heart race. Our languages will be extinct and no one wil be able to learn it, or even hear it, in that time. I think the majority of indigenous youth today should at least go to their grandparents, parents, mentors or family members to ask them how to speak their language. Many Native American Tribes of North America are trying to save their native language for future use of the younger generation. Losing a language is similar to losing the entire tradition and heritage of a tribe. I think having no language is like losing everything because there is no special value behind it. I also think each language has different structures. For me, I understand the story more in my own language than I do when it’s being said in English -- because the two languages don’t really fit the description sometimes. On the Navajo reservation, many youths are only using the English language and very few speak Navajo and our elders are stressing that the next generation their language and heritage before it is all lost.The elders on reservations are passing on their traditions, but there are only a few elders left to teach the old tradition that was once being used by our recent ancestors. My native language is Navajo. I grew up understanding the language but I didn’t learn to speak it. I grew up in Cortez, Colo., and I go back and forth out of the Navajo Reservation on the weekends. When I was younger, I had to learn English before I could go on to the next grade. It was really hard but I overcame it. Before my sophomore year, I started losing my native tongue and now I don’t really understand my elders and my people. I only understand a little and speak a little. My grandfather told me that he was worried about our generation learning the Navajo language, and we would one day become

Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences, instead of being simpleminded.

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Storytelling- Fiction

Elder’s Rest

As the wolves disappeared into the dark cold night, the call of freedom beckoned the creatures of the night.

Story by Ruby Rosales Illustrations by Ruby Rosales and Dyllon Mills

Chained inside cages by man, the wolves were defenseless to the humans command. A thunderous sound filled the air; an elder has been put to rest. As the night came down, while looking into the Gate of the Wolves, the sun burned out with tears in its eyes, for the elder had closed her eyes forever. The pack raised their heads and howled out their grievances. And all across the land the forest, creatures wept. Darkened skies showed bright stars in the shape of their fallen comrade as the air was filled with cries of pain. Rain came down on the forest as the heavens cried for the passing soul.The wise elder had been put to rest in a peaceful sleep for all eternity. With the passing of that sad moment, the wind howled and the desire for freedom grew within their hearts. Hours later the night grew quiet but their minds grew restless, with ideas of their escape buzzing in their minds like a hive of bees. After constant planning, the wolves anxiously waited for their human guard to come back at dinner time, to fulfill their planned escape. Later that night the guard came with the wolves’ usual dinner, ground meat and dirty water -- from the old well in the valley up on the hill. As the guard drew near, the call of the wild beaded in the wolves’ hearts, like the battle music of drums. Never taking their eyes off of the guard, the wolves watched him reach for the handle on the gate’s door.


Spring/Summer 2010

The silent night filled with mournful howls, for the one who brought wisdom to the pack. Moments later, when the door opened, the smallest wolf felt her heart explode with courage as she jumped up and knocked down the clueless guard. Running out in clumps of two and three the wolves descended into the night, running faster and faster the wolves the wolves headed to the valley, where they were born.The scent of their home became stronger with each stride. When the pack entered the valley, animals from all over the land saluted the ecstatic creatures for their triumphant escape. Hollow trees filled with families of all sorts, united as one, to give their blessings to the pack of wolves. After they calmed down from their celebration all the animals bowed their heads and gave their respects to the elderly wolf.

With tears in their eyes they looked in their hearts for the words of wisdom that the elderly wolf had once given them. “The valley is our heart, our home and our spirit,” she said. “Within it, is our most prized treasure, our children.This valley is the home of our children, for it is whom we all have unite and stand and fight.” Their hearts grew bold and their children were once again safe.With that knowledge, the wolves sang to the moon a thank you for the elder’s guidance and for the moonlight’s lingering shine in which they saw the faces of old generations and new generations to come.

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Two cultures

By Bianca Rivas Managing Editor

Have you ever wondered what culture someone is a part of? Just look- heritage is mainly on my dad’s side of my family. I am in no contact with ing at a person you may think you know what culture they are from, but him. He was never there to teach me about the culture. Both of my do you really? grandparents on that side are both deceased. I have no one to teach me Some people are bicultural or multicultural in their behavior and so I have to learn on my own. Many kids go through this; that could be points of view. You may assume a person may have only one cultural a reason others never learned their heritage; not having anyone around. influence, when they actually have two cultures that determine how they And then during a Native American journalism conference in South think and act. Some are proud to say who they really are, while others Dakota this past April I met with other Native Americans who helped me aren’t – for different reasons. embrace my Apache heritage even more. I was one of those people who I wasn’t the only one affected by that conweren’t really proud to say that I repference. Michelle Two Hearts, my roomresent two different heritages. I am mate from Northwestern High School, was Spanish and Apache Indian but until awarded a scholarship by the Crazy Horse recently I only distinguished myself Foundation during the conference. During as Hispanic, someone of Spanish her thank you speech, she said, “Whenever I descent. I never really thought of go back to the reservation, they see me as an myself as a Native American because apple: I don’t have red skin in and out. I have I don’t know much about my Native red on the outside, and white on the inside.” American side. And so when people This caught my attention because she would ask what my heritage is, I went to an all white school. She felt like she instantly said Hispanic. didn’t fit it. But that is only part true because “Being at Crazy Horse has made me realmy ancestry is hard to research and I Photo by Cheyenna Sherlock ize I’m not an apple anymore,” she said. still catch myself stating that I am Michelle Two Hearts and Bianca Rivas on the last When she said that, I felt just like her. only Hispanic. I think people, especially young people, day at the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop. All I really know about my Native should give both cultures a chance, regardAmerican heritage is what my family as told me, which isn’t very much. less of how they are involved or introduced to it. All my life I always celebrated the Hispanic culture, including the lanMaybe they will come to find that they like both their cultures. It could guage, food and music. But one day I realized I came from two different be interesting to know what people do, when they find out what their heritages. background is. It happened when I was sitting in the Indigenous Magazine class, I know I have lost out on a lot because I didn’t know or want to learn which consisted of mostly Native American students, and I started think- about my other half. Having two cultures isn’t really that bad. It can teach ing about me being Native American. I wanted – and needed – to know a person a lot about language and traditions. more about it.There was just something that hit me right then and there. It may not seem too important to some people about having two culMr.Thompson was encouraging on how Native American students should tures, but now that I look at it, a lot of things are involved in what ethget their voices heard and to achieve that by stepping up and represent nicity a person is. Maybe if someone takes a few minutes and thinks about yourself. their culture they may find they like what they see and learn something We see it everyday where a person only identifies him or herself on new. half of what they truly are.There are many people, especially teenagers, Also, in the end, someone may find their two cultures don’t really who deny both of their cultures. Some don’t know how to identify them- mesh together. They may find that their traditions overlap each other. I selves because they are stuck in between. will someday find out what, of my two cultures, doesn’t really go togethThey may not know what they identify themselves as. Just like me. I er, but today I am proud to say I am both Native American and Hispanic. didn’t know what heritage to affiliate myself with. And somehow knowI learned that it doesn’t matter where you come from, but embrace ing my heritage, like it does for others, makes me want to know more who you are and what you have and what you do with it. about it. However, one reason I avoided my Apache side is that I thought people were going to make fun of me for being Native American. That sounds bad to say, but that is the way I felt at the time. Many people put down Native American people. Another reason I avoid my Apache heritage is because that part of my 30

Spring/Summer 2010

Journalists encouraged to positive, warriors By Nate Thompson

Crazy Horse Memorial, S.D. – High School students attending this year’s Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop were told by Gerard Baker that journalists need to be storytellers who can act as warriors in Indian Country. However, Baker, 56, spoke to the 33 students at the beginning of the 11th annual conference – held near Custer, S.D. from April 19-23 – and emphasized that being a warrior today “is a choice:” A choice that many of his parents’ generation did not have. “When I came along my parents were part of the ‘no choice’ generation,” explained the NPS veteran of over 30 years. “They caught hell (for being Native) and were made fun of. But it was not their choice to move away from their homelands or go to boarding schools,” Baker said. Given that history, Baker said journalists and all American Indians today have a responsibility to work for those who did

not have a choice and for those who “are coming, and are not yet born.” He also encouraged students to be warriors in Indian Country who can keep their news positive and focus on the fact that their ancestors survived by never running away from the enemy or going into battle blind. One of those enemies, Baker said, include people who do not consume credible media and only get information that includes gossip and entertainment news. “I quit (reading gossip) because it was all negative,” he said. “Be the journalist who does not do that.” Baker acknowledged that being the kind of reporter who does not write negative things will not be easy and require reporters to “understand and know themselves.” “It is up to you to tear yourself apart … and put yourself back together in a positive way, so you can say something positive,” he

said, adding that this should be done with the help of prayer and using the wisdom of their elders. Positive news can start today, he continued, by writing to local papers and pointing out the good things about people, including non-Indians. “There are negative things in our past,” he said, “but we all fell down together and all got up together … we survived.” Gerard Baker, is a member of North Dakota’s Mandan and Hidatsa tribes. In 2004, he became the first American Indian superintendent of Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.The director of the National Park Service recently asked Baker to be assistant director of American Indian relations.This job will take him from Navajo country near Lake Powell to Florida’s Seminole country and the Everglades. His office will remain in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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Indigenous Magazine - Summer 2010  

"The Culture Within" issue of Indigenous explores topics ranging from losing language and culture to Avatar's depiction of indigenous people...