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[l] at 2/27/24 5:13pm
NEWCOMB, N.M. It took five minutes for the Newcomb boys basketball team to find a rhythm. And once it did, the Skyhawks (15-11) blew past Crownpoint (3-24) in the opening round of the District 1-3A tournament on Monday night. “I can’t say enough about these guys,” first-year Newcomb coach Patrick Boone said following his team’s 82-44 win. “It’s been a long process, but these guys have bought into the system and we’re slowly building into the way I like for us to play. “We’re running, playing defense and pushing that ball,” he added. “We really rely on our defense to get us going.” The Skyhawks earned the No. 4 seed for the tournament and advanced into tonight’s second round to face No. 3 seed Thoreau at 6 p.m. Earlier this season Newcomb split the season series with the Hawks, winning the first meeting, 74-59, on Jan. 16. In the second encounter, Thoreau exacted some revenge by pulling out a 57-55 win on Feb. 6. “It’s going to be a tough one,” Boone said of the showdown with Thoreau. “The last time we played them we were down 15 (points) and then we decided to play to play in the last three minutes. “We caught back up and we had a chance to win the game, but we missed an open three,” he added. In Monday’s other tournament game, No. 6 Wingate pulled out a minor upset over No. 4 Zuni with a 44-41 road win. The Bears will play at No. 2 Tohatchi at 6 p.m. tonight. The second round winners will play on Wednesday night with the survivor to face top-seeded Navajo Prep on Friday night at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington at 6 p.m. “This district is tough,” Boone said. “If we get by Thoreau, we’ll either have Tohatchi or Wingate in the next round. Then on Friday, the team that’s still playing will take on the big dog in our district, Navajo Prep. “They’re awesome,” he added. “They’re still playing at a high level. They set the bar high and we’re all trying to get to that level.” In Monday’s game, Newcomb cashed in on several Crownpoint turnovers in its runaway win. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieCrownpoint Eagle Calliou Temple (21) eyes the basket while being guarded by Newcomb’s Zakkius Negale Monday night. “I think we did great defensively,” Newcomb senior guard Roydell Edison said. “Our offense comes off our defense and we forced a lot of turnovers.” The Newcomb guard led all-scorers as he put in 15 of his game-best 27 points in the third quarter. “I kind of started off slow,” Edison said. “My shots were not hitting so I got a little frustrated in that first half. I just had to calm myself down.” Edison used the halftime break to regain his composure. When play resumed he connected on seven baskets as Newcomb opened up a 57-32 cushion at the end of third. Besides Edison, Newcomb had four players in double figures with sophomore Darium Peshlakai putting up 15 while seniors Mikal Ashley and Adriano Watchman finished with 11 points. Junior Savier Thomas chipped in 10. For Crownpoint junior guard Lavontae Robinson finished with 16 points. The post Defensive effort propels Newcomb boys to first-round win appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Basketball, Sports]

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[l] at 2/24/24 8:27am
PHOENIX – It’s a matchup that everybody wants. It’s a matchup that will have a star-studded cast as Saturday’s 3A girls state title will be decided by the tournament’s top two seeds. On Friday top-seeded Page (22-5) and No. 2 seed Window Rock (26-4) pulled out wins before a large crowd inside Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. The championship game will be the fourth meeting between the two 3A North rivals as the Scouts are led by seniors Melicia Nelson and Jayme Tso. The Sand Devils, meanwhile, have the 1-2 punch of seniors Alyssa Harris and Sofia Cambridge. Special to the Times | Reginald CheePage Lady Sand Devil Jade Reid (23) drives to the basket after seeing an opening against the Chinle Lady Wildcats on Friday night. Window Rock leads the season series 2-1 with the Scouts rallying past the Sand Devils two weeks ago during the finals of the 3A North Region tournament. “It’s always hard to beat a team that you know, and that’s in your conference because you’re constantly playing them,” Window Rock coach Gabrielle Whitney said. “You can’t overlook (them) because Page is going to come out ready to play. “We just got to continue to play like how we’ve been playing, which is playing hard, playing smart and playing together,” she added. “That is what’s gonna help us tomorrow.” The championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside the 14,870-seat indoor arena, which is the former home of the Phoenix Suns. The Lady Sand Devils were the first team to advance as Page ousted No. 13 Chinle in the first semi-final by a 47-37 count. Special to the Times | Reginald CheeChinle Lady Wildcat Qoah Yazzie (23) drives into Page Lady Sand Devil players LeLaura Yazzie (3) and Leikara Yazzie (45) for a layup near the basket at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Page trailed 4-0 early but received a huge spark from Harris as she scored nine of her game-best 11 points in the opening quarter. “I noticed that my teammates were coming out a little slow so I had to do something,” said Harris. “If anyone was going to wake them up, it was going to be me because I’m one of the team leaders.” With Harris’ solid nine, Page led 10-7 entering the second period. After that the Sand Devils scored by committee as junior guard LeLaura Yazzie chipped in 10 with three treys and junior post Leikara Yazzie added eight. Page also got seven points apiece from sophomore guard Tayla Franklin and Cambridge. “Alyssa gave us that initial spark and after that everyone did their part,” Page coach Celeste “Boka” Claw said. “Honestly, anyone on our team can go off when we need a spark.” Behind some solid defense, the Sand Devils built a 23-13 halftime cushion and they increased that margin to 42-26 in the early going of the fourth. “Our defense is our bread and butter,” Claw said. “That is what we preach. That’s Sand Devil defense right there. I mean, that’s something ingrained into every player that comes through Sand Devil nation.” Since taking over the program three years ago, this will be Claw’s first time coaching her alma mater in the finals. She won a state crown as a player for the Sand Devils during her senior season in 2012. “It’s a great feeling to be playing for the state title,” Claw said. “It’s hard to describe it, but honestly I’m more excited for the girls because they earned the right to be here.” Chinle, which finished the season 15-17, was led by junior post Dizhoon White and senior guard Neveah Jishie, who each finished with eight points. Window Rock Special to the Times | Reginald CheeWindow Rock Lady Scout Kourtney Bitselley (21) drives toward the basket while being guarded by Show Low Lady Cougar Jordyn Boyce (5) at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix Friday night. In the second semi-final, Window Rock gained the separation it needed in the third quarter before holding off Show Low with a 45-38 win. Window Rock held Show Low (29-3) to only two free throws in that third stanza as the Cougars put up 17 shot attempts in that quarter to no avail. “We adjusted our defense,” Whitney said. “We were in a 2-3 zone before and (Show Low) was getting easy buckets off of that. My coaching staff saw that and they were good at telling me that we should go man. “Once we went man, that was when they had a hard time shooting,” she added. That defensive stand helped the Scouts open up a 35-18 advantage after three quarters. The first half had been played evenly between the two squads, with Window Rock leading 22-16 at the break. The Whitney-coached team seized its largest lead at 41-22 following a two-point basket from Nelson at the 4:41 mark of the fourth period. Nelson, who finished with six points and five assists, sat out the rest of the quarter as Show Low chipped away at the Scouts’ lead. The Cougars got as close as 42-38 but Window Rock finished out the game by nailing 3-of-4 from the charity line. “Mesha is one of our top players and everybody knows that so I took her out so that she can rest for (Saturday’s) game,” Whitney said. “I had a lot of trust and confidence in the girls and I knew they were going to pull it off.” Earlier Nelson had a spectacular half on both ends of the court. On the defensive end, she was a force in the paint. And on the offensive end, she created for her teammates with senior post Bre’ James being on the receiving end of three assists down low. “She’s always that type of player that’s never going to let down,” Whitney said. “She’s always going to play and she’s every coach’s dream to have.” And although she gets plenty of credit for her play, Nelson said the Scouts’ latest win was a team effort. “We knew that we had to come together as a team,” Nelson said. “I think that is what we did tonight.” The Window Rock guard said it was a dream come true to play in the championship game as the Scouts were one game shy of doing just that last season. Click to view slideshow. “This is something we worked for all season,” Nelson said, while adding that she’s looking forward to playing Page again. “Our regional game with them was a close game,” she said. “I know Page is going to bring it but we’re also going to bring it, too.” In Friday’s contest the Scouts were led by Tso as she scored seven of her 13 points in the third period. Junior guard Devaé Willie also finished in double figures as she finished with 11 markers and three treys. For Show Low, Aubrie Wilson scored 11 and Raquel Wilson added nine. The post Page, Window Rock girls to battle for 3A state title, Lady Scouts lead season series 2-1 appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/24/24 8:27am
PHOENIX – It’s a matchup that everybody wants. It’s a matchup that will have a star-studded cast as Saturday’s 3A girls state title will be decided by the tournament’s top two seeds. On Friday top-seeded Page (22-5) and No. 2 seed Window Rock (26-4) pulled out wins before a large crowd inside Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. The championship game will be the fourth meeting between the two 3A North rivals as the Scouts are led by seniors Melicia Nelson and Jayme Tso. The Sand Devils, meanwhile, have the 1-2 punch of seniors Alyssa Harris and Sofia Cambridge. Special to the Times | Reginald CheePage Lady Sand Devil Jade Reid (23) drives to the basket after seeing an opening against the Chinle Lady Wildcats on Friday night. Window Rock leads the season series 2-1 with the Scouts rallying past the Sand Devils two weeks ago during the finals of the 3A North Region tournament. “It’s always hard to beat a team that you know, and that’s in your conference because you’re constantly playing them,” Window Rock coach Gabrielle Whitney said. “You can’t overlook (them) because Page is going to come out ready to play. “We just got to continue to play like how we’ve been playing, which is playing hard, playing smart and playing together,” she added. “That is what’s gonna help us tomorrow.” The championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside the 14,870-seat indoor arena, which is the former home of the Phoenix Suns. The Lady Sand Devils were the first team to advance as Page ousted No. 13 Chinle in the first semi-final by a 47-37 count. Special to the Times | Reginald CheeChinle Lady Wildcat Qoah Yazzie (23) drives into Page Lady Sand Devil players LeLaura Yazzie (3) and Leikara Yazzie (45) for a layup near the basket at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Page trailed 4-0 early but received a huge spark from Harris as she scored nine of her game-best 11 points in the opening quarter. “I noticed that my teammates were coming out a little slow so I had to do something,” said Harris. “If anyone was going to wake them up, it was going to be me because I’m one of the team leaders.” With Harris’ solid nine, Page led 10-7 entering the second period. After that the Sand Devils scored by committee as junior guard LeLaura Yazzie chipped in 10 with three treys and junior post Leikara Yazzie added eight. Page also got seven points apiece from sophomore guard Tayla Franklin and Cambridge. “Alyssa gave us that initial spark and after that everyone did their part,” Page coach Celeste “Boka” Claw said. “Honestly, anyone on our team can go off when we need a spark.” Behind some solid defense, the Sand Devils built a 23-13 halftime cushion and they increased that margin to 42-26 in the early going of the fourth. “Our defense is our bread and butter,” Claw said. “That is what we preach. That’s Sand Devil defense right there. I mean, that’s something ingrained into every player that comes through Sand Devil nation.” Since taking over the program three years ago, this will be Claw’s first time coaching her alma mater in the finals. She won a state crown as a player for the Sand Devils during her senior season in 2012. “It’s a great feeling to be playing for the state title,” Claw said. “It’s hard to describe it, but honestly I’m more excited for the girls because they earned the right to be here.” Chinle, which finished the season 15-17, was led by junior post Dizhoon White and senior guard Neveah Jishie, who each finished with eight points. Window Rock Special to the Times | Reginald CheeWindow Rock Lady Scout Kourtney Bitselley (21) drives toward the basket while being guarded by Show Low Lady Cougar Jordyn Boyce (5) at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix Friday night. In the second semi-final, Window Rock gained the separation it needed in the third quarter before holding off Show Low with a 45-38 win. Window Rock held Show Low (29-3) to only two free throws in that third stanza as the Cougars put up 17 shot attempts in that quarter to no avail. “We adjusted our defense,” Whitney said. “We were in a 2-3 zone before and (Show Low) was getting easy buckets off of that. My coaching staff saw that and they were good at telling me that we should go man. “Once we went man, that was when they had a hard time shooting,” she added. That defensive stand helped the Scouts open up a 35-18 advantage after three quarters. The first half had been played evenly between the two squads, with Window Rock leading 22-16 at the break. The Whitney-coached team seized its largest lead at 41-22 following a two-point basket from Nelson at the 4:41 mark of the fourth period. Nelson, who finished with six points and five assists, sat out the rest of the quarter as Show Low chipped away at the Scouts’ lead. The Cougars got as close as 42-38 but Window Rock finished out the game by nailing 3-of-4 from the charity line. “Mesha is one of our top players and everybody knows that so I took her out so that she can rest for (Saturday’s) game,” Whitney said. “I had a lot of trust and confidence in the girls and I knew they were going to pull it off.” Earlier Nelson had a spectacular half on both ends of the court. On the defensive end, she was a force in the paint. And on the offensive end, she created for her teammates with senior post Bre’ James being on the receiving end of three assists down low. “She’s always that type of player that’s never going to let down,” Whitney said. “She’s always going to play and she’s every coach’s dream to have.” And although she gets plenty of credit for her play, Nelson said the Scouts’ latest win was a team effort. “We knew that we had to come together as a team,” Nelson said. “I think that is what we did tonight.” The Window Rock guard said it was a dream come true to play in the championship game as the Scouts were one game shy of doing just that last season. Click to view slideshow. “This is something we worked for all season,” Nelson said, while adding that she’s looking forward to playing Page again. “Our regional game with them was a close game,” she said. “I know Page is going to bring it but we’re also going to bring it, too.” In Friday’s contest the Scouts were led by Tso as she scored seven of her 13 points in the third period. Junior guard Devaé Willie also finished in double figures as she finished with 11 markers and three treys. For Show Low, Aubrie Wilson scored 11 and Raquel Wilson added nine. The post Page, Window Rock girls to battle for 3A state title, Lady Scouts lead season series 2-1 appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Basketball]

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[l] at 2/22/24 7:00am
Jack.s Toon February 22, 2024 Select a thumbnail below to launch a gallery of Jacks recent work: The post Comics by Jack Ahasteen appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Comics]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:31am
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Lynda Myers, the founder of Adopt-A-Native-Elder, teared up remembering a visit to a Názlíní grandmother who told Myers with shaky hands that she couldn’t weave anymore. Myers had been selling that grandmother’s rugs for years and remembers holding the hands that spent hours on the loom. “I had helped her sell many rugs,” said Myers. “I was watching the tears go down her face as she saw all the weavers selling their rugs and I thought, ‘This is painful.’ That’s the hardest part, when they say, ‘Stop giving me yarn.’” At the Holland Community Center in north Scottsdale, from Feb. 16-18, countless rugs hung on walls and tables as visitors walked around admiring and possibly buying works of art from Diné elders through ANE. Helping Diné elders ANE is an organization that aims to help Diné elders in the Navajo Nation by delivering food, medical supplies, firewood, and other supplies elders might need. Navajo Times | Kianna JoeMary R. Begay from Big Mountain, Ariz., vends at the annual Navajo Rug Show and Sale in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 17. The event took place at the Holland Community Center Feb. 16-18. According to the ANE website, the organization has helped over 800 elders since the 1990s. Since then, Myers had been behind organizing a rug show and sale in Deer Valley, Utah, with 20-30 sellers until COVID-19 happened. “During that time, I lost a lot of weavers,” said Myers. “They were all old grandmas.” Myers knew she wanted to continue having the rug show and sale to help the families she had gotten to know for 30 years. When Myers went to the former location for the rug show, it was under new management. They sought $30,000 to host the rug show. However, a Scottsdale couple that bought a rug years before contacted Myers to help. After several phone calls, the Holland Community Center in Scottsdale became the new home for the rug show and sale. “This is our second year here, and last year we did really well,” said Myers. “We’re representing 70 weavers right now.” All proceeds go back to the elders behind the rugs, and grants pay for the bundles of wool provided by ANE. “One of our big goals has been to see it (weaving) passed on, and (I’ve) been out here for 40 years with the elders,” said Myers. “And to see it passed on and see their (elders) children pick it up, and most of these weavers are grandmothers themselves representing their mothers and grandmothers who were a part of the initial program, is just amazing. It’s a full circle.” Selling rugs Myers didn’t start ANE to sell or show rugs. She saw how important it was for many elders and knew it was necessary, like everything else ANE helps with. When Myers began ANE to help supply food, she remembered distributing food in the Big Mountain, the Dził Nitsaa area. It was there an older woman approached Myers and asked her if she could sell her rug. “At the time, I was an artist, and I was like, ‘Well, you know I could try,’” said Myers. “I take it back and sell it and send her the money.” Navajo Times | Kianna JoePhotographs of Diné elders and their sheep surround a rug on display at the annual Navajo Rug Show and Sale in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 17. The following food run Myers did, the same older woman showed up again but with two rugs and asked Myers the same thing. Myers went out, sold the rugs, and sent back the money. The third time Myers returned to distribute food, the older woman had her three sisters with her, each with two rugs. “All of a sudden, I know nothing about rugs, but now I’m learning everything about rugs,” said Myers. “I’m selling these rugs, and then the next time I come back on the food run, all these ladies have rugs that I need to sell.” Myers had been taking pictures of the rugs and sending them to museums, art exhibits, friends, and anywhere so she could get them sold. Later, Myers brought the weavers and their rugs to an art gallery in Park City, Utah, allowing them to set up and sell them for four hours. The following year, they allowed six hours, and from then on, Myers remembered all the older women, and the másáni, getting together, making food, and preparing to sell each year. Buying necessities Before Myers met the elderly weaver, she had watched the screening of “Broken Rainbow,” a documentary on the Navajo-Hopi relocation. “It disturbed me. It bothered me so much what was going on,” said Myers. Myers had met a woman who brought weavers, and now knowing what was going on with Diné, Myers told that woman she would create an art piece. It sold, and Myers would give her the money from it. After Myers’ art piece sold, Myers took the woman out to get groceries per her request. “She asked me, ‘Why are you doing this?’ and I told her I needed to. I couldn’t watch what was happening,” said Myers. Later on, the woman returned to Myers’ home. She told Myers how she got lost on the dirt roads at Big Mountain and came across an older woman whose vehicle broke down. That woman and other elders she cared for had been without food for three days. The woman gave the food and water Myers had just bought her to the woman. After visiting the Navajo Nation in person and seeing the condition many elders lived in, Myers continued to make trips back to the Navajo Nation to drop off food. That’s where ANE began. Weavers at the show One of the 70 weavers represented at the show was Mary Begay. Begay is Tábąąhá born for Naakaii Dine’é. Her maternal grandfather is Tł’ááshchí’i, and her paternal grandfather is Tsédeeshgizhnii. She is from Dził Nitsaa. Begay became a part of the rug show through her mother, who had been a part of ANE when it first started. “When our community lost more than half of its land base to the Hopi tribe, Lynda Myers came, and she started to help the people in our community,” said Begay. “And first it was food, then it was other necessities, and then a rug show. My mom got involved, and she needed a driver, so I started to drive her there.” Begay remembered herself and her sisters watching her mother weave since she was young. Begay’s mother expected to watch her weave and do the same thing. “She didn’t take our hands and say, ‘Here, do this.’ It was more of, ‘Watch me and you’ll learn it,’” said Begay. Now, Begay, her sisters, daughter, and nieces know how to weave after learning from Begay’s mother. Having started with 10 rugs, Begay was down to two. The money she earns goes back to helping her family and her elderly father, who is a part of the ANE program. As Myers hustled and bustled around, ensuring her Diné friends and family had everything they needed, elders stopped her and introduced her to their kids and new grandbabies. After 40 hard years of driving back and forth from the Nation, taking in the sharp Navajo woman glares and cold shoulders, Myers can now meet the newest members of the families she’s helped. “To touch some of the weavers’ hands, the elderly’s hands, some of them were over 100 years old, it is just beautiful,” said Myers. The post Weavers’ hands: Adopt-A-Native Elder Navajo Rug Show supporting Diné weavers for 40 years appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:30am
WINDOW ROCK – Federal officials rejected three water pump storage projects in Black Mesa, including several other pump storage projects in the Navajo Nation. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, rejected preliminary permit applications to Nature and People First Arizona PHS Inc. (developers) regarding the Black Mesa Pumped Storage Project on Feb. 15. The Black Mesa Pumped Storage Project was proposed in 2022 to build three water storages on the north, east, and south of Black Mesa. Because of FERC’s new policy to not issue preliminary permits for projects on tribal lands without the tribe’s consent, FERC rejected the Nature and People First Arizona. Additionally, the Navajo Nation had explicitly opposed the project to intervene. Therefore, FERC denied the preliminary permits to Nature and People First Arizona. A turning of a new direction for FERC, as in previous years, the commission issued permits without tribes’ consent about proposed projects on tribal lands. According to Rachel Ellis, the associate director for the Southwest River Protection Program with American Rivers, dealing with hydropower permits and licenses, there are two stages. If issued, the sole purpose of a preliminary permit is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. This could be a 50-year license, Ellis said. However, the preliminary permit does not authorize the holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or enter upon lands or waters others own without the owner’s express permission. If a preliminary permit is accepted, the developer(s) would receive three years to gather data and produce studies to see how feasible the project is, said Ellis. The Nation opposed previously proposed projects regarding the Little Colorado River. FERC officials said “no” and that preliminary permits are acceptable. They would receive a consultation with the tribes at a later stage in the process, said Ellis. However, with FERC’s new policy of mandatory consent from tribes and tribal land where a proposed project would take place, FERC would need the tribe’s permission to permit developers. Additionally, Ellis said FERC does not necessarily define the new policy. However, it will still be upheld to standards and “binding” and will be spelled out for tribal consultation and consent. Black Mesa Pumped Storage Project All three projects would use roughly 450,000 acre-feet of Diné water to generate electricity exported to cities hundreds of miles away. This includes Black Mesa groundwater and the Colorado River and San Juan River; nine reservoirs on/near Black Mesa totaling 35,720 acres, 8,000 acre-feet of water is required each year after project completion, according to Diné nonprofit organization Tó Nizhóní Ání. That is roughly 126 trillion gallons of over two million 55-gallon water barrels. A hundred times Wheatfields Lake. This caused a concern that the project would impact the use of tribal lands by the Navajo Nation and communities. The Navajo Nation Department of Justice filed a motion to intervene. It stated this project may impact the Nation’s water rights or the use of waters of the Colorado River and San Juan River systems, as well as two unnamed aquifers and their sources. According to DOJ’s motion, the applicant (Nature and People First) did not seek consent from the Nation or procure the required clearances and permits for preliminary biological investigations or construction of the project. According to FERC’s ruling, the applicants should work closely with tribal stakeholders before filling out applications to ensure that tribes are fully informed about the proposed projects on their lands. This would allow the tribes to consider the project development. However, Nature and People First did not consult with the Navajo Nation, where the projects are sited entirely. Given this project’s severe impacts, the Nation and its communities are protecting water sources. FERC hydro project permits is a series. Read Part II in the Feb. 22, 2024, edition of the Navajo Times. The post FERC rejects hydro project permits amid opposition: Part I appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:29am
GALLUP – Nestled amid the vibrant hills of Los Angeles’s Echo Park lies a sanctuary distinct from the usual bustle. The Chapter House, founded by Navajo artist and activist Emma Robbins, transcends the limitations of protest, offering a haven for Indigenous expression, connection, and empowerment. It’s not just a space. It’s the beating heart of a burgeoning community, buzzing with life beyond the roar of demands for Indigenous rights. “The Chapter House is a space where Native people can gather,” Robbins says, describing her vision. “Where we can heal, celebrate, and simply be ourselves, together.” That’s the essence of The Chapter House, born in 2020, initially virtual during the pandemic’s isolation. Soon, through fundraising and grants, it blossomed into a thriving physical space, a 2,800-square-foot testament to tradition and contemporary Indigenous spirit. Indigenous art showings adorn the space, each piece a story of resilience, cultural richness, and the diverse identities woven into the Los Angeles Native community. The Chapter House, located at 1770 Glendale Boulevard in Los Angeles, is a microcosm of Indigenous life. Native women share knowledge and weave a tapestry of tradition. Urban Natives, yearning for connection, find solace in shared experiences and stories whispered across generations. Elders seek respite, while youth discover their heritage through captivating storytelling and art workshops. The healing energy is fueled by pop-up markets showcasing the ingenuity and beauty of diverse tribal crafts, each piece an ode to cultural pride and Native heritage. But The Chapter House goes beyond mere gathering. Robbins, the visionary behind this community hub, wants to foster a community of empowerment. Reaching beyond Echo Park’s borders, The Chapter House funds projects by people on the reservation. Also, it sponsors cultural events like the Third of July celebration and the Western Navajo Fair. Robbins is Bilagáana Sǫ’ Dine’é and born for Hashk’ąą Hadzohi. Her maternal grandfather is Bilagáana Sǫ’ Dine’é, and her paternal grandfather is Naakaii Dine’é. I am from Na’ni’á Hasání, near the Colorado River, in Western Navajo. Building bridges Recognizing the potential disconnect between urban and reservation life, The Chapter House actively builds bridges. Collaborations with board members like Chantel Yazzie, a Tuba City resident, ensure their impact is also felt in the Navajo Nation. By bringing reservation artists to Los Angeles and facilitating knowledge exchange between communities, they dismantle geographical barriers, fostering a sense of shared identity. Robbins’ aspirations soar beyond Los Angeles. A sister space in Tuba City is in the works, promising to nurture community and artistic expression in the Navajo Nation. “The Chapter House welcomes everyone who shares our vision,” Robbins says, extending a heartfelt invitation. “Whether you seek art, collaboration, a platform to share your story, or simply a haven for your authentic self, come in. We don’t impose ideas. We want to know what you want to experience.” And experience they do. From exercise groups fostering physical health and connection to conversations sparking self-reflection, The Chapter House thrives on its ever-expanding membership, drawn in by word-of-mouth. This is a Native space by Natives, for Natives,” according to Robbins. “We are building an Indigenous space together.” Robbins says that she feels it is important to advocate as an artist and is working on a portrait series to bring awareness to women’s issues. “Being a Diné woman and an oldest daughter, I understand the power that comes with the role. But how do we empower each other?” For Robbins, The Chapter House is more than a community center. It’s a dream realized. “Raising my daughter, Pinon, off the reservation made me yearn for a community for her,” she confides. “This space is for her, for all our youth, and there is space for elders seeking rest and for anyone who wants to connect to their authentic selves.” The Chapter House Initially, activities and gatherings were online, and members engaged in online discussions about important issues and arranged care packages for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The future holds even more exciting possibilities for The Chapter House. Expanding offerings, creating a green space, and ensuring handicapped accessibility are just a few things on their agenda. “We want to make this space as comfortable and welcoming as possible,” Robbins said. Her passion is evident. But beyond physical comfort lies a more profound desire: “To connect urban Natives with traditional culture,” she explains. “To help each other move away from survival mode and thrive. We all want the same things: clean water, basic human rights, dignity, and the freedom to come together. No one wants to be a problem that needs to be solved.” “We want to know what you want to experience,” Robbins said. “Is there something we can do for you? We don’t want to impose our ideas on others. “If you want to do a project or show your work in Los Angeles, reach out for advice and collaboration,” she added. The Chapter House stands as a testament to this collective yearning, a space where Indigenous voices protest, celebrate, heal, and thrive. It’s an invitation, a bridge, and a sanctuary waiting to be experienced by all who seek connection, empowerment, and a place to be. Information: www.thechapterhouse.org, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok: @thechapterhousela or Facebook: chapterhousela. The post Echo Park Chapter House: where Indigenous voices thrive appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:28am
Environmental injustice: impacts and solutions Editor, What does environmental injustice look like? On Navajo, it’s marking the 100th Anniversary of the fossil fuel extraction and industry’s reign over tribal resources and a back door to the Navajo Nation Council. Instead of securing a permanent homeland, our reservation was designated as a National Sacrifice Zone by the Federal Government. Decades of extraction of our rich Navajo fossil resources like coal, oil, gas, and uranium, should have made us the richest tribe, yet we remain one of the poorest, as frontline marginalized communities whose lands, air, water, and health, have been sacrificed for unprecedented profits and benefits for elitist, resource colonizers, extractive executives, border towns and mega cities. The Navajo Nation has fueled and electrified off-reservation cities and towns for over a century and that has helped drive the carbon climate chaos we are in now. Today, 100 years later, environmental injustices and environmental racism still prevail on Navajo, the latest in the form of the proposed fossil-fueled hydrogen development. Hydrogen, a highly explosive industrial fuel, will be piped through our reservation, again to benefit off-reservation cities and towns, and unprecedented corporate profits for developers. I work for a community-based organization, Tó Nizhóní Ání (TNA). Once we caught wind of the hydrogen bill that was going to be introduced at the New Mexico legislative session in late 2021, we responded with community outreach. Although all the details of the project itself were still coming through in bits and pieces, we used the science and initiated conversations about what hydrogen is, how it is used and what we knew of the proposed project(s). This educational outreach to chapters using scientific illustrations and Diné interpreters helped lay the foundation for communities to have engaging and meaningful interactions with hydrogen developers because they were aware of not only what the company is trying to sell them but also what concerns they need to be aware of, potential impacts, negative externalities of a hydrogen pipeline, and what a project could mean for their communities. In addition, we developed a resolution, based on the information available, for communities who would like to take an official position on hydrogen and hydrogen development. The chapters within the pipeline route are Cameron, Coalmine-Canyon, To’Nanees’Dizi, Tonalea, Shonto, Kayenta, Dennehotso, Mexican Water, Sweet Water, Teec Nos Pos, Red Mesa, Gadii’ahi/To’Koi, and Hogback. Out of these 13 chapters, 9 have passed opposing resolutions to hydrogen. The chapters who have yet to take an official position are Cameron, Tonalea, Shonto, and Dennehotso. There are four (4) main concerns we have identified and emphasized throughout our education. Interestingly, these concerns happen to be issues that the hydrogen developers have avoided addressing in a tangible, sustainable way. These concerns are: 1) Climate change, 2) Water use for hydrogen production, 3) Lack of adequate community engagement, consultation, and consent, and 4) Pipeline safety and encroachment. Because of how energy and water intensive the production of hydrogen is, we have taken the position of opposing all hydrogen development. Crucially, hydrogen development is being proposed in the NW region of New Mexico and will be piped across the North and West parts of the Navajo Nation in Arizona. In short, we don’t want to use any more Navajo water for industry use, we don’t want to prolong the use of fossil fuels like natural gas, or support projects that don’t have sufficient direct community benefits, nor do we want to commit thousands more acres to the pipeline. A recent study on Blue Hydrogen conducted by the Institute on Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) states that: “1) Contrary to the claims of blue hydrogen proponents, the fuel is not clean or low carbon, and it never will be. 2) … producing blue hydrogen from natural gas is shown to have carbon intensities potentially as high as 5 times the DOE’s clean standard. 3) There is significant risk that the support and funding of blue hydrogen projects will make global warming worse because projects built in the coming years will continue to produce high carbon intensity blue hydrogen for decades. 4) Neither the U.S. Federal Government nor state governments should fund dirty blue hydrogen production projects.” (IEEFA Study, Blue Hydrogen: Not Clean, Not Low-Carbon, Not a Solution; Making Hydrogen From Natural Gas Makes No Sense, 2023). Our vision for our communities is to be able to take advantage of a Just and Equitable Transition. We would like to see our communities break away from a fossil economy and move to a truly clean, sustainable, and renewable energy economy that is based on principles of climate justice, environmental justice, and Dine’ Fundamental Laws. The Navajo Nation needs to make the connection that extractive activities won’t sustain our economy, Navajo Generating Station and Peabody was a prime example of that. Even after 50 years of coal extraction, the Navajo economy wasn’t resilient, dynamic, or stable enough to stand on its own, it wasn’t able to absorb all those out of work miners and plant workers. On the flip side, mining permanently altered the host environment and made it harder for the people who still relied on the original Navajo economy (i.e., craftspeople, farmers, pastoralist, artisans) to maintain their livelihoods. Extractive economies tend to exacerbate pre-existing vulnerabilities in a society, especially in places where governments are unable or unwilling to safeguard their people against severe negative social and environmental externalities. A more recent and abrupt example of this would be the COVID-19 pandemic, where we saw societies with higher vulnerabilities like the Navajo Nation experience higher mortality rates. Extractive economies have a similar outcome, the public usually doesn’t become aware of it because operations like coal mining or hydrogen pipelines last a long time. We don’t realize we are experiencing a slow genocide until it’s too late. What should environmental justice and climate justice look like on Navajo? We believe it should begin at the grassroots level in community-led movements that seek and support Indigenous traditional values and knowledge that protects and respects our Mother Earth, Father Sky, and all living beings. The shared principles contained in the Dine’ Fundamental Laws should be used as guiding principles to establish a decolonized energy policy that embraces community engagement and community consent-based energy projects that are carbon-free and fossil-free, to create the best pathways for Navajo and our future generations. Eleanor Smith Shiprock The post Letters | Environmental injustice: impacts and solutions appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Letters]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:27am
TWIN LAKES, N.M. – Christopher Mike-Bidtah is carving out his Def-i image in the hip-hop scene. Mike-Bidtah, known by his stage name Def-i, is a Diné hip-hop artist-educator, rapper, and producer. He’s received multiple awards for his poetic rapport and leadership, such as the 2023 New Mexico Male Artist of the Year, The Hustle Award, and the U.S. Hip-Hop Cultural Ambassador (with Next Level USA), respectively. In a couple of weeks, he’ll be a “showcasing artist” for the 2024 SXSW (South by Southwest) Music Festival in Austin, Texas. The festival brings together artists, industry professionals, and music lovers from around the world to make connections, elevate their careers, and celebrate the magic of live music, according to the SXSW website. This is a massive win for Def-i because he will represent the Navajo Nation at the festival. Mike-Bidtah is Naakaii Dine’é and born for Táchii’nii. His maternal grandfather is Hooghan Łání, and his paternal grandfather is Tábąąhá. He is the son of Pandora Mike and the late Lawrence Burt Bidtah. His grandparents are the late Eddie Mike-Bidtah and Diana Mike. He’s originally from Shiprock but resides in Albuquerque. Building with hip-hop communities Christopher Mike-Bidtah was awarded the New Mexico Male Artist of the Year and The Hustle Award during the 2023 New Mexico Hip-Hop Awards on Jan. 20 in Santa Fe. “It’s a great accomplishment,” Def-i said of his recent triumphs. “Being able to gain not just the respect but also (building) a career.” It’s a blessing to be among talented artists and recognized at a state hip-hop scene, said Mike-Bidtah, who could be the first Diné artist to “showcase” at the SXSW Music Festival. “The reservation sometimes (goes) unrecognized,” he added. With a pool of many recognized talents, he wants everyone to shine. Mike-Bidtah last month traveled to Paris to build with the Parisian hip-hop community and conduct rapper, or “MC” workshops alongside other hip-hop ambassadors. Working alongside those ambassadors was surreal because they work with celebrity artists like Busta Rhymes, Mariah Carey, and Lupe Fiasco, said Mike-Bidtah. “Hip-hop is definitely doing some crazy directions right now and it’s become so big, especially out in Europe,” Mike-Bidtah said. “I think our country really could step it up in terms of, like, hip-hop community.” He recently returned home to the Navajo Nation from Paris to share his last moments with his father, Lawrence Burt Bidtah, who passed away on Feb. 15. Naat’áanii Nééz strong The compelling artist is an experienced youth workshop provider. His commitment to cultural preservation allows him to embrace stories and experiences Growing up in Shiprock where he attended Shiprock High School, Christopher Mike-Bidtah immersed himself in the hip-hop culture. It was then he could perform and travel with his best friend, the late Andrew Martinez, who was known as New Mexico hip-hop artist Wake Self. The two were inseparable growing up together but were able to create a space for future artists. The New Mexico hip-hop culture took a hard hit when Wake Self was killed by a drunk driver in 2019. “Him (Wake Self) and I were fully immersed into hip-hop,” Mike-Bidtah said. “We were missing school events and prom to be out battling and performing at a young age.” The alternative route led Mike-Bidtah to continue to carry Martinez’s legacy and his own. “Him (Wake Self) and I were two MCs, and we joined this Native hip-hop all-elements crew called ‘Foundations of Freedom,’” Mike-Bidtah said. The Foundations of Freedom group appreciates the importance of hip-hop and the cultural aspect of Native artists. “Find collaborators,” Mike-Bidtah suggests to the youth. “(Find) like-minded individuals that vibe with you––that you can grow together, experience and adventure (together) in life.” As an adolescent youth growing up in the Nation, hip-hop was a way to transcend a lot of the adversities Native people face. Today, he said, it allows Native people to grow. “I fell in love with the hip-hop culture and seeing the parallels between ceremonies and hip-hop events,” Mike-Bidtah said. “I had a déjà vu, and I was pretty young, and it led me to this place where I rediscovered my artistic voice.” Elemental levels When looking back, Christopher Mike-Bidtah recalls open mics and talent shows that he was part of. Those moments were powerful dreams and now he can live up to them. It allowed him to be more aware and to cultivate by evolving through music. “It led me across the world and back, so I’m just giving thanks for the opportunity,” Mike-Bidtah said. “Freestyle of natural flow state, you feel ‘free,’ and your style can go in all directions.” With lyrical poet elements, he said, it becomes part of the community. Many lyricists that Mike-Bidtah grew up listening to had paved the way for him to believe in himself. Artists like Michael Taylor Perretta, known professionally as Evidence, who Def-i said he admires because of the platform Evidence holds. On a few occasions, Evidence toured the Nation and other tribal lands when a collaborative group was traveling for one year. “He (Evidence) produced music for Kanye West,” Mike-Bidtah said, adding he was really impressed by Evidence’s style as a producer and entrepreneur. Additional artists he admires are John Percy Simon and Percee P, also known as The Rhyme Inspector, who Mike-Bidtah admires for his rap style and being a “high-level lyrical.” The admiration and possibilities are endless for Mike-Bidtah. He still needs to create a space to host hip-hop workshops in his stance and while out touring. “When you are in a creative state of mind, it’s (almost) like the creator being creative,” Mike-Bidtah said. “Stay grounded (in) who you are and reach for your unlimited potential,” referring to the youth who may be on a path of unsureness. It led the multi-awarded artist to hold a space for the youth because he had been there before. Growing up with supportive parents and being the prime examples of educators and mentors, he hopes to carry on their teachings and leadership to encourage and support future artists. With a positive attitude, Mike Bidtah defies the elemental aspects of what a dream could turn into a reality if one believes in oneself. He says it takes grind and grit to be where he is today, and if it weren’t for all the various artists he has met and the mentors he has had, he wouldn’t be where he is today. This allowed him to see the world like places in Europe or Nigeria, where hip-hop has taken him. Mike-Bidtah says stepping out of one’s comfort zone can be frightening. He encourages the youth to learn and read many books, which has helped him on his journey as an artist. “But to always remember who you are,” Mike Bidtah said. Considering the amount of travel he does year-round, he finds himself burning cedar or sage to protect his energy. “There’s a lot of power that was generated from the hip-hop movement,” he added. “For me, I was drawn to the love of words and language itself.” The post Diné lyrical artist Def-i taking up space worldwide appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:26am
Norman R. Yazzie RIO RANCHO, N.M. — A Celebration of Life for Norman Russel Yazzie (aka Stormin Norman), 67, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, will be held Saturday, March 2, at 11 a.m., at the Anchor Pointe Church (6751 Pasilla Road NE) in Rio Rancho, with Pastor Kevin officiating. Norman Russel Yazzie, July 16, 1956 Feb. 14, 2024 Norman was born July 16, 1956, in Rehoboth, New Mexico. He passed away Feb. 14, 2024, in Rio Rancho. Norman graduated from Tohatchi High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1982 from New Mexico State University. He worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Road Department/Department of Transportation as a highway engineer supervisor for 35 years in Shiprock, Gallup, Albuquerque, and Farmington. Norman enjoyed basketball, football, music, and was a longtime Green Bay Packers fan. He was active in the Lord’s Servants to Native Ministries coaching youth basketball and baseball. Norman was a faithful servant in many Christian ministries on and off Native reservations. He was actively involved in Bible studies and outreach ministries. He was a dedicated, passionate servant of Jesus Christ. Norman is survived by his wife, Gloria (Beleen) Yazzie; son, Russell J. Yazzie; daughter, Devon S. Yazzie; sisters, Nasheen Yazzie, Aneva Yazzie, Charlene Yazzie, Charolette Yazzie, and Courtney Yazzie; two grandchildren and beloved pet, Dotty. Norman is preceded in death by his mother, Marie S. Yazzie; and father, Harry H. Yazzie. Daniels Family Funeral Services-Carlisle Chapel oversaw arrangements. To view information or leave a condolence, visit https://www.danielsfuneral.com/obituaries/norman-yazzie. Terrillynn L. Spencer DEL MUERTO, Ariz. — Funeral services for Terrillynn Lynn Spencer, 30, of Chinle, will be held today, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m., at the New Testament Holiness Church in Del Muerto, Arizona, with Stanford Samuel officiating. Burial will follow at the Chinle community cemetery. Terrillynn was born Nov. 23, 1993, in Chinle, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Yé’ii dine’é (Giant People Clan). She passed away Feb. 13, 2024, in Phoenix. Terrillynn was a homemaker who loved her children. Terrilynn is survived by her sons, Justus Blake and Gjermiahson E. Tulley; daughter, Jorydn Blake; father, Terrill Spencer; brothers, Kendrick Yoe and Keno Yazzie; and sisters, Kristy A. Yazzie, Terrileen Spencer, Katera Spencer, and Kerrill Spencer. Terrilynn is preceded in death by her mother, Kathileen Spencer; and brother, Gerard J. Allen. Pallbearers will be Terrance Spencer, Kyle Wilson, Ryan Wilson, Garrison Yellowman, and Terrison Spencer. Honorary pallbearer will be her father, Terrill Spencer. A reception will take place at the New Testament Holiness Church following services. Silver Creek Mortuary oversaw arrangements. Alfred Morris TOHATCHI, N.M. — Funeral services for Alfred Morris, 82, of Naschitti, New Mexico, will be held Friday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tohatchi, New Mexico, with Father Dale Jimson officiating. Burial will follow at the Naschitti cemetery. Alfred Morris, March 15, 1941 Feb. 7, 2024 Alfred was born March 15, 1941, in Naschitti, into the Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan). He passed away Feb. 7, 2024, in Naschitti. Alfred completed high school in Anadarko, Oklahoma. After retirement from the U.S. Navy, he was employed as an equipment supervisor for Navajo Nation Forestry. He enjoyed camping, fishing, and spending time outdoors. Alfred is survived by his sons, Brennan Morris, Reid Morris, Aaron Morris, and Casey Morris; daughters, Nadine Briggs and Kaylene Morris; brothers, Frank Morris, Earl Morris Sr., Arnold Morris, and Larry Morris Sr.; sisters, Ethel Yazzie, Lucille Begay and Louise Bull-Horse; and nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Pallbearers will be Aaron Morris, Reid Morris, Raymond Bedonie, Ryan Bedonie, Robert Bedonie, and Albert James Jr. Honorary pallbearers will be Casey Morris and Teaghe Morris. A reception will take place at the Naschitti Chapter House following services. Rollie Mortuary oversaw arrangements. Harrison Harry GALLUP — Funeral services for Harrison Harry, 59, of Standing Rock, New Mexico, will be held Monday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m., at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial in Gallup. Harrison was born Jan. 3, 1965, in Crownpoint, into the Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), born for ‘Áshįįhí (Salt People Clan). He passed away Feb. 16, 2024, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Harrison was a silversmith and mechanic who enjoyed hauling wood, helping family and friends, driving and listening to rez bands. Harrison is survived by his wife, Katherine Etsitty; brother, Nelson Harry; and sisters, Elsie M. Yazzie and Bert Shorty. Harrison is preceded in death by his parents, Ella and Ned Harry; daughter, Dora Harry; sister, Elta Harry; and brother, Howard Harry. Pallbearers will be Augustine Miller, Herman Harry, Harold Harry, Dexter Smith, and Raynor Cooke. Honorary pallbearers will be Verrill Denet, Nelson Harry and Howard Harry Jr. Rollie Mortuary oversaw arrangements. Eric Harvey WINDOW ROCK — Funeral services for Eric Harvey, 44, will be held Monday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m., at the United Methodist Church in Window Rock. Burial will follow in Fort Defiance. Eric was born July 15, 1979, in Fort Defiance. He passed away Feb. 12, 2024, in Fort Defiance. Eric graduated high school and was self-employed. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, hunting, cooking, singing, socializing, and helping others. Eric is survived by his sons, Noah I. Harvey, Joshua B. Harvey and Chestin Harvey; daughter, Sara Harvey; mother, Ida Harvey; and sister, Natasha Harvey. Eric is preceded in death by his father, Joey Wauneka; brother, Wyatt Harvey; maternal grandparents, Annie W. Barney and Lawrence Harvey; and paternal grandfather, Joe Wauneka. Pallbearers will be Johnathan Willie, Laren Jackson, Clifford Holyan, Joshua B. Harvey, and Noah I. Harvey. A reception will take place at the United Methodist Fellowship Hall following services. Silver Creek Mortuary oversaw arrangements. The Navajo Times publishes obituaries free of charge as a public service. If you have an obituary you would like to submit, follow this link to the online submission form. We look forward to serving you. The post Obituaries for February 22, 2024 appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Obituaries]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:23am
PHOENIX – The Arizona high school state wrestling tournament crowned a plethora of champions on Saturday night. Of the seven area grapplers that made the finals, four finished off the season with a state title. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieRed Mesa’s Rheanna Tree grapples with Talitha Dubose of Marcos De Niza in the 126-pound weight class at the Arizona Division II girls state wrestling tournament. Tree captured Red Mesa’s first state individual crown on Saturday. Red Mesa sophomore Rheanna Tree secured the school’s first-ever girls state crown while Monument Valley’s Joseph Rodriguez ended a 23-year drought for the Mustang program. The Snowflake Lobos left the state tournament with two champions as the Kinlicheenie brothers – Devin and Troy – dedicated their titles to their late uncle Stetson Begay. “We lost our uncle a couple of weeks ago and so we did this for him,” said Devin, who successfully defended his 215-pound title at the Division III level. In his quest to repeat as champion, the younger Kinlicheenie brother finished out the season with a 55-0 record as he won all but two of those matches by pins. At the state tournament Devin recorded three pins in his early matches. In the finals the top-seeded Snowflake wrestler scored an 8-0 major decision over Arizona College Prep’s Cayden Gibson. “I could have pinned him, but he was kind of blowing up on the bottom,” Devin said. “The goal was to pin-out for the whole tournament and dominate. “I did dominate him, but I could have done better,” he added. At 138, Troy secured his first state title after coming up short the three previous years. In those past state tournaments, the older Kinlicheenie sibling lost in the semifinals as he took third in both his freshman and sophomore seasons and fifth his junior year. “I’m just grateful for this opportunity,” said Troy, who entered the tournament as the top seed. “There was some pressure to win it, but I just tried to have fun,” he said. In the title bout, Troy wrestled Deer Valley’s Tyler Metcalf for the second time this season. Troy upped his season record to 52-1 after earning a 4-2 decision over the Deer Valley wrestler. “It was kind of a hard match because I wrestled him earlier in the season, so he knew what I was going to do,” he said. The two Kinlicheenie brothers were the only state placers for the Snowflake team that qualified seven wrestlers, with Troy being the only senior. “Every kid that came out here scored team points for us,” Snowflake coach Ken Owens said. “We had a lot of kids that made their first state tournament. They went 1-2, but they wrestled hard, and they competed hard.” Snowflake placed 11th overall with 67 points, with most of those points coming from the Kinlicheenie siblings. “They’re both the pace-setters of the team,” Owens said of the duo. “They’re the first ones on the pull-up bar as soon as practice is over and they’re the first ones running sprints after practice, but they’re not alone. “If you were in our practice room last week, we had our 106-pounder wrestle with Devin at 215 and we had Troy at 138 wrestle with our 126-pounder,” he added. “And they were rotating the kids, and they’re making every kid better. That is what people don’t get to see.” Monument Valley In his final prep season, MV’s Joseph Rodriguez wiped away some heartbreaks he endured the previous two years. In his sophomore season, Rodriguez placed third at the state meet and last year he came up short in the state finals. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieSnowflake’s Troy Kinlicheenie shows his emotions after winning the 138-pound state title at the Arizona Division III state wrestling tournament on Saturday in Phoenix. The MV senior left the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in a better mood this year as Rodriguez took home the Division IV 126-pound state crown. “It really didn’t hit me until I saw my teammates crying,” Rodriguez said. “It hit me then when I realized that I actually won. I just worked really hard for this. “You know, when I lost my sophomore year it really hurt,” he added. “Last year I got really close and this year I made a huge commitment and it all worked out.” Rodriguez finished his season at 41-4. He won his first three state matches with pins and in the finals, he scored a 9-0 major decision over Blue Ridge’s Spencer Brandon. “I’ve never wrestled him before and I just went into the match with a game plan and I executed,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted to get him on his back, get as much back points, and keep the match at my own pace.” Before this year, the last state champion for MV came during the 1991 season when Harlan Herder won his state title. “Honestly, it’s unbelievable that it took so long to win another state title for our school,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just excited to go home and celebrate this with the people that I love.” The Mustangs also had senior Davin Salt make the finals as he finished behind state champ Breck Williams of Morenci in the 157-pound weight class. Williams won the match with a fall in the opening period. “He was pretty tough,” Salt said of the Morenci wrestler. “I was hoping to win the state title but I’m very thankful for the youth wrestling clubs that I joined when I was younger like Rez Wrestling and Sheep Came Wrestling. “Theyre the reasons why Ive got this far,” he added. Salt finished the year at 34-4 overall. Red Mesa Last season Red Mesa’s Lyla Tree made school history by placing fifth at the Arizona all-girls state wrestling tournament. This year’s tournament had two divisions and Layla’s younger sister, Rheanna, took home Red Mesa’s first state crown in said sport. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieSnowflake’s Devin Kinlicheenie tries to hold down Arizona College Prep’s Cayden Gibson in the 215-pound weight class. Kinlicheenie won his second consecutive state title in that same weight class. Rheanna entered the state tournament unseeded and although she raised a few eyebrows, her coach knew that she was capable of winning this year’s 126-pound weight class. In the finals Rheanna pinned Talitha DuBose of Marcos De Niza just as the first period ended. “She wrestled with pure emotion,” Red Mesa coach Frederick Boone said. “As her coach, I’m very proud of her. She had me in tears and what she did was fantastic. “I don’t know how to explain the feeling, but that was a proud moment for all of us,” he said. Prior to the state tournament, Rheanna (24-4) took second at the state qualifying meet at Payson High School during the sectional meet. Boone said she was expected to win that tournament and be seeded for this year’s bracket. “Everybody was expecting her to win,” the Red Mesa coach said. “But when she lost, I told her that we still have state. She just had to clear her mind and get ready for state.” And while that may have left a chip on her shoulder, Boone felt that last year’s state tournament is what pushed her. “She lost out last year and she watched all of the finals from the stands and that is what drove her,” he said. In addition to Rheanna, Boone also coached Lyla at the state meet as the older sibling lost her final to Peoria’s Nylease Yzagere in the 185-pound title match by a fall. “I thought she had it, but she lost to the state champion from last year,” Boone said of Yzagere. The two wrestlers entered the final undefeated as Lyla dropped her first match of the season. She finished the year at 29-1 in her final season donning the Red Mesa jersey. “That was a tough loss for her, but Lyla set the bar for our girls wrestling program,” Boone said. “She’s the first one to make history by placing at state last year. She really worked hard day-in and day-out.” Page Page sophomore Conner Peterson made the finals in his 120-pound weight class, losing the state title to Jiovanni Chavez of Santa Cruz Valley Union. Chavez scored a 6-1 decision over the Page wrestler. “Conner wrestled really well in his first three matches to make the finals,” Page coach Kyran Keisling said. “I think the bright lights were just too bright for him. He just kind of didn’t let it flow like he usually does. “He’s a scrambling type of wrestler,” he added. “He’s a really dynamic wrestler and he just got a little tentative. This will burn in him, so I expect him to start training for next year.” The Sand Devils qualified nine wrestlers for state, but before the tournament started, they lost two grapplers. Keisling’s heavyweight got hurt during the sectional meet and he another one didn’t make weight. On the girls team, the Sand Devils placed seventh overall with 46 points. The Page team brought four wrestler to state with three placing headed by junior Mya Tsinnijinnie’s fourth place finish at 138. Seniors Trina Bennett (120) and Ilina Robbins (152) both took sixth. “We finished in the top 10 so that’s not bad,” Page girls coach Steve Smith said. “My girls really worked hard this season, that’s for sure. “Mya didn’t qualify for state last year and so for her to get fourth this year is awesome.” The post Area wrestlers end season with state titles appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Wrestling]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:23am
PHOENIX – The Arizona high school state wrestling tournament crowned a plethora of champions on Saturday night. Of the seven area grapplers that made the finals, four finished off the season with a state title. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieRed Mesa’s Rheanna Tree grapples with Talitha Dubose of Marcos De Niza in the 126-pound weight class at the Arizona Division II girls state wrestling tournament. Tree captured Red Mesa’s first state individual crown on Saturday. Red Mesa sophomore Rheanna Tree secured the school’s first-ever girls state crown while Monument Valley’s Joseph Rodriguez ended a 23-year drought for the Mustang program. The Snowflake Lobos left the state tournament with two champions as the Kinlicheenie brothers – Devin and Troy – dedicated their titles to their late uncle Stetson Begay. “We lost our uncle a couple of weeks ago and so we did this for him,” said Devin, who successfully defended his 215-pound title at the Division III level. In his quest to repeat as champion, the younger Kinlicheenie brother finished out the season with a 55-0 record as he won all but two of those matches by pins. At the state tournament Devin recorded three pins in his early matches. In the finals the top-seeded Snowflake wrestler scored an 8-0 major decision over Arizona College Prep’s Cayden Gibson. “I could have pinned him, but he was kind of blowing up on the bottom,” Devin said. “The goal was to pin-out for the whole tournament and dominate. “I did dominate him, but I could have done better,” he added. At 138, Troy secured his first state title after coming up short the three previous years. In those past state tournaments, the older Kinlicheenie sibling lost in the semifinals as he took third in both his freshman and sophomore seasons and fifth his junior year. “I’m just grateful for this opportunity,” said Troy, who entered the tournament as the top seed. “There was some pressure to win it, but I just tried to have fun,” he said. In the title bout, Troy wrestled Deer Valley’s Tyler Metcalf for the second time this season. Troy upped his season record to 52-1 after earning a 4-2 decision over the Deer Valley wrestler. “It was kind of a hard match because I wrestled him earlier in the season, so he knew what I was going to do,” he said. The two Kinlicheenie brothers were the only state placers for the Snowflake team that qualified seven wrestlers, with Troy being the only senior. “Every kid that came out here scored team points for us,” Snowflake coach Ken Owens said. “We had a lot of kids that made their first state tournament. They went 1-2, but they wrestled hard, and they competed hard.” Snowflake placed 11th overall with 67 points, with most of those points coming from the Kinlicheenie siblings. “They’re both the pace-setters of the team,” Owens said of the duo. “They’re the first ones on the pull-up bar as soon as practice is over and they’re the first ones running sprints after practice, but they’re not alone. “If you were in our practice room last week, we had our 106-pounder wrestle with Devin at 215 and we had Troy at 138 wrestle with our 126-pounder,” he added. “And they were rotating the kids, and they’re making every kid better. That is what people don’t get to see.” Monument Valley In his final prep season, MV’s Joseph Rodriguez wiped away some heartbreaks he endured the previous two years. In his sophomore season, Rodriguez placed third at the state meet and last year he came up short in the state finals. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieSnowflake’s Troy Kinlicheenie shows his emotions after winning the 138-pound state title at the Arizona Division III state wrestling tournament on Saturday in Phoenix. The MV senior left the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in a better mood this year as Rodriguez took home the Division IV 126-pound state crown. “It really didn’t hit me until I saw my teammates crying,” Rodriguez said. “It hit me then when I realized that I actually won. I just worked really hard for this. “You know, when I lost my sophomore year it really hurt,” he added. “Last year I got really close and this year I made a huge commitment and it all worked out.” Rodriguez finished his season at 41-4. He won his first three state matches with pins and in the finals, he scored a 9-0 major decision over Blue Ridge’s Spencer Brandon. “I’ve never wrestled him before and I just went into the match with a game plan and I executed,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted to get him on his back, get as much back points, and keep the match at my own pace.” Before this year, the last state champion for MV came during the 1991 season when Harlan Herder won his state title. “Honestly, it’s unbelievable that it took so long to win another state title for our school,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just excited to go home and celebrate this with the people that I love.” The Mustangs also had senior Davin Salt make the finals as he finished behind state champ Breck Williams of Morenci in the 157-pound weight class. Williams won the match with a fall in the opening period. “He was pretty tough,” Salt said of the Morenci wrestler. “I was hoping to win the state title but I’m very thankful for the youth wrestling clubs that I joined when I was younger like Rez Wrestling and Sheep Came Wrestling. “Theyre the reasons why Ive got this far,” he added. Salt finished the year at 34-4 overall. Red Mesa Last season Red Mesa’s Lyla Tree made school history by placing fifth at the Arizona all-girls state wrestling tournament. This year’s tournament had two divisions and Layla’s younger sister, Rheanna, took home Red Mesa’s first state crown in said sport. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieSnowflake’s Devin Kinlicheenie tries to hold down Arizona College Prep’s Cayden Gibson in the 215-pound weight class. Kinlicheenie won his second consecutive state title in that same weight class. Rheanna entered the state tournament unseeded and although she raised a few eyebrows, her coach knew that she was capable of winning this year’s 126-pound weight class. In the finals Rheanna pinned Talitha DuBose of Marcos De Niza just as the first period ended. “She wrestled with pure emotion,” Red Mesa coach Frederick Boone said. “As her coach, I’m very proud of her. She had me in tears and what she did was fantastic. “I don’t know how to explain the feeling, but that was a proud moment for all of us,” he said. Prior to the state tournament, Rheanna (24-4) took second at the state qualifying meet at Payson High School during the sectional meet. Boone said she was expected to win that tournament and be seeded for this year’s bracket. “Everybody was expecting her to win,” the Red Mesa coach said. “But when she lost, I told her that we still have state. She just had to clear her mind and get ready for state.” And while that may have left a chip on her shoulder, Boone felt that last year’s state tournament is what pushed her. “She lost out last year and she watched all of the finals from the stands and that is what drove her,” he said. In addition to Rheanna, Boone also coached Lyla at the state meet as the older sibling lost her final to Peoria’s Nylease Yzagere in the 185-pound title match by a fall. “I thought she had it, but she lost to the state champion from last year,” Boone said of Yzagere. The two wrestlers entered the final undefeated as Lyla dropped her first match of the season. She finished the year at 29-1 in her final season donning the Red Mesa jersey. “That was a tough loss for her, but Lyla set the bar for our girls wrestling program,” Boone said. “She’s the first one to make history by placing at state last year. She really worked hard day-in and day-out.” Page Page sophomore Conner Peterson made the finals in his 120-pound weight class, losing the state title to Jiovanni Chavez of Santa Cruz Valley Union. Chavez scored a 6-1 decision over the Page wrestler. “Conner wrestled really well in his first three matches to make the finals,” Page coach Kyran Keisling said. “I think the bright lights were just too bright for him. He just kind of didn’t let it flow like he usually does. “He’s a scrambling type of wrestler,” he added. “He’s a really dynamic wrestler and he just got a little tentative. This will burn in him, so I expect him to start training for next year.” The Sand Devils qualified nine wrestlers for state, but before the tournament started, they lost two grapplers. Keisling’s heavyweight got hurt during the sectional meet and he another one didn’t make weight. On the girls team, the Sand Devils placed seventh overall with 46 points. The Page team brought four wrestler to state with three placing headed by junior Mya Tsinnijinnie’s fourth place finish at 138. Seniors Trina Bennett (120) and Ilina Robbins (152) both took sixth. “We finished in the top 10 so that’s not bad,” Page girls coach Steve Smith said. “My girls really worked hard this season, that’s for sure. “Mya didn’t qualify for state last year and so for her to get fourth this year is awesome.” The post Area wrestlers end season with state titles appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Sports]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:22am
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – One of Arizona’s perennial girls basketball powerhouse is back in familiar territory. On Monday the top-seeded Page Lady Sand Devils (21-5) reached the 3A Final Four round for the first time under third-year coach Celeste “Boka” Claw. The top-seeded Page team advanced with a 61-25 win over No. 24 American Leadership Academy-West Foothills (15-12) at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona. “We’ve definitely been itching to get back,” Claw said. “We’re just trying to carry over the legacy of Ryan Whitehorse, Justin Smith, Aaron Anderson, Jim Atkins and Mike Bill. All those great coaches set the tone for the Sand Devil program and the community. “It means a lot to be back,” she added. “I couldn’t have done it without all of my fabulous coaching staff. They have helped me build back the program the way we’ve always wanted to where defense wins championships.” Navajo Times | Quentin JodiePage Lady Sand Devil Alyssa Harris dribbles the ball in transition against the AIA-West Foothills Guardians on Monday in Prescott Valley, Ariz. Prior to Claw taking over the program, Page won the 2021 state title under Whitehorse during the shortened Covid season. Since then the Sand Devils have reached the second round of the playoffs before bowing out each of the past two seasons. “I’m super excited,” Page senior post Sofia Cambridge said. “I’ve always wanted to be in the semis, and Ive always wanted to win a state championship so getting past the second round and winning today’s quarterfinals is great.” Page senior transfer Alyssa Harris was equally pleased with winning Monday’s game as the Sand Devils will play Chinle at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. “I’m really excited and I’m really happy for my teammates,” said Harris, who played previously at Flagstaff High for two seasons. “A lot of my teammates didn’t get to experience this their freshman, sophomore and junior years, so I’m definitely happy that we get to play in the semifinals, but our job is not done.” In Monday’s contest the Sand Devils led from the get-go. They sprinted ahead of ALA-West Foothills, scoring the contest’s first 11 points. Page guard LeLaura Yazzie hit a pair threes in that early surge as she finished with eight total points. ALA-West Foothills finally got going when sophomore guard Izabella Juarez scored five straight in the middle of the quarter, as her three-pointer cut Page’s lead down to 11-5 with 4:15 left. After that brief run by ALA-West Foothills, the Sand Devils responded in a big way. Harris and Cambridge combined for 38 points, with the latter leading the way with 20 markers. “Those two are my most consistent players when it comes to our offense,” the Page coach said. “They lead the team in scoring, but I also have some players that can go off. It was LeLaura Yazzie’s night and the other night it was Taylor Franklin.” Defensively, the Sand Devils held Juarez to 14 points, which is eight below her average. The ALA-West Foothills guard didn’t get much help from her teammates as just three others scored for the 24th-seeded Guardians. “She’s a fantastic player,” the Page coach said of Juarez. “Props to her; she had a great season helping her team to get this far in the playoffs. We expected her to score 15-plus because she’s a great shooter, but I thought we did a good job preventing her teammates from scoring.” Claw credited players like Aubrey Martinez, Jade Reid and Lashundean Henry for their work on the defensive end. “We just have a lot of players that are so gritty,” she said. “Some of them don’t look to score like Aubrey. She’s one of our defensive players and she’ll go rebound and get after those boards, so she’s like our Dennis Rodman. “And we have Jade and Lashundean who are our defensive stoppers,” she added. Page will now focus on Chinle as the 13th-seeded Lady Wildcats needed an overtime session to outlast No. 5 Snowflake with a 62-55 win. “They may have had a rough season, but Chinle always plays well during the playoffs,” Claw said while adding that Chinle coach Francine McCurtain really knows how to develop her team in the postseason. “She has them playing hard for her and that’s incredible to see,” Claw said. “I expect a really good game with them.” The post Lady Sand Devils return to Final Four appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Basketball]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:22am
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – One of Arizona’s perennial girls basketball powerhouse is back in familiar territory. On Monday the top-seeded Page Lady Sand Devils (21-5) reached the 3A Final Four round for the first time under third-year coach Celeste “Boka” Claw. The top-seeded Page team advanced with a 61-25 win over No. 24 American Leadership Academy-West Foothills (15-12) at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona. “We’ve definitely been itching to get back,” Claw said. “We’re just trying to carry over the legacy of Ryan Whitehorse, Justin Smith, Aaron Anderson, Jim Atkins and Mike Bill. All those great coaches set the tone for the Sand Devil program and the community. “It means a lot to be back,” she added. “I couldn’t have done it without all of my fabulous coaching staff. They have helped me build back the program the way we’ve always wanted to where defense wins championships.” Navajo Times | Quentin JodiePage Lady Sand Devil Alyssa Harris dribbles the ball in transition against the AIA-West Foothills Guardians on Monday in Prescott Valley, Ariz. Prior to Claw taking over the program, Page won the 2021 state title under Whitehorse during the shortened Covid season. Since then the Sand Devils have reached the second round of the playoffs before bowing out each of the past two seasons. “I’m super excited,” Page senior post Sofia Cambridge said. “I’ve always wanted to be in the semis, and Ive always wanted to win a state championship so getting past the second round and winning today’s quarterfinals is great.” Page senior transfer Alyssa Harris was equally pleased with winning Monday’s game as the Sand Devils will play Chinle at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. “I’m really excited and I’m really happy for my teammates,” said Harris, who played previously at Flagstaff High for two seasons. “A lot of my teammates didn’t get to experience this their freshman, sophomore and junior years, so I’m definitely happy that we get to play in the semifinals, but our job is not done.” In Monday’s contest the Sand Devils led from the get-go. They sprinted ahead of ALA-West Foothills, scoring the contest’s first 11 points. Page guard LeLaura Yazzie hit a pair threes in that early surge as she finished with eight total points. ALA-West Foothills finally got going when sophomore guard Izabella Juarez scored five straight in the middle of the quarter, as her three-pointer cut Page’s lead down to 11-5 with 4:15 left. After that brief run by ALA-West Foothills, the Sand Devils responded in a big way. Harris and Cambridge combined for 38 points, with the latter leading the way with 20 markers. “Those two are my most consistent players when it comes to our offense,” the Page coach said. “They lead the team in scoring, but I also have some players that can go off. It was LeLaura Yazzie’s night and the other night it was Taylor Franklin.” Defensively, the Sand Devils held Juarez to 14 points, which is eight below her average. The ALA-West Foothills guard didn’t get much help from her teammates as just three others scored for the 24th-seeded Guardians. “She’s a fantastic player,” the Page coach said of Juarez. “Props to her; she had a great season helping her team to get this far in the playoffs. We expected her to score 15-plus because she’s a great shooter, but I thought we did a good job preventing her teammates from scoring.” Claw credited players like Aubrey Martinez, Jade Reid and Lashundean Henry for their work on the defensive end. “We just have a lot of players that are so gritty,” she said. “Some of them don’t look to score like Aubrey. She’s one of our defensive players and she’ll go rebound and get after those boards, so she’s like our Dennis Rodman. “And we have Jade and Lashundean who are our defensive stoppers,” she added. Page will now focus on Chinle as the 13th-seeded Lady Wildcats needed an overtime session to outlast No. 5 Snowflake with a 62-55 win. “They may have had a rough season, but Chinle always plays well during the playoffs,” Claw said while adding that Chinle coach Francine McCurtain really knows how to develop her team in the postseason. “She has them playing hard for her and that’s incredible to see,” Claw said. “I expect a really good game with them.” The post Lady Sand Devils return to Final Four appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Sports]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:21am
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Chinle girls basketball team entered the 3A state playoffs with a losing record. Chinle was seeded 13th for the tournament and despite the odds the Lady Wildcats are headed back to the Final Four round for the third straight year. Two years ago, the Wildcats lost the state title game to Alchesay as the No. 12 seed and last season they came up short to Show Low in the semifinals as the 10th seed. After knocking off No. 20 Parker in the opening round of the 2024 tournament, the Wildcats twice played spoiler by downing No. 4 Chandler Valley Christian and No. 5 Snowflake in succession. On Monday Chinle needed an overtime session to outlast Snowflake in an epic 62-55 triumph inside the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieChinle’s Qoah Yazzie retrieves the ball near the baseline as Snowflake’s Ranell West avoids fouling her on Monday during the 3A girls quarterfinal playoffs in Prescott Valley, Ariz. With that, the Wildcats will play top seed Page at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix at 1 p.m. with the winner advancing to Saturday’s title game, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. “Our record doesn’t reflect how our team is playing right now,” said Chinle coach Francine McCurtain, whose team improved to 15-16 overall. The sixth-year coach felt that some of the earlier games Chinle played got away from them after junior post Dizhoon White was sidelined with a knee injury. “Dizhoon came back in January, so she’s given us a boost,” McCurtain said. “With Dizhoon back in the lineup we had to rework our chemistry and think about how we were going to situate ourselves.” With White on the sideline, Chinle went 7-11 in the early part of the season and since her return the Wildcats have won eight of 13 games. “What’s neat is these girls have bought into what we’re doing,” McCurtain said. “They believe in the process. Whatever I asked of the girls they’re always following through. They’re out there making sure that we’re executing the best we can on offense and defense.” That was in full display late in Monday’s contest as the Wildcats closed out the overtime session on a 9-0 run. Chinle received a timely baseline three from senior guard Neveah Jishie that jump started that finish. Her trifecta at the 1:03 mark gave Chinle a 56-55 advantage. “We have girls like that who will step up in moments like that,” McCurtain said. “They’re our unlikely heroes and her shot was huge for our team. That changed the momentum for us.” Jishie, who finished with nine points, had no second thoughts about shooting that three. “During regionals I missed a three-point shot against Page that went in-and-out,” Jishie said. “I really didn’t think about it. I just shot it and I’m glad that it went in.” On Snowflake’s ensuing possession, the Lady Lobos gave the ball back on a three-second violation as they were forced to foul. Snowflake put Jayden Lynch on the line and her free throws gave Chinle a 58-55 edge. The Wildcats then came up with a steal at midcourt when senior Jorja Vasquez swiped the ball away from Snowflake’s Haddli Nichols. Vasquez then iced the game for Chinle as she knocked down four straight free throws in the final 15.3 seconds as Snowflake missed a pair of threes down the stretch. “I work on my free throws every day,” said Vasquez, who shared top scoring honors with White as both players finished with 17 points apiece. “Coach always tells me to knock them down because at the end of the day free throws matter,” she said. “It wins games.” In regulation the Wildcats grabbed a 46-37 lead at the 4:13 mark of the fourth quarter after a basket by Jishie. Snowflake, however, used a 10-0 run to pull ahead thanks to some free throw shooting from junior guard Nicole Hipps. Hipps, who finished with a team-high 14 points, made four straight as the Lobos regained the lead at 47-46 with 3:37 left. The lead changed hands four times before the Lobos sent the game into overtime with senior post Kloah Ulberg scoring inside just as the buzzer sounded with the game tied at 52-all at the end of regulation. “I think we had a mental drop there, more so on the defensive side,” the Chinle coach said of Snowflake’s run. “The defensive fundamentals that we started off with were no longer there. We weren’t rotating and a couple of times Jayden, my guard, ended down at the bottom in the paint. She’s not supposed to be playing down there so we were playing a little lackadaisical. We were also making fouls that we shouldn’t have been making.” The post Chinle outlasts Snowflake, makes third trip to Final Four appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Sports]

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[l] at 2/22/24 3:20am
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – By all means this was a trap game for the Window Rock Lady Scouts. The second-seeded Scouts (26-4) rode into the 3A state quarterfinals with a psychological edge over Monument Valley, the tournament’s No. 7 seed. Window Rock had already posted three wins over MV prior to the state playoffs, including a 32-point drubbing in the 3A North Region tournament two weeks ago. On Monday the Scouts beat MV (19-12) for the fourth time this season, as Window Rock moved into the state semifinals for the second straight year with a 45-38 over the Mustangs at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz. “Coming into this game I knew we were going to see a different MV team,” Window Rock coach Gabrielle Whitney said. “This was an MV team that we hadn’t seen before because this is the playoffs – it’s win or go home. Special to the Times | Reginald CheeWindow Rock Lady Scout Asa-Ryah Begaye (5) goes under Monument Valley’s Corey Sandoval (30) for a shot under the basket at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz. Window Rock won its 3A quarterfinal game, 45-38, on Monday. “I told the girls that MV is gonna want it, so we had to give everything we had,” she added. After trailing for much of the first half, Window Rock held MV to only four points in the third stanza. The Scouts took the lead for good at 27-26 late in the quarter when senior Asa-Ryah Begaye nailed a two-point shot with 2:37 left. Begaye then nailed a three-pointer with just over two minutes left for a 30-26 cushion, but MV didn’t go away. The Mustangs got a timely trey from senior Jazanna Miles before Window Rock closed out the quarter with senior Jayme Tso hitting 1-of-2 free throws for a 31-29 Scout lead. The Whitney-coached team then padded that two-point lead into a 37-29 cushion behind a pair of treys. Junior guard Devae Willie made the first one and Tso nailed the second to earn Window Rock that eight-point cushion with 3:54 left in the fourth. In the midst of that Window Rock run, MV missed six consecutive free throws. Nonetheless, the Mustangs made one final push with a 5-0 run. Senior post Corey Sandoval got it started with an inside basket and, following a steal, Mustang junior Latisha Mutte scored on a breakaway layup. Mutte added 1-of-2 free throws to draw MV within 37-34 with 2:21 left. That was as close as the Mustangs would get as Window Rock iced the game by making 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch. “At halftime we just had to get refocused,” Whitney said. “We had to make some defensive stops and coming out of that third quarter the girls found a rhythm. They found that team chemistry and they found their playing style and that is what showed in that third, fourth quarter.” In the opening half, MV junior post Keiryn Mann paced the Mustangs with eight points. Her second basket netted MV its largest lead at 14-8 with 1:40 left in the opening period. The Scouts then scored six straight as Kourtney Bitselley’s putback with 6:31 left in the second quarter tied the game at 14-all. After trading baskets, MV went on a 7-0 run to open up a 25-20 cushion behind two free throws from sophomore Tehya Yazzie with 0:24 left in the half. The Scouts, however, received an old-fashioned three-point play from senior guard Melicia Nelson to cut that deficit down to 25-23 at the break. “I have to give props to MV,” Whitney said. “They gave it everything they had in that first and second quarter. We were having a little bit of difficulties stopping them defensively. They were scoring on us even though we dropped into a man, a 1-3-1 and 2-3 zone defense.” Mann led the Mustangs with 10 points while senior wing Corey Sandoval added seven. For Window Rock, Begaye finished with a team-best 10 points. The Scouts also received eight from Willie and seven from Nelson. “Sometimes Asa gets overlooked,” Whitney said of her pupil. “She uses that to her advantage because teams will not guard her as hard so she’s gonna shoot and if they give her the lane, she’s gonna attack. “Teams shouldn’t overlook Asa because she’s a threat,” she added. On Friday Window Rock plays third-seeded Show Low at 4:30 p.m. in the second of two semifinals at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The championship game is slated for Saturday at 4 p.m. “It’s going to be a tough game,” Whitney said. “It’s going to come down to who wants it more.” The post Window Rock girls overcome slow start to upend MV appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Sports]

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[l] at 2/21/24 9:59am
WINDOW ROCK The Nahat’á Dziil Commission Governance is hosting a two-day Relocation Summit Feb. 21-22 at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort in Béésh Háát’i. Speakers will cover issues and concerns to develop a policy and address what relocatees are facing today, said LaVonne Tsosie, a commissioner of the Nahat’á Dziil Commission. Even after 50 years, the Navajo-Hopi partitioned land still heavily affects roughly 16,000-plus families and their livelihoods after the federal government removed Diné and Hopi families from their homes in 1974 from Big Mountain, Arizona, and surrounding areas. “There are issues that are happening at the federal level,” Tsosie said. She believes there has not been any change or support from all levels, which is the reason for the summit. “It has been my life goal to do something for relocatees,” Tsosie said. The tragedy of relocating resulted from modern federal Indian policy, which caused hardship for thousands of families that found themselves homeless and landless. According to a Navajo Times article published July 13, 2023, the government told families they had to leave their homes by July 6, 1986. Since 1974, the Navajo Nation has received funds on the Nahat’á Dziil Commission’s behalf. However, Tsosie expressed they have not received any. To this day, relocatees have been affected by the trauma and atrocities when the federal government removed them. Forced to relocate Jack Ahasteen’s family is one of many who had been forced to relocate from their homeland in Teesto, Arizona. Ahasteen, the editorial cartoonist for the Navajo Times, will be one of the guest speakers during the summit. “During that time, my parents were living on that Navajo-Hopi (Land) Dispute,” Ahasteen said. “At that time, it was a disputed area.” Ahasteen said his parents are traditional Diné who could not comprehend why the federal government forced them to depart from their homelands. As a young adult, he recalls families in the area did not know where the boundary lines were being drawn. During the land dispute, Ahasteen said residents were removed if they or their livestock crossed the line or fence. “I was concerned,” Ahasteen said. “These older Navajos were already in a state of being traumatized because they didn’t know where they’re going to be and what’s going to happen to their lives.” During the time, Ahasteen referred to it as collateral damage. “It has affected families and people living outside the areas,” he said. Even ceremonies were held to protect families and themselves from the traumas that they were enduring. Ahasteen said there was a disruption to the way of life for his family and others. To help his parents “cope” and understand what was happening, Ahasteen began drawing humorous cartoons for them. To this day, Ahasteen continues to submit political cartoons to the Times, which he uses to showcase his own perspective to gesture humor but also to tell a story of what is happening in the Navajo Nation and surrounding areas. In addition to the guest speakers, Ahasteen and others, such as LeRoy Shingoitewa, the former Hopi Chairman; Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Board President Lennard Eltsosie; Luther Lee, Mark Kelly’s representative; Dziłyíjiin Regional Council Percy Deal; community advocates Patricia Nez-Henderson and David Tsosie; and Council delegates Otto Tso and Vince R. James will be at the event. Information: LaVonne Tsosie at (928) 245-0638. The post 50 years of resilience, Two-day Relocation Summit at Béésh Háát’i begins Feb. 21 appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/16/24 2:09pm
CROWNPOINT It’s going to be brutal. The Navajo Technical University men’s basketball team is entering its toughest stretch yet. The Skyhawks must cover nine games in 10 days. Of those games, seven are against conference opponents as NTU sits fourth in the seven-team Southwestern States Intercollegiate Conference (SWS) with a 4-3 record. They trail frontrunners Lincoln College, Justice College and West Coast Baptist. “We probably need to win five out of the seven to make the conference tournament,” NTU coach Robb Floco said. “The nine (conference) wins should get us in, and that would be icing on the cake for our program, which will be unbelievable with it being our first year in the conference.” The Skyhawks start their challenging schedule tonight with West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST). “We haven’t played West Coast Baptist yet, so we’ll play them for two games,” Floco said. “They’re sitting third in the conference so obviously if we beat them twice that’ll drop them, and it puts us in their spot.” The two teams will play again on Saturday at 5 p.m. before the Skyhawks take on Bethesda University on Sunday at 1 p.m. and Southern California Leadership University (SCLU) at 7 p.m. in Seal Beach, California. NTU will wrap up its southern California swing playing Stanton University on Monday at 7 p.m. in Garden Grove. The Floco-coached team ends its 10-day trek in Phoenix playing conference foe Justice College on Thursday at 7 p.m. followed by a pair of non-conference games with SAGU-American Indian College on Feb. 23 and 24. “We have a very winnable game at Bethesda, a very winnable game at Stanton College,” Floco said. “We only lost to Stanton College by two and we were able to beat SCLU by 60 so we definitely feel that if we take care of West Coast Baptist, we’re going to pick up some momentum.” And though it’s a tall task, NTU freshman point guard Anthony Alvez feels that his team is ready to take on the massive challenge. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieNavajo Technical freshman Anthony Alvez took over as the team’s point guard in mid-January. The Skyhawks are looking to finish in the top four in the Southwestern States Intercollegiate Conference race. “I think we’re ready for it,” Alvez said. “I mean, we’ve been pushing ourselves in practice, exhausting ourselves and it’s got us conditioned to play that many games. Our goal is to win as many (conference) games as possible and we’re not going to take our foot off the pedal. “We can’t relax because the teams we’re playing are not playing nine games in a row like we are and we can’t let them take advantage,” he added. “We just have to trust our bench and each other to get through this tough stretch.” Alvez is one of seven freshmen on the team making the 10-day trip as NTU moved up a few players from its developmental squad to its varsity team due to disciplinary issues within the program. The Skyhawks have lost several role players since the start of the new year. With that, Alvez earned a starting spot in mid-January, and since then he’s been running with it. “My coaches gave me a shot and I’m very thankful for that,” the Santa Fe native said. “They have put a lot of trust in me for taking over the point guard position. I’m just trying to get my teammates involved because I have great shooters on the team. “I just gotta pass them the ball and they’re going to knock down a shot,” he added. NTU guard Talon West is another freshman that has benefited from the personnel change as the Rehoboth Christian High graduate is earning more minutes coming off the bench. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieNavajo Technical guard Talon West looks to shoot against a Cal Miramar player in this file photo on Jan. 14, 2024. NTU is playing nine games in 10 days, starting with tonight’s game (Feb. 16) with West Coast Baptist. “We have a bunch of scorers on our team and I’m just trying to play my role, which is playing defense and rebounding,” West said. “That is where I fit in, but I’m also being patient, waiting to take my shot.” Despite the change in personnel, the Skyhawks have not missed a beat, winning four of their last five games heading into this stretch of games. “We’ve been able to be very competitive even with the changes we made in January,” Floco said. “We’re playing up tempo and we’re averaging 91 points per game and, yeah, we have that ‘next-man up’ mentality. “The good thing is our guys got a lot of experience early on with our competitive schedule,” he said. “And that is what we keep talking about in how we kind of groomed them to be successful. “And now, it’s somebody else’s turn to step up,” he added. The post NTU men’s team entering toughest stretch of the season, Skyhawks to play 9 games in 10 days appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/16/24 2:09pm
CROWNPOINT It’s going to be brutal. The Navajo Technical University men’s basketball team is entering its toughest stretch yet. The Skyhawks must cover nine games in 10 days. Of those games, seven are against conference opponents as NTU sits fourth in the seven-team Southwestern States Intercollegiate Conference (SWS) with a 4-3 record. They trail frontrunners Lincoln College, Justice College and West Coast Baptist. “We probably need to win five out of the seven to make the conference tournament,” NTU coach Robb Floco said. “The nine (conference) wins should get us in, and that would be icing on the cake for our program, which will be unbelievable with it being our first year in the conference.” The Skyhawks start their challenging schedule tonight with West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST). “We haven’t played West Coast Baptist yet, so we’ll play them for two games,” Floco said. “They’re sitting third in the conference so obviously if we beat them twice that’ll drop them, and it puts us in their spot.” The two teams will play again on Saturday at 5 p.m. before the Skyhawks take on Bethesda University on Sunday at 1 p.m. and Southern California Leadership University (SCLU) at 7 p.m. in Seal Beach, California. NTU will wrap up its southern California swing playing Stanton University on Monday at 7 p.m. in Garden Grove. The Floco-coached team ends its 10-day trek in Phoenix playing conference foe Justice College on Thursday at 7 p.m. followed by a pair of non-conference games with SAGU-American Indian College on Feb. 23 and 24. “We have a very winnable game at Bethesda, a very winnable game at Stanton College,” Floco said. “We only lost to Stanton College by two and we were able to beat SCLU by 60 so we definitely feel that if we take care of West Coast Baptist, we’re going to pick up some momentum.” And though it’s a tall task, NTU freshman point guard Anthony Alvez feels that his team is ready to take on the massive challenge. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieNavajo Technical freshman Anthony Alvez took over as the team’s point guard in mid-January. The Skyhawks are looking to finish in the top four in the Southwestern States Intercollegiate Conference race. “I think we’re ready for it,” Alvez said. “I mean, we’ve been pushing ourselves in practice, exhausting ourselves and it’s got us conditioned to play that many games. Our goal is to win as many (conference) games as possible and we’re not going to take our foot off the pedal. “We can’t relax because the teams we’re playing are not playing nine games in a row like we are and we can’t let them take advantage,” he added. “We just have to trust our bench and each other to get through this tough stretch.” Alvez is one of seven freshmen on the team making the 10-day trip as NTU moved up a few players from its developmental squad to its varsity team due to disciplinary issues within the program. The Skyhawks have lost several role players since the start of the new year. With that, Alvez earned a starting spot in mid-January, and since then he’s been running with it. “My coaches gave me a shot and I’m very thankful for that,” the Santa Fe native said. “They have put a lot of trust in me for taking over the point guard position. I’m just trying to get my teammates involved because I have great shooters on the team. “I just gotta pass them the ball and they’re going to knock down a shot,” he added. NTU guard Talon West is another freshman that has benefited from the personnel change as the Rehoboth Christian High graduate is earning more minutes coming off the bench. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieNavajo Technical guard Talon West looks to shoot against a Cal Miramar player in this file photo on Jan. 14, 2024. NTU is playing nine games in 10 days, starting with tonight’s game (Feb. 16) with West Coast Baptist. “We have a bunch of scorers on our team and I’m just trying to play my role, which is playing defense and rebounding,” West said. “That is where I fit in, but I’m also being patient, waiting to take my shot.” Despite the change in personnel, the Skyhawks have not missed a beat, winning four of their last five games heading into this stretch of games. “We’ve been able to be very competitive even with the changes we made in January,” Floco said. “We’re playing up tempo and we’re averaging 91 points per game and, yeah, we have that ‘next-man up’ mentality. “The good thing is our guys got a lot of experience early on with our competitive schedule,” he said. “And that is what we keep talking about in how we kind of groomed them to be successful. “And now, it’s somebody else’s turn to step up,” he added. The post NTU men’s team entering toughest stretch of the season, Skyhawks to play 9 games in 10 days appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Basketball, Sports]

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[l] at 2/15/24 3:32am
WINDOW ROCK – Throughout the Navajo Nation, the influx of animals is growing in numbers, causing concern for animal shelters and public safety. “Animals owned or strays, (the numbers) have skyrocketed. It’s really bad,” said Jennifer Johnson, a kennel officer at Fort Defiance Animal Shelter, who previously worked as a Veterinary Tech at Gallup Humane Society. On a daily, Johnson said the shelter has animals coming in. The Fort Defiance Animal Shelter is closed because of plumbing issues and isn’t accepting animals. Still, its staff advises people to take the animal(s) to another animal shelter. Other Navajo Nation Animal Control Programs include Many Farms, Shiprock, Tuba City, and Crownpoint. “We stress that the officers at Many Farms are taking in more,” Johnson said. “I know they are stressed out of taking over our animals.” She commends their effort in allowing this. With the influx of animals being taken to animal shelters, spaying/neutering plays a vital role in ensuring not only the decrease of unwanted litter but also the public’s safety. Courtesy | Jennifer JohnsonA cat and her kittens are housed at Fort Defiance Animal Shelter in Fort Defiance, Ariz. “There’s a ton of different benefits to spay and neuter,” said Michelle Weaver, the director of sanctuary outreach for Best Friends Animal Society. She believes it can impact public safety regarding fewer dog bite cases or livestock damages. “Because we see a higher rate of male dogs or nursing female (dogs), they tend to have a higher rate of bite incidents for many reasons,” she added. In many cases, public safety is the main priority to avoid the heartbreaking story of what happened to 13-year-old Lyssa Rose Upshaw, who was killed by a pack of dogs in Fort Defiance in 2021. According to a previous Navajo Times article published May 18, 2021, Upshaw was walking on a nearby jogging trail when her mother noticed her daughter had not returned at a particular time. The family began to search for her when a relative said one resident had a bunch of dogs that were known to be aggressive and had bitten people before. Once the family arrived near the residence home, they found Upshaw curled up in a fetal position and her legs “chewed up.” According to the story, 12 dogs were found on the resident’s property. The family believes there may have been more. According to Johnson, the Fort Defiance Animal Shelter received a call last week that dogs were attacking kids walking home from school. The shelter staff constantly asks dog owners to tie up their dogs. But those owners often say it isn’t theirs. “We try our best to do what we can,” Johnson said. When the animal shelter receives calls regarding any concerns or complaints of animals, depending on the severity, that person is put on a waitlist. “Bite cases and livestock damages are a priority and are answered right away,” she said. “If it’s a call near one of the officers, they will respond right away.” Recently, a Diné language and cultural teacher, Albert Chase’s sheep, were attacked and killed by five pit bulls on Jan. 27 in Joseph City, Arizona. Given the circumstances and the severity of the case, Chase couldn’t share further information. Working with rescuers Although many cases are unknown, pet owners should spay/neuter their animals to reduce the risk of liability and maintain unwanted pets. Throughout the Nation, strays are seen in parking lots such as Bashas’ in Window Rock or Lowe’s Market parking lot in Burnside, Arizona. According to Johnson, strays are a hassle to capture because of their sense of smell. Rescuers who try to capture these strays – by feeding them – are more cautious when animal control officers try to obtain them. They become protective and aggressive, said Johnson. A few of the officers have been bitten or snapped at. But the benefit of working with rescuers is finding homes for strays brought into animal shelters. “Working with the rescues, what we are aiming for, like a dog bite or livestock damage, we (recommend) that (an) animal is spayed/neutered before it’s released,” Johnson said. A few rescued partners are nonprofits like Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, RezRoads Rescue in Shiprock, and Animal Rez-Q, a mobile clinic covering areas across the Navajo Nation. According to Johnson, stray dogs and cats are never-ending. Recently, animal control officers received a call in Vanderwagen, New Mexico, when dogs attacked a cat and “was barely alive,” according to the caller. The cat suffered from punctured wounds, torn skin, and a swollen eye. “Spay and neutering can help with pets wandering,” Michelle Weaver said. “That drive for males to go find a female in heat, tends to have (males) go further and more likely to fight with other male dogs,” she added. Weaver said spaying and neutering reduce many concerns. She recommends that many pet owners spay/neuter their animals to reduce their risk of various diseases, viruses, attacking people or other animals, biting, wandering, and litters. Animal control in the Navajo Nation is a three-part series. Read parts II and III in the Feb. 15, 2024, edition of the Navajo Times. The post Navajo Nation animal shelters surging with unwanted dogs, cats: Part I appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/15/24 3:31am
WINDOW ROCK – Associate Justice Eleanor Shirley swore in Lester Charles Yazzie as an interim Council delegate at the Navajo Nation Supreme Court on Wednesday morning. Yazzie will represent Bááhááli, Chéch’iltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, and Tséyaatoh. Yazzie is Táchii’nii and born for Tł’ááshchí’í. His maternal grandfather is ‘Áshįįhí, and his paternal grandfather is Kinyaa’áanii. His parents are Larry Yazzie of Chéch’iltah and Janie Skeet Yazzie of Bááhááli. Lester Yazzie replaces former Delegate Seth Damon, who recently accepted a position as New Mexico’s deputy secretary of Indian Affairs with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. A short ceremony took place at the Supreme Court in Window Rock, where Yazzie repeated the oath of office. “Whatever teachings instilled in you came from your mom,” Shirley told Yazzie. Witnesses were Seth Damon’s parents, Charles Damon and Patricia Damon. “I’m very thankful to have the leadership here from the speaker’s office, Chief Justice (JoAnn Jayne) and her staff, for doing the oath,” Yazzie said. Yazzie thanks three women who have molded him into the person he is: his mother, Janine Skeets Yazzie; mother-in-law, Patricia Damon; and his wife, Sharon Yazzie. As a 26-year veteran who retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2022, Lester Yazzie said he’s worked in various capacities in the Navajo Nation, such as Child Protective Services and the Navajo Housing Authority. “I’m excited and ready,” Yazzie said regarding his new role as a delegate. “I’m very eager to go and step forward to continue on the vision that honorable Speaker Seth Damon left.” Lester Yazzie said “a lot” of projects need to be updated, but he is willing to take on the challenges with “boots on the ground.” Yazzie served as Damon’s LDA (legislative district assistant) but had to resign twice because of his active-duty status and was deployed during that time. According to Yazzie, Damon reached out to him and said, “Hey, my LDA position is still vacant. I would like you to come back on board.” Yazzie considered and worked with Damon until the former delegate left for his new position. The post Damon’s former LDA sworn in as interim Council delegate appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 2/15/24 3:28am
By Kianna Joe Navajo Times TEMPE, Ariz. – From Tempe’s Arizona State University campus to Crownpoint High School in New Mexico, there’s curiosity around journalism. Specifically, with Diné journalism and what it looks like at Navajo Times. On Feb. 2 at ASU’s Memorial Union building, I was able to talk to dozens of Native American students from 7th to 12th grade during the RECHARGE conference. The goal was to empower young Indigenous students. With my background in journalism, working with Navajo Times and operating my own media outlet, “She Towers Zine,” my goal was to ensure that these students knew they had a voice and stories they could tell. I started off my presentation talking about She Towers Zine, a multimedia platform for all Indigenous artists at any age to share their voice. I aim to put out a zine every month that is entirely made up of community art including written pieces. There are different themes each month and artists have complete control to share what that theme means to them. On the zine website, I also include articles on Indigenous peoples and events and podcasts with other Indigenous creatives. For these students, I wanted them to know that I had a voice, that I had art and writing to share. A very easy way to share that with the rest of the world was through an online and printed zine. I outlined how they could make one, how to start and finish a zine, what topics they could choose and how to share it. Next was talking about being an intern reporter with Navajo Times. A huge misconception I heard from the students following the presentation was they thought reporters and journalists live boring lives because who wants to write? I knew that was a misconception especially to younger students because I thought the same thing. On the projector, I put up some of my favorite pictures I had taken that either made it into the paper or that I took for personal memories because writing stories and reporting for Navajo Times is far from boring. After I mentioned to students about my interviews with the Navajo Nation president, Buu Nygren, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and visiting the Grand Canyon more than once, I saw wide eyes. Similarly in New Mexico, at Crownpoint High School, I was able to talk with freshman students taking journalism classes. Around the room I heard the excitement after mentioning who I’ve been able to interview. At the high school, I was asked by the journalism teacher, Spencer Faunt, to go in and specifically talk about Navajo Times and to be interviewed in return by the students themselves. It was fun to be the one being interviewed. Students asked me what it’s like being a reporter, if I was scared to do it, and how I started. I believe writers are pushed to their limits. Nasty comments, nasty emails and phone calls barrel our way, and we have to learn to keep moving. We have to learn to be cool-headed and get to the next story. Sometimes we get sick, we have family emergencies, or we simply want to enjoy a couple days at most with our friends and family like everyone else. I told students I am 22 and I am still in school, and I was, at the time, on leave from work because my mental health was not great. Even though we are constantly waiting on other people, trying to talk with people, going to events on different sides of the reservation, writing outside of that, when I need my break, I re-energize with the help of family, friends, and ceremony. I am still young and still have so much to experience and so do these high school students. If I never worked with Navajo Times, I wouldn’t have been able to meet people I idolized since I was a kid, talk with people like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony or see parts of my home that I only remembered when I was younger. It was very heartwarming to read some of the articles the students were working on. My favorite one was about what comes after high school. The lede was longer than what my editor likes but it was descriptive. This student captured the repetitiveness of going from grade to grade and then the confusion many seniors face when they’ve reached the end of high school. I talked with a student on how I format my stories and what helps me, and we were able to organize her story and answer questions they couldn’t really understand previously. Questions such as, How are they going to pinpoint their main purpose of the article? What warmed my heart and opened my eyes was they handed me a note that said they wanted to know more but they were shy. Looking around the room to other students and remembering the students before that class, I remembered them all being shy. Their sleeves covering their mouths when they spoke, trying to shove the questions into someone else’s hand so they didn’t have to speak out loud and looking away from me when I read their articles. Students are curious about different career fields and these students were curious about journalism and what journalism looked like in their local paper. I had students ask about interning for Navajo Times, when they could start, what they could be doing after they leave to eventually be an intern at the paper. I talked about how I enrolled at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and was able to prepare for an internship through classes and then eventually dive into the internship with Navajo Times. I am grateful to Crownpoint High School’s principal, Kelly Morris, journalism teacher Spencer Faunt, and ASU’s Office of American Indian Initiatives, the Phoenix Indian Center and ASU Access for allowing me to talk about Diné journalism at the Navajo Times. I hope to see some of the curious students later when they want to intern with Navajo Times. The post Curiosity critical in journalism appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Reporter's Notebook]

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[l] at 2/15/24 3:23am
GALLUP – With the district season in its homestretch, the Gallup girls basketball team is looking to finish out the regular season strong. On Tuesday night Gallup won its fourth straight game as the Lady Bengals posted a 55-17 win over the visiting Shiprock Chieftains in a key District 1-4A contest. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieBloomfield Lady Bobcat Aliya Quintana (center) drives to the basket while being defended by Miyamura’s Jaylin Cadman (10) and Kaytoinette Ross (right) on Tuesday night. The two squads had played the night before, with Gallup winning 51-32 in a makeup game that was rescheduled due to inclement weather earlier this season. In Monday’s game Shiprock gave Gallup fits as the Chieftains trailed 24-20 at the break and 35-26 heading into the fourth quarter. “We missed a lot of easy shots that I thought should have fallen,” Gallup coach Todd McBroom said of Monday’s game. “It’s just the way it works sometimes but tonight (Tuesday) we were able to make those shots and we extended the lead early and we put pressure on them.” The two district wins improved Gallup’s record to 17-6 overall and 6-1 in league play. The Bengals are hoping to pull even with district frontrunner Kirtland Central (20-2, 7-0) as the Broncos posted a 62-27 win over Aztec on Tuesday night. In other District 1-4A action, the Bloomfield Bobcats defeated Miyamura 51-38 on the road “This is a big win for us,” said Bloomfield coach Brady Rivers, whose team improved to 15-7 and 3-4 in district. “Miyamura is always a tough team to beat. The coach (Vena Vallo) is doing an outstanding job over there and so we knew we had to come in here ready to play.” Bloomfield led by as much as nine points — 17-8 — in the opening half, but the Lady Patriots ended the second quarter on a 6-1 run with junior guard Heaven Lee hitting back-to-back treys. Lee’s second three beat the halftime buzzer as Miyamura closed within 18-14 at the break. The two squads traded some early buckets to start the third stanza as the contest remained a two-possession game. That was until the Bobcats flipped the script by playing team ball. Bloomfield got some good looks at the basket, whether it was in transition or through set plays, as the Bobcats opened up a 37-26 cushion heading into the fourth. “The girls started to look for one another and when we did that we started to play more like a team,” Rivers said. “We actually started to have each other’s back, so to speak, and that took the pressure off of them.” Senior post Aliya Quintana came up big in that pivotal third period as she scored nine of her game-high 17 points. Bloomfield also received 11 points from its other post in senior Danielle Johnson. For Miyamura, junior Kaytoinette Ross led the Patriots with 13 points while Lee finished with nine. Senior Laurn Begay chipped in eight. The Patriots (5-18, 1-6 in district) will host Shiprock on Friday night before closing out the district season with games with Aztec on Tuesday and Gallup on Feb. 23. Bloomfield is entertaining Kirtland Central (20-2, 7-0) on Friday. Next week, the Bobcats will host Shiprock on Tuesday and play at Aztec on Feb. 23. Gallup In Tuesday’s rematch with Shiprock, Gallup seized a 29-10 halftime lead and never looked back as 6’0” junior post Rylie Whitehair finished with 18 points, which included three and-one plays. “Riley hasn’t changed any from last year,” McBroom said. “She’s a strong girl and people have a hard time with her inside. She doesn’t get as many calls when she does get fouled but maybe I’m a little biased about that, but she’s tough.” McBroom utilized an army to wear down the Chieftains as the Gallup coach went 13-deep. “The idea is to keep our kids fresh, so we try to play a lot of kids,” McBroom said. “We’ll press and go hard for a couple of minutes and then they’ll take a break.” That strategy took a toll on Shiprock as the Chieftains (8-15, 0-7) scored a season-low 17 points in district play. (Earlier this season, Shiprock finished with 14 against 5A top-ranked Farmington Scorpions.) “We ran out of gas,” Shiprock coach Robert McCaskill said. “It’s hard to play back-to-back games. You know, Gallup plays a platoon-like type of game. They were subbing out girl after girl and their girls don’t drop off a level. They’re pretty much the same and they just go, go, go.” Despite being winless in district play, the second-year coach is seeing some progress as the Chieftains have come up a tad short to Bloomfield (36-34) and Aztec (32-27) in a pair of close games. “We’re getting better, and they’re starting to do the fundamentals on a more consistent basis,” McCaskell said. “We’re still learning how to win. We just need to continue to do the stuff that we’re doing well, and they’re learning that when you get to district your focus has to be sharper, but like I said we’ve had some really good games.” And while they came up short to KC by 71-31 count earlier this month, McCaskell was pleased with their efforts. “That was a victory for me because they came out ready to play,” he said. “I was proud of them because usually when we play with Kirtland they’re scared to death, and they weren’t. “They did decent,” he added. “They were using some of the fundamentals they’ve learned into the game.” The post Gallup, Bloomfield, KC girls notch wins on Tuesday night appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Basketball]

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[l] at 2/15/24 3:22am
WINDOW ROCK – The road to the state finals looks promising for Ganado wrestler Ryan Kee. The three-time state qualifier has a first-round bye and will need just two wins to make the championship round of the Division IV 106-pound weight class. “I’m looking for Ryan to be in the top two,” Ganado coach Kevin Watchman said. Last week Kee improved his record to 33-7 overall after he was crowned the sectional champion, winning his final match with an 11-3 major decision over Page’s Kaiden Benally. With that the Ganado senior was seeded third in this year’s state tournament bracket, which gets underway on Thursday at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Kee will await the winner between freshmen wrestlers Kaige Geyer of River Valley and Adam Belloc of Santa Cruz Valley Union in the second round. If he wins that match, Kee could possibly wrestle second seed Wyatt Eddy of Tombstone High for the first time in the semifinals. Eddy enters the state tournament with a 51-2 mark. “Ryan is the only senior on his side of the bracket and the rest are underclassmen,” Watchman said. The Ganado coach also likes the chances of 113-pounder Cimmaron Curley, who came up short to Holbrook’s Everett Pack during last week’s sectional meet. Pack defeated Curley for the first time in three tries with a 13-8 decision. Earlier in the season, the Ganado wrestler pinned Pack at the Pat Kenny Invitational and at a multi-dual meet in St. Johns. “I think Cimmaron has a good chance of medaling at state,” Watchman said. “His first-round match is against a younger wrestler.” That wrestler is Parker’s Michael Evenson, who sports a 23-23 record. In the next round, Curley could possibly face second seed Avry Dunton of Arizona Lutheran as Dunton ran his record to 47-4 after winning his sectional meet. Watchman will be also coaching two wrestlers on the girls team, with seniors Dosha Wortham qualifying at 107 and Lyndsey Thomas at 132. Wortham (26-9 overall) took third at sections while Thomas (28-6) finished second, losing to Winslow’s Tatum Estrada in the finals by a 5-2 decision. Estrada earned the top seed in the 132-pound bracket as she owns a perfect 20-0 record. “Lyndsay is getting close to beating Tatum,” Watchman said. “All of their matches have come down to the last period, but it’s never been in our favor.” Since her loss to Estrada, the Ganado wrestler has been working on improving her defensive mechanics. “We’ve been working with Lyndsay with counter attacks because that is how Tatum wrestles,” Watchman said. “She capitalizes off Lyndsay’s mistakes, so our game plan this week is to play defense and counter off what the other wrestlers are doing. “We’re training to not take unnecessary shots and we’re training not to be as aggressive as we have been,” he added. “We’re going to try to be defensive-minded and maybe this time around it will work in our favor.” The post State draw favors Ganado wrestler appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Wrestling]

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