Tuba City students and staff set to celebrate Native American Week Sept. 28-Oct. 2

Tuba City High School student Mia Keeswood performs a song she wrote using a hand drum as accompaniment. She takes her Navajo language seriously enough to use in it her own creative process. Keeswood is an example of learning

Tuba City High School student Mia Keeswood performs a song she wrote using a hand drum as accompaniment. She takes her Navajo language seriously enough to use in it her own creative process. Keeswood is an example of learning

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Tuba City Unified School District students will take part in Native American Week beginning Sept. 28. The week blends daily academics with the best of American Indian practices from Hopi and Navajo culture.

Adair Klopfenstein, director of Native American Programs at the district, has Hopi and Navajo presenters lined up to share their knowledge and expertise in an assortment of tribal cultural areas including language, song, moccasin making, rug weaving, sash belt making, horsemanship, Native cooking, basket weaving and traditional Navajo corn cake making.

Damian Jones begins the presentations Sept. 28 with a moccasin making program at Tuba City Primary School, followed by Raenelle Yazzie teaching primary age students about sash belt making.

At the middle school, Cecelia Joe will feature her expertise in rug weaving following by Nora Kaibetoney making Navajo corn cakes.

Tsinaabaas Habitiin Elementary in the Gap-Coppermine area will have Larry Gordy talking about horsemanship, Etta Black presenting basketmaking and Lola Begay presenting Navajo rug weaving.

At the Junior High Helena Begay will teach students about traditional songs and traditional social dancing. Mae Peshlakai will also show students what she knows about rug weaving.

At Tuba City High School Nora Kaibetoney will make traditional Navajo corn cake and Mabel Cody and Derrick Myron from the Hopi village of Moencopi will teach students about traditional music making. Rhoda Sahu will teach students how to cook Hopi traditional foods.

A guest appearance by newly crowned Miss Navajo 2015-16 Alyson Shirley will take place in the morning and afternoon at the primary school Sept. 30 along with the current Miss Western Navajo.

The public is invited to the afternoon guest appearance by Shirley, who is from the Tolani Lake area. She is the 69th Miss Navajo Nation.

The new Miss Navajo is the daughter of Lenora and Stewart Shirley and the first grandchild on both her paternal and maternal sides of her family.

Shirley is an example of student role modeling for kindergarten through high school students. She will present at the Tuba City District next week. She is currently attending Chandler-Gilbert Community College and majoring in political science.

Shirley believes in speaking and knowing ones own tribal language and hopes to reinforce this in the Native student population for all schools and communities she will serve over the coming year.

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