On Monday February 6th, Nebo Title VI (Indian Education), participated in American Indian Caucus Day at the State Capitol. This is a time when tribal leaders and state leaders are able to meet together and discuss issues that impact Indian people in our great state. Community members and partners of the Native community were also invited.
This year, forty three Native American students and parents were able to make the trek up to the Capitol. Nebo’s own performing arts group was invited to sing some hand drum songs and do a sign language performance to open the Caucus meeting. Some of the students were able to meet concern citizens from Monument Valley. They were able to ask questions of these Elders about various issues facing their respective communities. One student said, “I was surprised by what they had to say. It made what I see on TV more real.”
The group was also able to take a tour of the capitol with a knowledgeable docent that gave them a peek into the governor’s office. They were also able to have some time in the House of Representatives to view the bills that were being discussed and debated before votes were taken. Another tour was taken with the state’s historian to view the maps that were on display in the capitol. It was wonderful to note that on every map there was evidence of Indigenous communities past or present.
One of our own Native American Seniors- Nicholas Nez was able to job shadow a representative during the day. He spent the day with one of our representatives who gave him a look into the responsibilities of representing a community. Nicholas had a long day on the hill but had an incredible experience.
Eileen Quintana, program manager said, “We want Nebo American Indian students to be involved, informed and inspired to be active participants in the issues facing their communities. Soon they will be the leaders of their Tribal Nations.”
This is the third year in a row the Nebo Title VI has participated. They plan to continue making this trip year after year.