Nizhónígo Nee Ado’ááł (Have a beautiful day)


Last Thursday evening, our students participated in the Title VII American Indian Leadership Conference held at Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah.  The theme for the conference was, “Voices of the Future.”  The keynote address by Dr. Orrenzo Snyder M.D., Navajo-Dine’ gave timeless advice and encouragement to all in attendance as he spoke about lending a powerful voice to the future.

Dr. Synder reflected on his childhood on the Navajo Reservation with his grandmother.  Her influence and teachings kept him from giving up on the pursuit of education. “Who would have thought that a Navajo boy whose first language was Navajo, living in a home without running water and electricity could become a doctor of urology?” Dr. Synder mused.  When he asked his grandmother what he should do after graduating from Whitehorse High school, she simply said, “Go to school.”  And so he did. Dr. Synder told those in attendance; find a support system whether it be family or friends, do what you have to do to get where you want to be and dream big.  His advice to all those in attendance was to share, share, share, and leave competing with one another behind.  “We need to be united to make progress,” he said.

The evening culminated with high school students across the Wasatch Front receiving recognition for their achievement in academics, performing arts, service, cultural arts and leadership.  Each student was given a few moments to voice what their plans were for the future. Our students did a beautiful job giving powerful voice their future plans.  We are proud of them.  It was a wonderful evening for all.   

Please download the March Newsletter.

Calling all Juniors, Seniors and their parents!  Come to the scholarship workshop on Wednesday, March 9th at Larsen Elementary to receive invaluable information on how to pay for your college education.  Michelle Sanchez will be presenting on how to find, plan, prepare and obtain scholarships.  She has vast knowledge and expertise on how to present yourself in an application and will give detailed information on how to navigate the scholarship race.  You will leave with greater confidence in yourself and in your chances of receiving help with your education.  Opportunities await those who seek!   

Wednesday March 9, 2016 ***Larsen Elementary 1175 E. Flonette Ave *** 4 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.***Come


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Eileen Quintana wrote on her Facebook Page, "I hear the roar of First Thunder here in Utah Valley sha'alchini! Stretch your bodies like you do early in the morning when you are waking up, soon the bears, snakes and spiders will awake too.  It is the end of winter and spring is on the way?"

This reminds me of my mother and Grandparents who said similar things to me. Shi ma would say, "Go outside and stretch your bodies; the bears are stirring in their caves, rolling around, rubbing their eyes, disturbed from their winter’s nap.  They have heard the thunder that has awaken them from their winter sleep, calling them out of their caves."  

So out we went to stretch our bodies, mimicking the bear's awakening, rolling and even doing somersaults. We would reach for the sky, slowing awakening our bodies too.  Then enthused that spring is on its way we would roll on the ground and then do somersaults and end with exuberant running, mostly in circles.

I didn’t hear my First Thunder this past week, but when I do, I will instruct my daughter to go out and stretch and wake her body to spring, celebrating earth’s call to the creatures.  Join us for this wonderful tradition.      

We are planning a field trip to the State Capital for American Indian Caucus Day.  Attached is the Consent Form required to attend.


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Oyate is one of two seniors to graduate the first term of the school year.  And the first for our program to spotlight.  She is deligtful and full of enthusiasm and energy. I asked Oyate to write a little about herself:  

My friends and family descibe me as creative, kind, passionate, hard working and beautiful. I love to sing, draw and to watch movies during my free time. My all time favorite movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas. My favorite food comes from my mother's side of the family, Filipino egg rolls called Lumpia. My favorite color is blue and my favorite sport is football. My favorite class was oil painting. My most memorable moment of high school has to be when my former principal Joe Kelly of Landmark High School pinned me with a special dragon pin for showing true dragon spirit in front of the whole school. My future plans are to work full time at a good paying job and move out on my own. One thing I have on my bucket list is to visit Australia. My favorite quote of all time is, "In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took but how many moments took your breath away." -Unknown

P.S. I thought you might like this painting that I did in my oil paintings class as my final student project.

     One December 14th, students will have the opporotunity to work with Michelle Sanchez; beader, traditional regalia expert and teacher.  She will teach the basics of beading a Native American medallion.  Michelle learned to bead at a very young age and has shared her expertise and knowledge through artist in residence programs, after school labs and studio classes.   The class will be held on Monday, December 14 from 4:00-6:00 at Larsen Elementary.  The cost of the materials will be $10.00.  

      Native American medallions have been traced back to as early as 800 A.D.  The medallions were traditionally used as talisman against threat or harm. Medallions have been made of metals, precious stones, shells, and bone.  Since the introduction of trade beads,  medallions have become more sophisticated in their design.  Modern day madallions are now sometimes used as cultural and individual identity markers.  Come join us in learning how to build this traditional craft that spans across time and tribes.   

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