r Nebo’s Native American students experienced the Utah State Capitol on Monday, February 5. Three of our students Canyon Haveron, Salem Hills High; Ciera Alldredge, Payson High School; and Alfredo Quintana, Maple Mountain High, job shadowed senators and representatives in action.
Twenty-six native American students enjoyed the “Telling My Story” exhibit and discussed issues concerning the Native American community. Students enjoyed seeing the artwork and sitting in the balcony where bills are passed into law. Many of the students had not visited the capitol before so it was a true learning experience.
The American Indian Caucus Day gathering took place right next door under the supervision of the Director of Division of Indian Affairs, Shirlee Silversmith, and her staff.
Nebo’s Native American director, Eileen Quintana, said, “As Nebo students entered the tribal leaders’ assembly, we were honored to have Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathon Nez address our students with a special talk about responsibilities of future leaders! Goshute tribal Chairman Rupert Steele offered a prayer and blessed Nebo students on stage at this tribal leaders conference. We met and ate with Utah tribal leaders and delegates. They were very happy to see young Native American youth participating in this event,”
Director Silversmith made arrangements for Nebo students to visit the Museum of Fine Arts which is usually closed on Mondays. However, they opened it for Nebo students to see the “Go West” exhibit, Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This exhibit examines the development and disruption of the American Westrthrough more than eighty original artworks by Euro-American and Plains Indian artists!
“I think what I kept hearing over and over from different people was this simple observation that I heard upon arrival, ‘It warms my heart to see our youth showing up to an event like this and participating, your tribe needs you.’ Our field trip was informative and an important teaching experience. We are currently tracking bills in an after-school lab that will impact our Native communities,” said Eileen Quintana.
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