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[l] at 5/3/24 4:12pm
FLAGSTAFF In a game dominated by pitching, the Coconino Lady Panthers snuck past city rival Flagstaff High in an Arizona Interscholastic Association 4A elimination game. Fifth-seeded Coconino scored the opening run on a Flagstaff error in the first frame before its bats came alive in the sixth to post a 3-0 shutout victory at Coconino High School on a sunny Thursday afternoon. “We’re a good hitting team but today was a fun game because it was a pitchers’ duel,” said Coconino coach Kimberly Dennis, whose team improved to 23-7 overall. “Sometimes it’s fun to watch, and it’s a matter if the defense is going to back you up.” Junior ace Katelyn Tso earned the win for the Panthers as she struck out nine batters, walked two and yielded four hits in seven innings of shutout ball. Flagstaff senior Gianna Baca was tagged with the loss. The starting pitcher worked six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits. She struck out seven and walked one. “Flagstaff is definitely a good team, but I think the chemistry that we have on this team is what won this game for us,” Tso said. “The chemistry that we have is the best and, personally, I believe we can go far in the playoffs.” With the loss, the eighth-seeded Eagles (19-11) saw their season end, while Coconino advanced into the next round of the double-elimination bracket. The Panthers will take the field on Tuesday against the loser between No. 2 Arcadia and No. 3 Canyon Del Oro at the Papago Softball Complex in Phoenix. “We’re moving forward and I’m just super excited for the girls,” Dennis said. “I’m just proud of how they handled the pressure in a tight close game like that. We stayed calm and we were finally able to get some timely hits.” With two outs in the bottom of the first frame, Coconino shortstop Destiny Villas singled a ground ball to left field. The junior infielder used her lightning-quick speed to steal home as the throw from the catcher to second base went awry. The ball was overthrown as it sailed to center in which Dennis signaled Villas home. With both pitchers throwing some heat, neither team scored for the next five innings. But in the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers added two insurance runs. Coco catcher Alyssa Fockler reached third on an error by the right fielder. Another misplayed grounder by Flagstaff put Tso at first, which scored Flocker. Third baseman Katelynn Yazzie then nailed a hit to center for an RBI double for the game’s final 3-0 reading. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieCoconino third baseman Katelynn Yazzie cracks a smile after completing an out against the Flagstaff Lady Eagles Thursday in an AIA 4A playoff elimination game. Yazzie led the Lady Panthers with two hits. Yazzie led the Panthers by going 2-for-3. The shutout was somewhat of a payback win for the Dennis-coached team, as Flagstaff ended the Panthers’ season last year in the playoffs. “They got us last year, so the message for this game was to play for each other,” Dennis said. “That is what we focused on. And to reference Kaitlyn’s comment, I just feel like our team has really great chemistry. “All the girls have worked hard on that chemistry,” she added. “They’re playing for each other, and today it showed.” The post Coconino shutouts out Flag High in pitchers’ duel appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Sports]

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[l] at 5/2/24 5:00am
Jacks toon May 2, 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 5/2/24 3:34am
TSÉBIGHÁHOODZÁNÍ – Miss Indian World Kassie John is her family’s “spoon keeper.” Though she isn’t a professional cook and is training in butchery and meat cutting, John is skilled in all aspects of food preparation, often focusing on what Diné like to eat. “I really love my family. I love my Indigenous people. That love––but I don’t know how to butcher a sheep yet,” John said. “I’m training in that.” “They’re (family) like, ‘You’re a good cook!’” she said of her family in the Tsiiłchin (Chiiłchin) Bii’ Tó and the Tsé Ntsaa Deez’áhí areas. “I’m like, ‘Not by choice.’” Kassie John, 25, was crowned the new Miss Indian World during the 41st Annual Gathering of Nations powwow in Bee’eldííldahsinil on April 27. She is the daughter of David and Shirley John. She is Tó’áhani and born for Bit’ahnii. Her maternal grandfather is ‘Áshįįhí, and her paternal grandfather is Kinłichíi’nii. “I always say Diné Bikéyah because I’m from the home of the People,” Kassie John said. “My dad is from Rock Point, and my mom is from Chilchinbeto. I’m connected to both sides. “My bízhí in Rock Point are my cultural caretakers. They always practice ceremony … and they’re my role models,” she added. “I look to my mom’s side: my aunties and my late grandma, they’re all talented rug weavers both sides of my family. “And that’s why I always look to … my relatives in Chilchinbeto and Rock Point for grounding me and giving me guidance in terms of language, culture, ceremony and they’re always making me their spoon keeper.” Naalchi’í Miss Navajo Amy Naazbah Reeves-Begaye wanted to welcome her “sister,” Miss Indian World Kassie John, to the Navajo Nation capital in style. So, law enforcement officers on Monday afternoon escorted the pair in a Navajo Police unit from Na’nízhoozhí to the president’s office for a visit with President Buu Nygren, his staff, and officials. On the way, John leaned over to Begaye and said, “I’ve never been in a police car before.” The pair giggled, and she added, “I guess that’s a good thing.” John felt loved and honored as she made her way to the president’s office. The pair talked about a few things, learned they hold similar positions, and both want to be in the medical field after service. “We both are wanting to be professionals in public health,” John said. “I’m a tribal health equity leader. I work with a lot of different tribal Nations in Utah. I work in (Sooléí), and that’s what I do professionally.” It’s been 11 years since Diné Bikéyah had a Miss Indian World. The last Diné Miss Indian World titleholder was Kansas K. Begaye, the 2013-14 cultural ambassador from Waterflow, New Mexico. John turned 11 when Kansas Begaye’s was selected as the Miss Indian World inside The Pit at the University of New Mexico. “I remember she was being crowned,” John reminisced. “I was so proud. I didn’t know her (Begaye) personally. Everybody screaming. It was at The Pit, a smaller venue, so the screams were real loud.” John said she’s been going to the Gathering of Nations with her family since she was a child. Every year, she sees strong Diné women, each of whom has the potential to be Miss Indian World and showcase the Diné culture and language. “And just how we are as people,” John explained. “They (Miss Indian World staff) tell us at the pageant, ‘It (Miss Indian World crown) goes where it needs to go.’ Our Native people chose where this crown needed to be, and it chose to be here in our community.’” John competed for the Miss Indian World title in 2022, after which she earned a bachelor’s in multi-disciplinary design from the University of Utah. The title went to 2022-23 Miss Indian World Tashina Red Hawk. Coronation night Earning the Miss Indian World title has been a long time coming, said Kassie John, who wore a traditional outfit created by Diné designer Wilfred Jumbo adorned with dootł’izhii and béésh łigaii – a few of her grandmother’s jewelry. Jumbo designs and creates outfits for Miss Navajo titleholders, so it was fitting she wore Jumbo’s design when she was crowned. “My pendant was my grandmother’s, so I was really thinking and just holding onto it,” John said. “This (pendant) is my source of strength right here. Then (I had) the jewelry that my mom bought me.” In an interview on Monday evening inside the Navajo Times newsroom, John said it’s been her dream to be a Miss Indian World titleholder. “It was both an honor and a privilege to attend (the GON) and see all the different cultures coming together learning about different people’s backgrounds,” she said. Being among different tribes from across the U.S. and Canada and sharing language, food, and culture inspired her to become a student again in honor of learning about people. “I was really thinking about what brought me to the powwow,” she said. “In terms of being a proud Diné woman, I always look back to my sáanii and másáni and how they really paved the way and empowered me to be … asking to be Miss Indian World. And advocating I want to be this; I want to do this because I come from a strong line of Diné women leaders.” She says that line starts with Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé, who taught that a Diné woman can do great things. “And this is one great thing I aspired to do, and I’m honored and very proud to hold this title,” John said. “And I hope to represent everyone really, really well and showcase that we (Natives) all come from those long lineages. “All Diné women have qualities to be (a) Miss Indian World,” she added. “I just so happen to be picked this year because the crown … chose to be in the Navajo Nation.” Now that the Miss Indian World beaded crown is back in Diné Bikéyah, John is ready to cement her place in the position. Fifth-generation rug weaver Kassie John introduced herself as an artist a fifth-generation rug weaver-in-training and a designer ­- whose má yázhí and bízhí, experts in rug weaving, inspired her to channel her creative energy. “Like my mom, she makes powwow regalia and does beadwork,” she said. “She’s so talented. That’s why I’m so proud to say I’m an artist. I’m forever a student.” John’s platform involves empowering Native American youth to be artists and recognize that they come from a long line of rich Native culture. “For my Diné people in particular, we have rug-weaving, silversmith(ing) we’ve all these different things that we express ourselves,” John said. “Let’s be creative. I always tell people, ‘Even though you say you can’t draw, it doesn’t matter. You’re an artist.’ In my eyes, you’re always going to be an artist. “We’re always told, ‘We’re so resilient,’” she added. “We show that we’re thriving and we’re happy through our artwork. I’m just so proud to say I’m an artist because that’s what it means.” One way the younger generation can empower themselves is through digital storytelling, said John, who’s also a small business owner. She runs “Native Generations,” a woman-owned Native dance company that tells stories. Native Generations comprises Native dancers, singers, and cultural consultants who perform worldwide. “We do a lot of cultural training and advocacy for Native people through powwow dancing and do a lot of cultural consult(ing),” John added. “Native people, we just have so many side hustles, so many identities. And I’m a spoon keeper.” Information: https://kassiejohn.myportfolio.com/work. The post Family’s ‘spoon keeper’: Kassie John, fifth-generation rug weaver, crowned 2024-25 Miss Indian World appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:33am
WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Tribal Utility Authority Wireless general manager Velena Tsosie, who has worked for NTUA for 18 and a half years, is accusing NTUA general manager Walter W. Haase of sexually assaulting her in 2022. Navajo Times | Boderra JoeAttorney Justin Jones of Farmington spoke during a press conference on April 24 at David R. Jordan’s office in Gallup regarding the case of NTUA Wireless general manager Velena Tsosie vs. NTUA general manager Walter W. Haase for alleged sexual assault. On April 24, Tsosie and her two attorneys, David R. Jordan, of Gallup, and Justin Jones, of Farmington, held a press conference at Jordans law office in Gallup to provide an update regarding Haases litigation. It was also an opportunity for Tsosie to share her story publicly. Her story Since filing her lawsuit against Walter W. Haase, Tsosie said that she has respected the investigation process and has stayed patient and cooperative, even though the incident has caused her mental and emotional anguish. I have been angry, irritable, restless, overwhelmed, unfocused, unmotivated, I have trouble sleeping, I have consent fear and worry, Tsosie said. After a slight hesitation, Tsosie spoke candidly about Haase assaulting her on March 8, 2022. Parties witnessed the incident. Two days after the incident, on March 10, 2022, Tsosie filed a report with the NTUA human resource manager. A few days later, on March 14, 2022, Tsosie followed up with NTUAs HR manager to see how far she was into investigating the incident, to which the HR manager responded that she had not yet conversed with anyone nor interviewed anyone. Tsosie said she felt no urgency after she reported the incident and recalled the HR manager asking her how she was doing. She said she was thinking a lot and reflecting. According to Tsosie, the HR manager stated, It is good to reflect and how to avoid from this happening again. On March 18, 2022, the HR manager contacted Tsosie and asked if she would be available for a meeting in Phoenix on March 24, 2022. Tsosie confirmed her attendance, thinking that it was regarding the investigation. However, she needed to be given more context or specific information regarding the meeting. On the day of the meeting, Tsosie was in a conference room at a hotel in Phoenix, where she met with the NTUA Wireless board chair, the human resource manager, and the CEO of Commnet, a Delaware company and a managing member of NTUA Wireless, which provides internet, telephone, and data communication services. During this meeting, Tsosie said she was burdened with finding a resolution to deal with Haases behavior. Their demeanor during the meeting made her realize that they were handling her claim poorly and insulting her. This created an uneasy feeling that made Tsosie believe that the board suggested that she meet with Haase to talk it through and move forward. I expressed that I was very uncomfortable talking to him that I did not want to talk to him, Tsosie said to the board chairs. However, Tsosie added that the board chairs kept suggesting it and did not seem to care. According to court documents, those in attendance for the meeting on March 8, 2022, were NTUA Wireless board member John Champagne and two other members of NTUA Wireless, CEO Tom Guthrie of Commnet Newco LLC, Chief Financial Officer Kim Rivera, and Rene Rogue, the director of Fiber Development. Tsosie said Guthrie was interviewed and then doing nothing to intervene raised her shame and embarrassment. Throughout the March 24 meeting, Tsosie said the HR manager and the board chairs expressed Haases regret, remorse, and harmless intent. Tsosie felt like this was an attempt by them to sweep this incident under the rug and that they were excusing Haases actions, which were not sexual. I expressed that I did not receive his touching, hugging, kissing, and grabbing of the hands, Tsosie said she told the board chairs. Their response to Tsosie was that Haase was inebriated, and this was the first complaint they received regarding his behavior. Read the full story in the May 2, edition of the Navajo Times. The post David Jordan: still no consequence for Walter Haase: NTUA Wireless employee files lawsuit against tribal utility for alleged sexual assault appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:32am
WINDOW ROCK – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has denied Pumped Hydro Storage LLC preliminary permits to dam Big Canyon. This decision was rendered on April 25, after pending – since 2020 – for four years. Big Canyon is a contributing canyon off the Little Colorado River where water above flows into the Colorado River, inside the Grand Canyon National Park. Big Canyon Project According to court documents, the Pumped Hydro project would have been located entirely on the Navajo Nation in Coconino County, Arizona. The request for the permit was filed on March 12, 2020. The project wanted to pump billions of gallons of groundwater to produce hydroelectric power, notwithstanding the opposition from tribes like the Navajo Nation, whose land the project had been proposed. According to court documents, FERC had to omit the “Navajo Nation” from the project name, which was previously submitted as “Navajo Nation Big Canyon Storage Project.” “We (FERC) note that the proposed project is not in any way affiliated with the Navajo Nation and that the Navajo Nation has had no role in Pumped Hydro’s pursuit of the project,” states the court document. In February, FERC denied seven other pumped storage hydropower projects on the Navajo Nation and would not approve permits for projects on tribal lands when the tribe opposes them. Because of FERC’s new policy that the commission will not issue preliminary permits for projects proposing to operate on tribal land, individuals and organizations can oppose it. In this case, the Coppermine Chapter filed comments opposing the project, with additional comments from the Navajo Nation. After the Navajo Nation reiterated its concerns about the project, Pumped Hydro still filed comments requesting FERC not to apply the new permit policy to its proposed Big Canyon project because the application was filed in 2020, several years before the new policy took effect, court documents state. Discussion The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recognizes the unique relationship between the U.S. and Native American tribes and assures that tribal concerns and interests are considered. The court document states that FERC’s actions or decisions have the potential to adversely affect Native tribes or Indian trust resources. FERC reviewed the application and denied permits because of its trust responsibility to the tribes. However, Pumped Hydro argues that the new preliminary permits policy “should not apply to the Big Canyon Project” and stated gaining tribal approval is difficult at the permit stage and that the “issuance of a preliminary permit allows for more resources to begin consultation with the Navajo Nation.” However, the FERC stated that Pumped Hydro’s arguments do not persuade it. It is applying the new permit policy to all pending and new permit applications and has already applied it to applications filed years before the established new policy. FERC recommends “to avoid permit denials.” The court document states that potential applicants should work directly with tribal stakeholders before filing applications to ensure that tribes are fully informed about proposed projects on their lands and whether they’re willing to consider them. “The Navajo Nation opposed the application, raising numerous issues, including that Pumped Hydro has not sought the consent of the Nation, local community, or individuals with customary use rights for the use of the lands, and that the proposed project may adversely impact the Nation and its members’ use of the lands,” the court document states. The Navajo Nation contends that the project may impact its water rights to and use of the Little Colorado River and notes that the water is subject to ongoing adjudication. The Nation also emphasized that the LCR and surrounding features hold significant cultural and historical value. The Pumped Hydro project has caused concerns to several tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the Havasupai Tribe, the Hopi Tribe, the Hualapai Tribe, the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, the Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians, the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, the San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, the Yavapai-Apache Nation, and the Pueblo of Zuni. These tribes all noted historical and cultural ties to the proposed project area. The post FERC denies permit for Big Canyon project appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:31am
WINDOW ROCK – Some Diné are experiencing political quarrels, heated arguments, and harassment in their chapters. Now, they are concerned for their communities. The Law and Order Committee held a special meeting on Monday regarding these shared mishaps. The LOC members needed to hear reports from the Navajo Police Department, the prosecutor’s office, and the ethics and rules office on how they respond to these incidents. “I don’t want people to get hurt,” said Delegate George Tolth. “It’s getting that far.” As previously published in the Navajo Times, Leupp Chapter made headlines when an altercation broke out between a Leupp resident and Leupp Chapter Manager Marjorie Sangster on June 5, 2023, during an official chapter meeting. Since then, a few other chapter officials and residents have reported that similar matters and behaviors have escalated within their respective chapters and have reached out to their Council delegates for help. Tolth said he had contacted Speaker Crystalyne Curley and the president’s office to address these issues within all 110 chapters. Tolth said it’s been three weeks since he reached out, and he has not heard back from either. The LOC arranged for this special meeting to address this matter and to hear what specific departments are doing to prevent further chapter mishaps. Read the full story in the May 2, edition of the Navajo Times. The post Tolth: ‘it’s getting that far’: Quarrels, heated arguments, harassment arising at chapters appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:30am
A letter to the 10th grade class at Thoreau High School Dear students, It lifts my spirits to see students engaging in the public discourse about how to address the long legacy of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation. My job as a scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to help protect communities by cleaning up the mine waste rock and contamination left by mining companies decades ago. My job also includes helping people to understand the difficult decisions necessary to protect people and the environment from the long-term health impacts of uranium mine waste. As a scientist, I look for solutions that are best for everyone, but solutions that satisfy everyone are rare. Your passion is clear, so hopefully I can help clarify some points that were raised in your April 18 letter to the Navajo Times about the U.S. EPA’s and Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended cleanup plan for the Quivira and Section 32/33 mines. Here are a few points of clarification. First and foremost, we at the U.S. EPA are listening to you. I would appreciate the opportunity to speak at your high school and answer your questions in person. I understand why you might be skeptical of a government scientist, but I ask that you keep your minds open to what I have to share. I also note that U.S. EPA is accepting comments from the public on the recommended cleanup plan you referenced in your letter until May 22, 2024. I had never heard of Holtec until I read your letter. From what I’ve researched, Holtec handles and manages waste resulting from nuclear power generation. I want to assure you that they have nothing to do with the recommended cleanup option for the Quivira and Section 32/33 mines. You are correct that our recommended plan for the cleanup of the Quivira and Section 32/33 mines is to remove the waste from the Red Water Pond Road and Pipeline Canyon Road Navajo communities and place it in a proposed state-of-the-art disposal facility located about 6 miles east of the Town of Thoreau at the Red Rocks Landfill property. This recommended plan includes moving about 1 million cubic yards of low-level mine waste rock. It will not be transported in barrels but in covered trucks, since it is solid soil and rock, not liquid. Also, it is essential to clarify that the recommended plan addresses only two mines, not 19. There are no plans for more than the Quivira and Section 32/33 mines waste rock to go to the proposed Red Rocks Landfill facility. The Red Rocks Landfill property has been owned by the operator, the Northwest New Mexico Regional Solid Waste Authority, for decades. Since 1996, it has operated a municipal solid waste landfill on the northern half of the property. No residents are on the property or near the proposed state-of-the-art disposal facility. Finally, no one at the U.S. EPA that I know of has said that Thoreau collectively supports the recommended cleanup plan. We consider each individual comment on its own merits and will respond to them collectively when we select a cleanup approach. I deeply respect your concerns and hope to have the opportunity to explain to you in person why we believe this is the best option for addressing the legacy of mining contamination in the affected Navajo communities. While I understand that there are no perfect solutions, I want to emphasize the positive impact that this cleanup plan can have on the environment and the health of the communities. I am hopeful that, with open-mindedness and engagement, we can work together towards a better future. Kenyon Larsen, remedial project manager U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 – Pacific Southwest Chief of staff should not have power Editor, What has been talked about in the Navajo Nation Council about the Navajo Nation Office of the President, vice president in relation to the signature approvals by the NNOPVP Chief of Staff Patrick J. Sandoval while the NNP Buu Nygren is gallivanting off of the Navajo Indian Reservation, should be tested on the legality alone. Sandoval is a political appointee. He should not have plenary power in any capacity within the Executive Branch of the Navajo Nation. First, what has Sandoval signed? And does he have power to do so? I ask this because it was not long ago Sandoval, former NNP Joe Shirley tried unsuccessfully to pocket tribal property worth tens of thousands of dollars, including Navajo Nation 44 vehicles. No one should have a blank check to NNOPVP property, nor possibly executing outside the bounds of their capacities as politically appointed chiefs of staff. Buu gets a boo from the east for failing as an elected leader of the largest federally recognized tribe in the United States. His data on the NN census is, in my opinion, inaccurate which costs the Diné millions of federal dollars. It would be a shame if the NN returns hundreds of millions of dollars back to Wááshindoon. Pat Murphy Albuquerque Time to turn the tables Editor, This is another viewpoint of what was shared by Mr. Michael J. Roy of Gadiiahi-Shiprock, N.M. in Navajo Times issue of April 25, 2024, Toxicity in highest government office. The viewpoint following hereof is expressed with common sense, insights, and common knowledge. As Indigenous people, when alleged human exploitation of our female social servants by those in authority it could be viewed as acts of cultural and spiritual betrayals. The term authority in its basic form, is to author something, as to cause an origin of work, in creation of jobs, projects, work procedures, techniques, or duties. With what is reported the voting public must be curious as to who authored these passive-aggressive sexual harassments and squandered our public assets. Question: Why are alleged possible misogynists gratifying themselves with such sexual perversions and violence towards our female tribal vice president, a public official who is second in command to the presidency? Supposedly, our tribal government already has a sexual harassment policy with standardized safeguards of procedures for immediate resolves within their instituted legal maze. As proven time and time again, this is where perverts and criminals have more rights than their victims. And as for justice, it is but an imaginary, odd embodiment of a long dress foreign lady gripping a balancing scale on one hand while flaunting a sword blindfolded, whereby she cannot see what is actually unfolding before her; she needs to be in exile. Our reservation social problems, including sexual harassments and intimidations, are collective individuals issues; and still vast. It seems our imitative tribal governments predetermined according-to-the-law mindset cannot resolve our social difficulties because, instead of imprisonment and fines for crimes, our law and order books only gather dust somewhere. And stupidity without foresight incites, if the alleged occurred crimes are not on the law books then there is no crime, nor a conviction. This is to say, within our society there seems to be very little or no participation in enforcement, protection, prevention, and no safety-nets for those affected if crimes as such do occur. It further seems we would rather bask in safe places of laziness and cowardice, while overly possessed with our profound indifference and sheer arrogance, instead of seeking ways to enhance our Indigenous social experiment. Obviously, if we look into the toxicity within the workplace, we may realize that violence is the senseless waste and decay of energy by those who generate them. In this case the violent energy is stirred up by those in authority may be simply because they do not understand their own delusional fears in the workplace, like a woman in charge, and not know how to manage their own insecurities of life. By the way, taken back, both parents are the first teachers of a child and violence is a learned behavior. Then again, there is the mental indoctrination of how one can imitate the dominant society in reactions and gestures to their frustrations with unresolved issues of insecurities and anxieties. These are nothing more than ego-boosting trips just to feel good about themselves. In plain language, if the alleged victim consents, such personal assault of violence through harassment, bullying, and intimidation are inducing fear, then comes the hijacking, stealing, and parasitic feeding off the energy of others for self-gratifications. It seems such parasitic frenzy feeding on their victims fears and energy happens because the abusers do not know how to constructively recharge their own innate life-force. Enough is enough! For possible real solution and a prevention process for any type of violence, whether be sexual harassment, bullying, or intimidation, gestured towards our social servants, especially our Indigenous women, as well as towards our vulnerable citizens, it is suggested to turn-the-tables-on-the-abusers. Become a creative author, implement spiritual spankings through periodic public shaming exercises for verified sexual predators, abusers, and thieves. Robert L. Hosteen Beclabito, N.M. The post Letters | A letter to the 10th grade class at Thoreau High School appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Letters]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:29am
By Melanie Cissone Special to the Times PHOENIX – The popular and well attended Native American Basketball Invitational, now in its 21st year, is expanding its nationwide reach in tribal communities by endorsing “local” all-Native tournaments. Approximately 24% of the record-breaking 196 teams registered for this summer’s NABI tournament are Navajo. The remaining all-Native or Indigenous registrants are teams affiliated with tribes across the country and some come from as far away as New Zealand. Arriving to the blazing hot weather of Phoenix in summer for a chance to play a championship game at Footprint Center, home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, high school players and families descend annually with an enthusiastic eye toward winning. Along with a chance to play post season, build skills, and capitalize on natural talent, the advantage to the locally based tournaments is that the championship teams already accepted to NABI can expect a 100% reimbursement of paid NABI team fees. The first in the line-up of spring NABI-endorsed tournaments is the Ak-Chin Indian Community tournament in Maricopa, Arizona the weekend of May 3-5. Then, in collaboration with Window Rock Unified School District 8, the Magic Classic is scheduled for May 31 to June 2. Native American high school boys and girls were encouraged to register their teams before the May 1st deadline. A $100 deposit secures a spot in the tourney bracket unless the team wants to pony up the full $225 fee. With three games guaranteed, the first 16 girls’ teams and the first 16 boys’ teams with paid entry fees will be accepted. Awards will be given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place winners and to MVPs. While graduating seniors are eligible, promoting 8th graders are not. A ten-player roster is a must. Inquiries about the Window Rock’s Magic Classic should be directed at Al Tsedah by calling him at (918) 383-9646 or sending an email to altsedah24@icloud. Milwaukee Bucks forward MarJon Beauchamp is a proud member of the Mission Indians and LaJolla Band of Luiseña Indians. These two tribes will host the MarJon Beauchamp All-Native Tournament on June 28-30 in Seattle, Washington. This year is the first year that the NABI-endorsed tournaments will be in full swing. Co-founded with former Suns player, Mark West, the NABI president, GinaMarie Scarpa says, “This concept will grow. It’s a win-win for NABI and the endorsed all-Native tournaments.” Scarpa has hustle. By lending two decades of experience and opening doors to wide-ranging resources for tournaments to expand at a tribal level, she says, “We market each tournament individually and assist organizers with merchandise branding to increase their revenue and improve tournament sustainability.” The increase in demand for rez ball tournaments is evidenced in the 225 teams that applied for a spot in this year’s NABI, scheduled for July 22-27. Scarpa believes the endorsed tournaments are a way to pay it forward and turn burgeoning interest into real growth at a local level. In addition to the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Footprint Center, tribal sponsorship comes from the Gila River Indian Community, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe. Educational sponsors include the University of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University, and the Arizona Science Center. Corporate support comes from Rolling Plain Construction, Freeport McMoRan, KONE, Urias Communications, Legends Entertainment, Rolling Plain Construction District, Becker Boards, Fry’s Food Stores, with presenting sponsorship from Resolution Copper. The post 196 teams to compete in 2024 NABI appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Community]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:28am
By Curtis Yanito and Davina Smith Editor’s note: Curtis Yanito is a member of the 25th Navajo Nation Council and Davina Smith is a Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition representative. The Bears Ears National Monument, known in Diné bizaad as Shash Jaa’, holds profound significance for the Navajo people, serving as a living testament to our rich heritage and deep ties to the Bears Ears region. Our oral traditions, supported by archaeological and historical evidence, document our enduring presence in and around Bears Ears. Places such as the iconic Bears Ears buttes, Elk Ridge, and Comb Ridge are not mere geographical features; they are sacred places where ceremonies have been performed for generations, ensuring the health and continuity of our community. The entire landscape is imbued with the footprints of our ancestors, resonating with prayers, offerings, and the echoes of the ancient ones. This sacred landscape is woven with the stories and practices of our people and embodies our identity and spiritual connection to the earth. As such, it demands our respect and protection. That’s why the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Zuni Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe stand in unity as the Bears Ears Commission to protect this living cultural landscape. In partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, the Commission has provided management recommendations rooted in our Traditional Indigenous Knowledge (TIK) and our long history of land stewardship. The newly released draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for Bears Ears National Monument reflects our expertise in sustainable resource management. Alternative E of the draft plan aligns most closely with our tribal values and recommendations, prioritizing a management approach that respects and integrates our traditional knowledge. We invite all community members to join the Bears Ears Commission and our federal agency partners at the forthcoming in-person meeting in Twin Arrows, Arizona. This public comment meeting will be an excellent opportunity to dive deeper into the details of the management proposal for this revered landscape, and there will be an opportunity to submit a public comment to federal agencies. From the Abajo Mountains to Navajo Mountain and beyond, these places hold the collective memories and the spiritual essence of the Navajo people. The significance of these areas is acknowledged in ceremonies that connect the present with our past. Historically, we utilized Bears Ears for gathering medicinal plants, harvesting foods, hunting, and ceremony. The land management practices we developed over millennia are a testament to our sustainable relationship with nature, one that modern policies could learn from. These practices demonstrate a profound understanding of the land’s ecology, an understanding born from a deep, spiritual connection to the landscape. Today, the voices of the Navajo community are crucial in shaping the future management of Bears Ears. Our insights to this draft RMP offer valuable guidance on preserving the landscape’s integrity and continuing the traditional practices that have kept this land sacred. We urge you to join us at Twin Arrows and show your support for the Commission’s preferred alternative, Alternative E. Your participation is vital in ensuring that our traditions, values, and connections to the land are preserved and honored in the management of Bears Ears. Together, we can safeguard this landscape for future generations, maintaining it as a living testament to our heritage, our values, and our lifeways. The third in-person public comment meeting will be held in Twin Arrows on Tuesday, May 6, 2024, from 6 -8 p.m. MST. The meeting will be located at the Twin Arrows Casino Resort, 22181 Resort Boulevard, 86004 About the authors: Curtis Yanito grew up near Bluff, Utah, and is a Navajo Nation Council delegate representing the communities of Mexican Water, Tółikan, Tiis Názbąs, Aneth, and Red Mesa. He has long been a proponent for the protection of Bears Ears and serves as the Bears Ears Commissioner for the Navajo Nation. He is Tłááshchíí and born for Tódích’íi’nii. His maternal grandfather is Hashk’ąą Hadzohó, and his paternal grandfather is Tábąąhá. Davina Smith is originally from Monument Valley, Utah, and was appointed by President Buu Nygren to represent the Navajo Nation on the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. As a community activist she has long advocated for protection for the Bears Ears region. She belongs to the Táchii’nii clan and is born to the Tábąąhá. The post Honor Diné heritage and protect sacred land appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Opinion]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:27am
KANAB, Utah – On Friday, April 26, the Best Friends Animal Society launched its new mobile spay/neuter clinic in the Navajo Nation to provide low-cost veterinary services to pets and their owners. Celebrating with staff, volunteers, and supporters, Best Friends CEO Julie Castle was among the speakers. “Navajo Nation is so vast, with 16 million acres, yet it only has four veterinarians,” she said. “Best Friends has done work on the Navajo Nation since I’ve been here in the mid-1990s. The difference is that today, we have a partnership.” That partnership includes working with former Navajo Nation first lady Phefelia Nez, who is on the Best Friends Animal Society Board of Directors. Nez, a lifelong animal lover, was excited to be part of the team that brought the project to fruition. “You don’t see many of these units out there. This is such a huge help for our communities and their pets,” Nez said. “Thank you on behalf of Navajo Nation.” Julie Castle introduced Navajo Nation graphic designer Aurelia Yazzie, who created the look of the mobile unit, which will provide 1,250 additional spay/neuter surgeries annually in the area. “It’s important to have input from the community,” Castle said. “This clinic will save so many lives and propel us forward to building a better world through kindness to animals.” Before touring guests aboard the clinic, Michelle Weaver, the director of Sanctuary Outreach, and Paul Kiel, the maintenance manager of Best Friends, cut a ribbon, along with donors and volunteers Marty, Brenda Winnick, and Nez. The clinic was dedicated to the late Dr. Bill Christy, a local veterinarian who had cared for Sanctuary animals for many years since Best Friends’ inception in 1984 and whose family was in attendance. As founder and chairman of the Board, Francis Battista noted, “There would be no Best Friends without Dr. Christy.” The Best Friend’s work on the Navajo Nation is part of its goal to make America a no-kill country in 2025. Best Friends partners with dozens of rescues and animal welfare organizations to help the four Navajo Nation shelters with pets needing homes. About 2,000 dogs and cats are transported to lifesaving partners yearly, including Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and a foster program focused on saving more is in the works in Phoenix. Information: bestfriends.org. The post Navajo Nation-focused mobile spay/neuter clinic launched at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Community]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:26am
By Stacy Thacker Changes Labs TUBA CITY – The Change Labs Kinship Lending programs newest cohort includes a former Navajo Nation Council delegate, coffee shop owners, artists, silversmiths, and a fashion designer. “We have a very, very unique group of business owners in this cohort,” said Kristine Laughter, the director of Kinship Lending. This is the fifth cohort of the microloan program and the first cohort of three planned for 2024. Change Labs Kinship Lending program is novel within Native communities. Launched in 2020, the program prioritizes Indigenous kinship or relationships to evaluate borrowers instead of calculating risk based on assets or credit. Similarly, the program leverages peer-based cohorts to build borrowers financial abilities. A typical cohort consists of 20 entrepreneurs, but this cohort comprises eight people. Because the cohort is smaller than those in the past, the networking opportunities will be more intimate. “Even though (there are) eight members in the cohort, it’s about building the relationships with those in the cohort,” she said. This can already be seen. Laughter was noticed after an in-person meeting when two coffee shop owners took time to sit down together and talk. “I think that’s one thing that we try to communicate, is get to know people who are doing the same type of work you are because some people are just like open books and are willing to share everything,” she said. “That just seems to be something that our members do. They’re willing to share their stories with the people in their cohort. And I think that is just amazing.” Laughter said that each entrepreneur has a different business model and a different way of running a business, but each entrepreneur can be successful despite their differences. One entrepreneur, Daniel Tullie, runs Jinjééh Coffee & Roastery, a coffee pop-up shop. He started the business in 2022, and the concept allows him to travel around the Navajo Nation from community to community, selling coffee and meeting new customers and vendors. One day, he might be operating in Monument Valley at the junction, and the next day, he could be visiting a flea market in a different part of the Navajo Nation. “I’m not here to create a community or anything like that; I’m here to take part in the community that already exists,” he said. “I really do appreciate meeting the everyday people, the regulars.” Tullie said he tries to support and learn from other vendors when he encounters them in his business travels. “I think it’s important that there’s some sort of relationship that we have and maintain with other vendors,” he said. “Because we’re all basically trying to accomplish the same thing at the end of the day, and that’s to support ourselves and our families.” Through Change Labs, Tullie said he’s already learning how to round out his ideas as a business owner and learn more about managing finances. But Tullie doesn’t just roast coffee. He also gets up early to make blue corn doughnuts and is looking to expand his menu in the future. He is only one example of the talent in this cohort. While the last cohort consisted mainly of incubator alums, this cohort is new to the program. “Our goal is to bring people through the Kinship Lending program so that we can emphasize the importance of understanding how our loan program works,” Laughter said. They also want to continue improving their financial wellness, so entrepreneurs are considering their debt-to-income ratio or increasing their credit score, for example. It’s all about financial education, Laughter said, highlighting the entrepreneur’s relationship with money. “The more comfortable we are about talking about our money. I think the more successful we can be,” Laughter said. The post Learning together: Newest Change Labs Kinship Lending Cohort shares business experiences and tips appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Business]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:25am
Editor’s note: Lee Carson, a Cheyenne pilot, passed on Monday, April 29, at the time of this writing. Caitlyn Begay said his passing deeply impacted those who knew him. WINDOW ROCK – Diné flight instructor Caitlyn Begay said teaching her students has been the proudest moment of her life thus far. The avid 23-year-old, who is from Oak Springs, Arizona, said she enjoys being able to share her story and experience with her students to prepare them for certain outcomes in life. “I really want to help someone else,” said Begay, who is Honágháahnii and born for Tódích’íi’nii. Her maternal grandfather is Tó Díkǫ́zhí, and her paternal grandfather is Tsi’naajinii. “Hoping to find inspiration to be that guide,” which is what she is teaching her students because she didn’t have that when she applied herself to aviation. There’s a lot of opportunity in aviation, said Begay. “I think with Native American youth there’s a lot of issues here (Navajo Nation),” which Begay referenced suicide, substance abuse, and alcoholism. “They (youth) don’t really have a person to look up to (or) a person to help them push through that process,” she added. Begay is a flight instructor at a flight school in Deer Valley in Phoenix. Zero hours The one thing that stuck with Caitlyn Begay growing up was aviation. “As a kid, I always wanted to do something different,” Begay said. “I just didn’t know what it was,” she broadened her horizon in construction, agriculture, and photography. After graduating from Window Rock High School in 2018, Begay pursued an associate of applied science degree at the University of New Mexico-Gallup in 2020. Begay attended summer programs between high school and college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. After that, she planned on studying civil engineering for land surveying, but because of the pandemic, Begay chose to move to Phoenix for flight training. Begay worked for the Navajo Department of Transportation in airport management at Window Rock Airport. Now, Begay has been flying for roughly two years, from the time she began “zero hours” from start to finish. She holds a private pilot license, commercial single-engine land, and commercial multi-engine land, with an added instrument rating, certified flight instructor, and certified flight instructor—instrument. But she’s not done yet. The go-getter pilot is on the waitlist for multi-engine flight instructor training, which she is studying daily to prepare. Lending a hand “I never really met a Native American pilot before, especially a woman,” Caitlyn Begay shared. But that changed. Based on the hurdles she overcame, such as paying out of pocket for flight training and being redirected by the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance, Begay had to make connections independently. One recommendation came from Arlando Teller, the assistant secretary for Tribal Government Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, who suggested the Window Rock Airport. According to Begay, an ONNSFA representative informed her that ONNSFA could not fund her field since it was a vocational school, leading her to seek other options. It is how she was introduced to Lee Carson, a Cheyenne pilot, who had done some previous work with the Navajo Nation and partnered on a few projects. “(He) broaden my job opportunities,” Begay said, leading her to teach in the first place. “I love to teach,” which, by surprise, was unexpected, but she has grown fond of it. Going into a whole new field with very little Native American representation, especially Native women, she admitted there was little guidance aside from the ones she has received so far. “You either win or learn” has been Begay’s motto for tackling such a challenging field of sacrifice, discipline, and long hours of training. But it is ultimately worth it as Begay “wants to help people.” She aims to advocate for funding as some scholarships do not align with one’s field. She hopes to continue to pursue this and be a prime example of how it is “not easy.” She added that when she arrived on her first day of flight training, it was a “fire hose” of information. “You either win or learn,” which means that, according to Begay, one can either curl up in a ball or learn how to navigate a situation to create a better outcome. The post ‘You either win or learn’: Young Diné pilot Caitlyn Begay getting a bird’s-eye view as flight instructor appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: People]

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[l] at 5/2/24 3:25am
Editor’s note: Lee Carson, a Cheyenne pilot, passed on Monday, April 29, at the time of this writing. Caitlyn Begay said his passing deeply impacted those who knew him. WINDOW ROCK – Diné flight instructor Caitlyn Begay said teaching her students has been the proudest moment of her life thus far. The avid 23-year-old, who is from Oak Springs, Arizona, said she enjoys being able to share her story and experience with her students to prepare them for certain outcomes in life. “I really want to help someone else,” said Begay, who is Honágháahnii and born for Tódích’íi’nii. Her maternal grandfather is Tó Díkǫ́zhí, and her paternal grandfather is Tsi’naajinii. “Hoping to find inspiration to be that guide,” which is what she is teaching her students because she didn’t have that when she applied herself to aviation. There’s a lot of opportunity in aviation, said Begay. “I think with Native American youth there’s a lot of issues here (Navajo Nation),” which Begay referenced suicide, substance abuse, and alcoholism. “They (youth) don’t really have a person to look up to (or) a person to help them push through that process,” she added. Begay is a flight instructor at a flight school in Deer Valley in Phoenix. Zero hours The one thing that stuck with Caitlyn Begay growing up was aviation. “As a kid, I always wanted to do something different,” Begay said. “I just didn’t know what it was,” she broadened her horizon in construction, agriculture, and photography. After graduating from Window Rock High School in 2018, Begay pursued an associate of applied science degree at the University of New Mexico-Gallup in 2020. Begay attended summer programs between high school and college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. After that, she planned on studying civil engineering for land surveying, but because of the pandemic, Begay chose to move to Phoenix for flight training. Begay worked for the Navajo Department of Transportation in airport management at Window Rock Airport. Now, Begay has been flying for roughly two years, from the time she began “zero hours” from start to finish. She holds a private pilot license, commercial single-engine land, and commercial multi-engine land, with an added instrument rating, certified flight instructor, and certified flight instructor—instrument. But she’s not done yet. The go-getter pilot is on the waitlist for multi-engine flight instructor training, which she is studying daily to prepare. Lending a hand “I never really met a Native American pilot before, especially a woman,” Caitlyn Begay shared. But that changed. Based on the hurdles she overcame, such as paying out of pocket for flight training and being redirected by the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance, Begay had to make connections independently. One recommendation came from Arlando Teller, the assistant secretary for Tribal Government Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, who suggested the Window Rock Airport. According to Begay, an ONNSFA representative informed her that ONNSFA could not fund her field since it was a vocational school, leading her to seek other options. It is how she was introduced to Lee Carson, a Cheyenne pilot, who had done some previous work with the Navajo Nation and partnered on a few projects. “(He) broaden my job opportunities,” Begay said, leading her to teach in the first place. “I love to teach,” which, by surprise, was unexpected, but she has grown fond of it. Going into a whole new field with very little Native American representation, especially Native women, she admitted there was little guidance aside from the ones she has received so far. “You either win or learn” has been Begay’s motto for tackling such a challenging field of sacrifice, discipline, and long hours of training. But it is ultimately worth it as Begay “wants to help people.” She aims to advocate for funding as some scholarships do not align with one’s field. She hopes to continue to pursue this and be a prime example of how it is “not easy.” She added that when she arrived on her first day of flight training, it was a “fire hose” of information. “You either win or learn,” which means that, according to Begay, one can either curl up in a ball or learn how to navigate a situation to create a better outcome. The post ‘You either win or learn’: Young Diné pilot Caitlyn Begay getting a bird’s-eye view as flight instructor appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Life]

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[l] at 5/1/24 9:41am
WINDOW ROCK – The St. Michael softball team needed just five innings to overpower No. 8 Fredonia on the road in the first round of the 1A state playoffs. The ninth-seeded Lady Cardinals advanced to Wednesday’s quarterfinals with a 20-5 victory last Friday afternoon. Earlier this season, St. Michael had come up short to Fredonia in a 1A North Region doubleheader on April 13. “This was a really big win,” first-year St. Michael coach Julianne Billiman said. “We had a couple of people from our school make the five-hour trip to Fredonia, and we had most of the parents show up.” The Cardinals will now make the six-hour trip to top-seeded Bagdad on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. (MST) The winner of that contest advances to the 1A state semifinal Friday at 4 p.m., which will take place at the Papago Softball Complex in Scottsdale, Arizona. The championship game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the same venue. In that earlier meeting with Fredonia, the St. Michael team played without most of their seniors who were testing for the ACT exam. “I was out that game too because of an illness, so this was a fulfilling win for everyone,” Billiman said. “We proved what we could do, and I think we kind of shocked Fredonia in how we turned it around.” In five innings of work, St. Michael ace Denae Livingston struck out eight batters and walked two. “Our pitcher was on the ball for that game,” Billiman said of her sophomore right-handed pitcher. “She did a good job of moving the ball around. She pitched inside and then she would change it up and throw outside, so she worked that strike zone.” The St. Michael coach credited senior catcher Siara Manuelito for working with Livingston. “She really helped Denae reign in the ball,” Billiman said. “She helped her stay in the strike zone and Autumn got our final out when she threw down to my shortstop.” Right fielder Siara Manuelito set the tone for St. Michael with a spectacular catch in the opening frame. “I think Fredonia was hoping to kick-start their hits, but Siara robbed them with the ball she caught,” Billiman said. Offensively, St. Michael scattered 10 hits against Fredonia’s two pitchers: sophomore Vasey Yellowhorse and freshman Danni Walters. Yellowhorse gave up eight runs on three hits while Walters surrendered 12 runs on seven hits. Most of those runs came in the third frame when St. Michael plated 12 runs, getting the separation it needed. “Chanelle Hale had some really good hits, especially when we needed them,” Billiman said. “She struggled during the season but in that game she really turned it around and brought in a lot of crucial hits for us.” Billiman is hoping her club can carry over that success into Wednesday’s game with Bagdad, as the Sultans will most likely start senior ace Nuvia Jauregui, who has an ERA of 2.43. Jauregui leads the five-man pitching staff with 118 strikeouts. “We don’t have much film on them, but (Jauregui) likes to pitch a lot inside,” Billiman said. “We’ve been working on hitting that inside pitch in practice. We did a lot of pitching machine work today (Monday).” The post St. Michael scores first-round win over Fredonia appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 4/25/24 3:34am
By Melanie Cissone Special to the Times LÓK’A’CH’ÉGAI – It’s a Sunday morning in early December; winter’s begun to set in. Step back in time. Imagine you’re a teenager or you’re in your early twenties. You’re awake before sunrise because your heavy-handed boarding school mandates church attendance, chores, both, or offsite work. If you aren’t away, you’re probably tending to what’s left of the livestock your family owns or working the homestead in other ways. Even if a daily newspaper was available to read or a radio broadcast to hear the next day, you might struggle because English isn’t your first language. How could you possibly know about the epic catastrophe occurring 3,100 miles away? Courtesy | U.S. Marine CorpsThe 1943 H&S Co. 9th Marines Signal Co, 3rd Marine Division. Navajo Code Talker John Kinsel Sr., bottom row, fifth from the left. Those were the very circumstances of 107-year-old retired U.S. Marine Cpl. John Kinsel Sr. on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Empire of Japan attacked an unsuspecting U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Republic of Hawaii at Pearl Harbor. Little could he or hundreds of other Navajo men have known how radically their lives would soon change on a day that would “live in infamy,” to borrow from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s December 8th declaration of war. In a recent chat with Kinsel in the log cabin home he constructed, the Marine Corps Code Talker brings to life his boyhood days, his years serving in the South Pacific, and his home life as a husband, father, and as an integral—ahem—100-year-old member of the Lók’a’ch’égai community. Kinsel is Kinłichíi’nii and born for Tábąąhá. His maternal grandfather is Naakaii Dine’é and his paternal grandfather is Bit’ahnii. For a glance into a man’s life, understand that the memories are 80 to 100 years old and recalled in both Diné Bizaad and English. Know that birth dates weren’t recorded, that guessed-at or fabricated ages were used as markers for school attendance dates, and that no address records were kept during a migratory era. Nonetheless, despite impaired hearing and trouble mouthing certain words due to missing teeth, the centenarian maintains agency, preferring questions be directed at him even if he needs them repeated loudly and in both languages by his son. Growing up in K’aabizhiistł’ah/K’aabizhii Born in 1917 in Cove, Arizona, John Kinsel never knew his biological father, who died when he was young. “Picked on by bullies, severe discipline, and inadequate food,” Kinsel remembers Fort Defiance Boarding School, which, at 6, he and his younger brother attended without any knowledge of the English language. Assigned the name John Williams at school, he later reclaimed his grandfather’s surname of Harvey. Shortly after his departure from the Bureau of Indian Affairs-run school, “The entire Fort Defiance Boarding School was transformed into a trachoma school in 1927,” says a 2010 Historic American Building Survey. Boarding schools were being converted into contagion wards or hospitals to contain rampant eye disease and tuberculosis. It arises twice that John Kinsel’s little brother died “in school.” Trachoma can cause blindness and, untreated, tuberculosis can kill. An inherent lack of resistance was commonly thought to have made Native Americans susceptible to disease; it certainly couldn’t have been boarding school conditions. Ron Kinsel, 72, interprets. His father has always been of heavy heart about his brother’s death; the loss made Kinsel his mother’s only son. Courtesy | Kinsel family archiveNavajo Code Talker John Kinsel Sr. rides his rodeo horse, “Yo-yo,” a gift from a cousin. Away from home as just a youngster, his remarried mother announced on his return, “Roy Kinsel is your stepfather.” Her new husband was a man from Twin Lakes, New Mexico, with grown children; young John had no choice but to adopt the Kinsel name. The Kinsels moved from Cove to Lukachukai, where John’s influential grandfather homesteaded and raised a flock of 1,000 sheep, goats, and horses. A century later, only a few miles from the red sandstone cliffs of the northwestern spur of the Ch’óshgai Mountains where his mother first took him to live, Lukachukai, meaning “patches of white reeds,” continues to be Kinsel’s home. It’s where he and his late wife, Mary Elizabeth (née Shorty), raised their children and it’s where the war hero lives today in the care of a dedicated son. Kinsel asked his grandfather to attend St. Michael Indian School where he graduated from 8th grade in 1937. In a 21-year-old alumni newsletter, Kinsel remarked after a tour and presentation about Code Talkers, “I remember this place well. It was like home.” He fled Fort Wingate Boarding School on foot along Route 66. Without a plan, he intended simply to get to Santa Fe and ended up at St. Catherine’s Industrial Boarding School for Boy – “St. Kate,” he calls it – where he graduated on May 26, 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor was still seven months away. A devout Catholic and a parishioner at St. Isabel Navajo Catholic Church and Mission in Lukachukai, he credits school prayer and songs with improving his English vocabulary. Read the full story in the April 25, edition of the Navajo Times. The post ‘I wanted to be a Marine’: At home with 107-year-old Code Talker John Kinsel Sr. appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 4/25/24 3:33am
WINDOW ROCK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added five sites to the Superfund National Priorities List. One of the sites included was the Lukachukai Mountains Mining District. This is the first Navajo Nation area designated as a federal “Superfund site,” which requires investigation and cleanup of hazardous releases and is used by the federal government to prioritize funding for this work. The EPA Superfund program identifies sites that may pose definite or potential threats to public health or the environment from contamination in groundwater, surface water, soil, and air. Despite the mining district’s legacy of contamination, which dates back to the Cold War era, when 700 mines were operational, the EPA added its first-ever Navajo site to the Superfund list. In 1944, private companies extracted 30 million tons of uranium metals from Diné Bikéyah for about 40 years. More than 800,000 cubic yards of mine waste remains in mine piles scattered like dirt. The Lukachukai Mountains Mining District is located in the Cove, Lukachukai, and Round Rock chapters. In March, the EPA announced the added sites to the National Priorities List, a list of known sites throughout the U.S. with its territories where historic releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants pose significant threats to human health and the environment. Last March, the Lukachukai Mountains Mining District was proposed to be added to the National Priorities List. The site includes a hundred mine waste piles from former mines where past uranium and vanadium mining in the Lukachukai Mountains created waste piles, the EPA states. Contaminated with radium-226, uranium, and additional heavy metals, waste from the piles drifted into washes and affected groundwater, which continues to impact surface water. The EPA states that past ore hauling actions may have spread contamination along miles of mountainous haul roads. Many Diné families reside in the Lók’a’ch’égai Mountains, which they use for livestock grazing, recreation, and hunting. Additionally, the mountains provide medicinal plants for traditional ceremonial uses. According to the EPA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $3.5 billion in environmental remediation at Superfund sites. It reinstates the Superfund chemical taxes, making it one of the most significant investments in American history to address the harsh realities of cleaning up hazardous sites. The EPA states that along with Lukachukai Mountains Mining District, the former Exide Technologies Laureldale in Laureldale, Pennsylvania, Acme Steel Coke Plant in Chicago, Exide Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Lot 46 Valley Gardens TCE in Des Moines, Iowa, will be added to the Superfund site. The post Lukachukai Mountains Mining District added to the National Priorities List appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 4/25/24 3:32am
By Jan-Mikael Patterson Navajo Times HOUCK, Ariz. – The Houck Veterans Organization is looking to build a veterans memorial building to showcase the history of veterans serving from the community. “We got the backwall up,” said Lois Watts, the vice commander of the organization. “Just fundraising alone, we collected $5,000 with yard and food sales.” The cemetery and memorial structure its south from the Navajo Housing Authority complex across Interstate 40. All fundraising, planning, and construction is all on a volunteer basis. “We are volunteers,” said Ronald Daw, the commander of organization and a U.S. Marine veteran. “We don’t get paid.” Call it a grassroots effort but the organization relies on itself when it comes to veterans work in the community. They are not alone in their efforts. “A lot of the community members helps out when they can,” Watts said. “They’ll donate what is needed whether is the yard sale where they bring items to donate or food. When it comes to food sales a lot of the families step up and donate items or their time to help.” Donating items or time is appreciated. Houck community sits along I-40 west of Lupton. The chapter has 123 veterans listed through the Fort Defiance Agency and 19 are women that have also served. There are 26 veteran’s organizations listed and operating. Currently there are 98 members in the veterans organization. “There are some that moved away or have passed away,” Daw said. “This memorial is a good idea. This will give a good idea to have people go see who served from this community.” Right now, the organization is going to raise $30,000 more to complete. Recently the organization received its 501(c)(3) status making them a non-profit exempt from federal tax. The veteran’s organization first worked to get their memorial cemetery so they could honor their fellow servicemen. “It’s been…longer than 15 years since the idea of the memorial building came up,” Daw said. “It will be the first of its kind.” As a volunteer organization every member makes time not just to serve their comrades but the community. In the Armed Forces the soldiers learned to serve and to commit. “I’d say that is very much true,” Watts said. The post Houck Veterans Organization planning for memorial building to showcase, honor community veterans appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 4/25/24 3:31am
By Jan-Mikael Patterson Navajo Times WINDOW ROCK – The Nahat’á Dziil Governance Commission and President Buu Nygren met in the president’s office last Friday morning to settle questions and concerns. “We wanted to fully get your attention on these issues,” said Lavonne Tsosie, the commission secretary. “We don’t want to be talking to a ‘middle-man’ because these decisions need to be made by you.” The manufacturing housing plan opened the discussion, as the commission called for the contract with Building Communities to be reinstated. The commission members believed that Nygren and his staff did not communicate about the $24 million grant awarded to ZenniHome and that the company does not have a lease with the business regulatory agency. “Shitsilí, this is the law of the land, so what we feel is that you’re breaking the law by not complying with us,” she said. “In all of the years that I worked with Council, the legislative and the judicial branch, I have never seen a president blatantly disregard and disrespect a legislation that’s in place.” The commission members wanted to know why there was a lack of communication between the Navajo Nation entities. “It would be nice if we got an e-mail saying ‘received,’” Tsosie said. Before Friday’s meeting, January marked the last sit-down with Nygren in a town hall setting. “On our part, we should have made a better explanation on why we made the decision,” Nygren said. “To me, there’s money there for housing manufacturing. We need homes right away. What is feasible? What can we get done real quick? “I didn’t want to make the money be retracted back to the pool,” he said. Nygren saw an opportunity to move forward with getting homes built immediately. “Personally, I really want housing for our people across the nation, and I felt that communities like Nahat’á Dziil and other communities are a part of this because (making homes) got to be quick-ready plans,” Nygren said. “With this, what’s the quick turn-a-round? How can we get this done quickly?” “The good thing about your community is it has the potential for economic growth,” said Chris Beecher, Nygren’s deputy chief of staff. “The initial disappointment, I understand that. I acknowledge it. As for the receipt of e-mails, we get about 700 e-mails a day. That’s a lot. Due to the volume of e-mails we get, it is hard to respond individually.” Nygren’s staff moved forward with planning simply because of the risk of returning funds. Beecher and Patrick Sandoval, Nygren’s chief of staff, explained the financial breakdown per home and noted that the manufacturing cost was the key to their decision-making. The breakdown is the cost of material to build and contractors to bid for. With ZenniHome, each home to be manufactured is $250,000. “That’s what I’m looking at,” Nygren said. “How many homes can we build with the money available?” Manufacturing is the most efficient and cost friendly. “If we let people build their own homes, that would cost up to $750,000 per home,” he said. Nygren’s staff’s financial breakdown was $250,000 per home. The commission members presented an agenda with 17 other issues to address. Nygren wanted to focus on housing first but plans to continue meeting with the commission. The post Nahat’á Dziil Governance highlights housing concerns in meeting with Nygren appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 4/25/24 3:30am
WINDOW ROCK – Out of 200 nominees, Teresa Lynch-Chrapkiewicz, the first Diné woman to receive an FAA private pilot license in 1998, was selected as the “2024 Hometown Hero” in Charleston, South Carolina. Roughly 17 nominations were received by fellow teachers, volunteers, and students at Rise Academy, where Lynch-Chrapkiewicz works as a science teacher. This nomination highlights the exceptional service and remarkable character that impacts the Charleston community. Courtesy | Teresa Lynch-ChrapkiewiczTeresa Lynch-Chrapkiewicz flies in an F-16 with the Air Force Thunderbirds near the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston, S.C. According to Lynch-Chrapkiewicz, she asked the pilot in command to fly over to capture the bridge in the background. As a teacher, published author, pilot, and a U.S. Air Force veteran, Lynch-Chrapkiewicz had earned a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride as a civilian in the backseat of a Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcon during the Charleston Airshow April 20-21 in Charleston, South Carolina, where Lynch-Chrapkiewicz resides with her family. Although familiar with the F-16, where she was able to fly one herself in previous years. “It put that love and experience back in my heart,” she added regarding flying again. “Never thinking ‘I’d be chosen,’” but she was. In February, the Joint Base Charleston notified Lynch-Chrapkiewicz when Col. Michael Freeman of the 628th Air Base Wing and JB Charleston commander astounded Lynch-Chrapkiewicz during work when she was talking to a colleague. It was a humbling experience for her, especially flying in a specific plane, the Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcon. Lynch-Chrapkiewicz is Honágháahnii and born for ‘Áshįįhí. Her late parents are Patrick Lynch Sr. and Francis Chester. Honágháahnii strong Born in Farmington, Teresa Lynch-Chrapkiewicz enlisted as an airman with the 161st Air Refueling Wing in the Arizona Air National Guard after she graduated from Del Norte High School in Albuquerque. While pursuing her military aviation duties, she continued to challenge herself by earning a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. “I gave everything in my heart,” said Lynch-Chrapkiewicz. While receiving her FAA private pilot license in 1998, she continued to excel in her career and holds a commercial pilot certificate with a multiengine and instrument rating. She served as a life support technician while in the Reserve at Luke Air Force Base and Arizona Air National Guard, where she worked directly with pilots and conducted reoccurrence training for land, water, and any evacuation. With airlines, she said, they go through initial training, and each year they’re hired, they must have recurrent training on all the safety equipment in the aircraft, like oxygen masks, G-suits, and night vision goggles. Lynch-Chrapkiewicz had to learn to service them by taking them apart and piecing them back together. Detailing her journey as the first Diné woman pilot, she wrote a children’s book called “The Yaz Tree Recipe: A Navajo Girl’s Dream.” Additionally, Lynch-Chrapkiewicz worked with the late Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, at a Sally Ride Science Festival in Arizona. And actively supports the South Carolina Department of Children’s Advocacy by being involved with the Cass, Elias MacArthur Guardian Ad Litem program, which supports children in the Summerville court system. On weekends, she dedicates time to feeding the hungry through River Ministry, a program she co-founded with a close friend. Although in a field where there is not much Indigenous representation nor Indigenous women representation, Lynch-Chrapkiewicz advocates those emerging voices to break the cycle and be a voice for yourself and your tribe. “I just really want Navajo girls to have that voice,” said Lynch-Chrapkiewicz. “Don’t let anything hold you back.” Although she shared that she put off aviation, she still reflects on how the field allowed her to learn about herself. As in many fields, she emphasized that all the hard work and dedication would be well worth it. Especially from a Diné perspective, where few have a role in aviation. But she encourages seeking a field where there is less representation of Indigenous people, let alone Indigenous women, enabling them to keep pursuing because in a field like aviation, “flying doesn’t know skin color.” The post ‘A Navajo girl’s dream’: Diné’ asdzą́ą́ pilot soars as a hometown hero appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: People]

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[l] at 4/25/24 3:29am
WINDOW ROCK – Skillful and talented Gallup McKinley County School students competed in the SkillsUSA New Mexico Championship on April 13 in Albuquerque, and a few walked away with medals. Gallup High School students junior Kimmie Yellowhair and seniors Tyrell Smith and Ariyana Yazzie were recognized for their hard work and dedication, which could potentially open doors for them in the future. Going for gold Kimmie Yellowhair was apprehensive when it came time for her welding sculpture to be judged. After only being introduced to welding recently, Yellowhair became curious. “I never knew how to weld,” said Yellowhair, from Fort Defiance, Arizona. “I never touched a welding rod, ever.” But it seemed almost destined that she was taking a welding class, which has been taught by longtime welding instructor Jeff Taylor, who has been admirable and supportive of his students for the past 38 years of teaching at Gallup High School. Taylor introduced SkillsUSA to Yellowhair and encouraged her to compete. In the welding competition, there were three categories: welding, welding fabrication, and welding sculpture. Yellowhair competed in Welding sculpture, winning first place and taking home gold. The sentimental piece that she completed within four months revolved around her family. Yellowhair describes a huge metal heart that represents her. The metal figures branching out of the heart are 10 of her family members, all holding wired hearts. “One of them in particular isn’t holding a heart, though,” Yellowhair said with a laugh. “It’s my brother. It’s an ongoing sibling thing and a joke, so I thought it would be funny to add it.” Competing at SkillsUSA New Mexico was a new atmosphere and experience for Yellowhair. SkillsUSA SkillsUSA New Mexico representatives say the championships are competitive events showcasing the state’s best career and technical education students. Depending on the contest, the top one to three students from each classroom will move on to compete at the state level. The state gold medalist for each competition will represent SkillsUSA New Mexico at the National Skills Leadership Conference in June in Atlanta, Georgia. SkillsUSA impacts the lives of future workforce by developing personal, workplace, and technical skills grounded in academics. A place of empowered and skillful students to boost their career-ready path into a professional workplace. With over 1,500 skillful and knowledgeable students across New Mexico, three Gallup High School students competed. Advising and guiding Jeff Taylor said he always believes in his students, past and present. Although Kimmie Yellowhair was new to the field, Taylor knew he had to encourage her to compete. In part of the competition, contestants were to talk about their sculpture piece. Taylor said Yellowhair had the skills to do public speaking because of her outspokenness. Roughly 16 other welding sculptures were displayed, and students were interviewed about their projects. “I was excited and confident I was going to place,” Yellowhair said. “I was really anxious and nervous.” When Yellowhair heard her name during the awards ceremony, she could not be any prouder. She couldn’t be ecstatic as a first-time welder and now a gold medalist in welding. “This is a great opportunity for more things to open up,” she added. Yellowhair is keeping her options open between trade schools or the University of California, Davis. According to Taylor, most trade schools recruit students from Gallup High School. Trade schools like Tulsa Welding School in Oklahoma, Lincoln College of Technology in Colorado, Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, WyoTech in Wyoming, and local schools like the University of New Mexico-Gallup and Navajo Technical University. Bronze-ahead Senior Tyrell Smith, who is from Rock Springs, New Mexico, previously competed in SkillsUSA New Mexico but did not place. This year, Smith competed again in welding fabrication. This contest tested the contestants’ skills in reading blueprints, welding symbols, and welding terms, which are required to conform to the latest edition of the American Welding Society, the AWS, standards. The contest evaluates the student’s preparation for employment and recognizes professionalism in welding fabrication. Although competitive, Smith wasn’t too pleased to receive third place, but he still admires welding. “I got the hang of it,” Smith said of welding. “I want to get a job that makes me feel good—and that’s welding.” After high school, Smith plans on attending Tulsa Welding School in Oklahoma and is keeping his options open with job opportunities for pipe welding. Although receiving a bronze medal during the SkillsUSA New Mexico Championship in the culinary arts competition, senior Ariyana Yazzie was proud to complete the competition. She was nervous and couldn’t push through her junior year. “This year, it started off the same again,” said Yazzie, from Gallup. “But then I started going with the flow.” She redeemed herself. Contestants were provided with a list of ingredients and had to create a menu with the following items in the culinary arts competition. Yazzie’s three dishes contained carrots, cucumbers, lemon, green beans, chicken, mushroom, and potatoes, among other ingredients. They were all delicious delights, and Yazzie said she always appreciated food because she loved to eat. “I figured this would be a pretty fun class,” Yazzie said about the culinary arts class taught by Chef Dexter Dale, who has over 12 years of experience and has been teaching the culinary arts class for over two years. Yazzie said culinary arts is more than just baking, which she thought at first, but after gaining more insight, she has loved the approach of preparation and the skillful techniques used. Although unsure of their future after high school, Yazzie is considering art school, psychology, or becoming a tattoo artist, at least doing an apprenticeship, as she is passionate about drawing. With the crazy talent that Jeff Taylor described in his welding students, whom he had the honor of teaching and supporting, he appreciates SkillsUSA and what it offers students who are trying to find their footing. “I personally enjoy it a lot,” said Dale, a former gold medalist with SkillsUSA. “Skills had taken me to place I never thought I’d go before,” Dale said, which he fully supports because he is living proof for what the program did for him and his career. “Put in work and time to learn and apply your skills,” he added. Additional students who received medals at SkillsUSA were Thoreau High School students Monique Spencer, who received a gold medal, and Ryan Emerson, who took home a silver medal in medical terminology. All thanks to the support and dedication of their advisor, Nadine Delgarito. The post 3 Gallup High students top SkillsUSA New Mexico medal table appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: People]

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[l] at 4/25/24 3:29am
WINDOW ROCK – Skillful and talented Gallup McKinley County School students competed in the SkillsUSA New Mexico Championship on April 13 in Albuquerque, and a few walked away with medals. Gallup High School students junior Kimmie Yellowhair and seniors Tyrell Smith and Ariyana Yazzie were recognized for their hard work and dedication, which could potentially open doors for them in the future. Going for gold Kimmie Yellowhair was apprehensive when it came time for her welding sculpture to be judged. After only being introduced to welding recently, Yellowhair became curious. “I never knew how to weld,” said Yellowhair, from Fort Defiance, Arizona. “I never touched a welding rod, ever.” But it seemed almost destined that she was taking a welding class, which has been taught by longtime welding instructor Jeff Taylor, who has been admirable and supportive of his students for the past 38 years of teaching at Gallup High School. Taylor introduced SkillsUSA to Yellowhair and encouraged her to compete. In the welding competition, there were three categories: welding, welding fabrication, and welding sculpture. Yellowhair competed in Welding sculpture, winning first place and taking home gold. The sentimental piece that she completed within four months revolved around her family. Yellowhair describes a huge metal heart that represents her. The metal figures branching out of the heart are 10 of her family members, all holding wired hearts. “One of them in particular isn’t holding a heart, though,” Yellowhair said with a laugh. “It’s my brother. It’s an ongoing sibling thing and a joke, so I thought it would be funny to add it.” Competing at SkillsUSA New Mexico was a new atmosphere and experience for Yellowhair. SkillsUSA SkillsUSA New Mexico representatives say the championships are competitive events showcasing the state’s best career and technical education students. Depending on the contest, the top one to three students from each classroom will move on to compete at the state level. The state gold medalist for each competition will represent SkillsUSA New Mexico at the National Skills Leadership Conference in June in Atlanta, Georgia. SkillsUSA impacts the lives of future workforce by developing personal, workplace, and technical skills grounded in academics. A place of empowered and skillful students to boost their career-ready path into a professional workplace. With over 1,500 skillful and knowledgeable students across New Mexico, three Gallup High School students competed. Advising and guiding Jeff Taylor said he always believes in his students, past and present. Although Kimmie Yellowhair was new to the field, Taylor knew he had to encourage her to compete. In part of the competition, contestants were to talk about their sculpture piece. Taylor said Yellowhair had the skills to do public speaking because of her outspokenness. Roughly 16 other welding sculptures were displayed, and students were interviewed about their projects. “I was excited and confident I was going to place,” Yellowhair said. “I was really anxious and nervous.” When Yellowhair heard her name during the awards ceremony, she could not be any prouder. She couldn’t be ecstatic as a first-time welder and now a gold medalist in welding. “This is a great opportunity for more things to open up,” she added. Yellowhair is keeping her options open between trade schools or the University of California, Davis. According to Taylor, most trade schools recruit students from Gallup High School. Trade schools like Tulsa Welding School in Oklahoma, Lincoln College of Technology in Colorado, Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, WyoTech in Wyoming, and local schools like the University of New Mexico-Gallup and Navajo Technical University. Bronze-ahead Senior Tyrell Smith, who is from Rock Springs, New Mexico, previously competed in SkillsUSA New Mexico but did not place. This year, Smith competed again in welding fabrication. This contest tested the contestants’ skills in reading blueprints, welding symbols, and welding terms, which are required to conform to the latest edition of the American Welding Society, the AWS, standards. The contest evaluates the student’s preparation for employment and recognizes professionalism in welding fabrication. Although competitive, Smith wasn’t too pleased to receive third place, but he still admires welding. “I got the hang of it,” Smith said of welding. “I want to get a job that makes me feel good—and that’s welding.” After high school, Smith plans on attending Tulsa Welding School in Oklahoma and is keeping his options open with job opportunities for pipe welding. Although receiving a bronze medal during the SkillsUSA New Mexico Championship in the culinary arts competition, senior Ariyana Yazzie was proud to complete the competition. She was nervous and couldn’t push through her junior year. “This year, it started off the same again,” said Yazzie, from Gallup. “But then I started going with the flow.” She redeemed herself. Contestants were provided with a list of ingredients and had to create a menu with the following items in the culinary arts competition. Yazzie’s three dishes contained carrots, cucumbers, lemon, green beans, chicken, mushroom, and potatoes, among other ingredients. They were all delicious delights, and Yazzie said she always appreciated food because she loved to eat. “I figured this would be a pretty fun class,” Yazzie said about the culinary arts class taught by Chef Dexter Dale, who has over 12 years of experience and has been teaching the culinary arts class for over two years. Yazzie said culinary arts is more than just baking, which she thought at first, but after gaining more insight, she has loved the approach of preparation and the skillful techniques used. Although unsure of their future after high school, Yazzie is considering art school, psychology, or becoming a tattoo artist, at least doing an apprenticeship, as she is passionate about drawing. With the crazy talent that Jeff Taylor described in his welding students, whom he had the honor of teaching and supporting, he appreciates SkillsUSA and what it offers students who are trying to find their footing. “I personally enjoy it a lot,” said Dale, a former gold medalist with SkillsUSA. “Skills had taken me to place I never thought I’d go before,” Dale said, which he fully supports because he is living proof for what the program did for him and his career. “Put in work and time to learn and apply your skills,” he added. Additional students who received medals at SkillsUSA were Thoreau High School students Monique Spencer, who received a gold medal, and Ryan Emerson, who took home a silver medal in medical terminology. All thanks to the support and dedication of their advisor, Nadine Delgarito. The post 3 Gallup High students top SkillsUSA New Mexico medal table appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Education]

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[l] at 4/25/24 3:25am
WINDOW ROCK – Fort Defiance hip-hop/rapper artist Travis Thompson, 27, has always wanted to perform in his hometown. Now he will. The Seattle-based artist will perform a free concert for the Navajo Nation on April 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bee Hółdzil Fighting Scouts Events Center in Fort Defiance, presented by the Window Rock Athletics Department, Delegate Andy Nez, and Rancid-Savage Productions. Concert promoter Randall Hoskie with Rancid Savage Productions said efforts to bring Thompson back home to perform for the Navajo Nation have been coming for a long time. “He’s a proud member of the Navajo Nation,” Hoskie said of Thompson, who is from Goat Springs, Arizona. “We kept telling him, ‘Let’s do a show for the Navajo Nation.’” Longtime coming With Travis Thompson’s busy schedule, Randall Hoskie managed to get Thompson to headline for another show called “Merciless Savages.” This show will showcase over 30 top Native musicians during the Gathering of Nations at the El Rey in Albuquerque on April 27. A perfect time was described by Hoskie, who claimed he reached out to a few individuals at the president’s office. With no response, he contacted Andy Nez himself, and “he was all over it right away.” Almost in a day, Nez said he reached out to multiple partners to establish a location, and Window Rock School District agreed to host the free concert. “We finalized all the details,” Nez said. “It’s pretty unique because I am grounded in this work on highlighting community and working together.” Knowing that Thompson is from Fort Defiance, Nez describes it as an opportunity to be among the community. “We try to reach different populations,” Nez said regarding music genres and bringing something different. Indigeneity Although Travis Thompson acknowledges being part Diné, he steers to represent every part of him and does not speak from a visitor’s perspective. “I strive to be someone that he can look back on as a positive contribution to not only the music space but the people,” he said. “The landscape has changed so much.” At age 5, Thompson and his parents lived in Dutch Harbor, a harbor on Amaknak Island in Unalaska, Alaska. His parents were in the fishing and cooking industry. After that, they moved to Seattle and would periodically visit Fort Defiance to visit his dad’s family. Thompson is Bilagáana and born for Tó’áhání. His parents are Anthony Thompson, from Fort Defiance, and Julie Thompson, from Seattle. Coasting through life is a way Thompson describes his personal and musical life. Thompson became keen on spoken word poetry in a Youth Speaks Seattle program and learned how to perform and write music. “I always knew I wanted to make music,” he said. “I would email venues for shows and shoot music videos.” He worked hard to produce music at his jobs, such as a pizza joint, a factory, and as a preschool educator, all of which were invested in creating music. After years of “grinding,” things panned out, and Thompson’s career unfolded after he performed on The Tonight Show, which starred Jimmy Fallon in 2017 with Macklemore, Dave B, and DJ Premier. In 2020, he performed on the Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out show. Thompson said Cannon noticed his performance from a previous gig and invited him to perform on the show. Additionally, he appeared in the comedy-drama series Reservation Dogs. Earlier in the years, Thompson believed he was “not cool enough to rap,” but he has made himself known in an industry with few Indigenous representations. Thompson echoed that the biggest obstacle for Indigenous artists is making their voices heard and having the funds to do so. “When I walk into certain rooms, there’s definitely an area of interest, which is almost like a plus,” Thompson said. “People don’t meet a lot of Indigenous rappers when I move around.” Thus far, Thompson has worked with Juicy J, G-Eazy, Westside Boogie, SuperDuperKyle, and many more. “I’ve always had a cool community of artists,” he added. “It’s cool in that stance, but I definitely would like to see more representation.” Thompson describes how he presents himself by doing his best to be a genuine voice. “If you’re talented and a good person, your day is coming,” Thompson said. “If you’re just constantly elevating and telling an authentic story, it will work.” Believing in your path and striving to be “authentic,” Thompson shares there’s always room for progress to heighten improvement and growth. Thompson will be going on tour starting with Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Denver, and Seattle. The post Hip-hop artist Travis Thompson will perform in Fort Defiance appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: People]

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