Title VI News
Title VI News

Title VI News (38)

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 15:48

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

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What better way to begin our celebration of Native American Heritage Month and the newly inaugurated Indigenous Peoples Day than to recognize the work of the Sacred Images project at Brighton High School?

In preparation to create a mural for public display at their school, a group of Brighton High artists recently visited the ancient wall art and petroglyphs at Nine Mile Canyon. The trip, an educational journey through time, will serve as artistic inspiration for what will become a permanent monument to indigenous peoples. Brighton is the fifth Canyons District high school to create a Sacred Images mural.   

As has become tradition, Ute Elder and Spiritual Leader Larry Cesspooch gathered with students to bless them with an eagle’s wing before they entered sacred lands. This year he also shared the Ute creation story and several other tales that have become part of Ute oral tradition over the centuries. 

Sacred is an apt description of the experience and the sites visited. As Dovie Thomason, the Kiowa Apache artist-in-residence for Brighton’s Sacred Images project, instructed students, “We will not be taking off, tearing into the canyon. That is not how we are going to approach these sacred lands.” Thomason and Cesspooch have been teaching Canyons’ students to see through new eyes, and to consider different ways of knowing the world around them. Now, through the students’ own artistic work, others can all walk a little of that journey with them.

Native American Heritage month, which is observed in November, was created in 1990 to honor the “contributions, achievements, sacrifices, and cultural and historical legacy of the original inhabitants of what is now the United States,” according to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s website. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert additionally has declared Nov. 3, 2017, Indigenous Day. 

Canyons Student Advocacy department has compiled a list of resources for teachers and parents to use as a reference in incorporating an observance of the month in classrooms and households. Here is some information that might be useful:

Suggested activities, compiled by a member of the Ute tribe, provided by Marcy Arrowchis:

  • Write short biographical sketches of American Indians for a class book
  • Encourage reading of poems, stories and essays by American Indian writers
  • Compile a list of the differences or similarities of customs, values and beliefs between different American Indian tribes
  • Design, on a large piece of paper, a postage stamp to commemorate American Indian Heritage month
  • Design a monument to contributions of American Indians in your state. Write a dedication plaque and have a dedication ceremony
  • Make a list of as many states as you can that have names that have an American Indian origin
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 14:27

Sacred Images Mural at Alta High School

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Click here to view the short film produced by the Center for Documentary Arts and Expression

Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art Artists/Scholars-in-Residence

Alta High School, Sandy, Utah, October 25, 2015-March 21, 2016. This film presents CDEA’s “Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art—Artists/Scholars-in-Residence” program. Our four-week residency, involving Native American storyteller Dovie Thomason, archeologist Dr. Kevin Jones, and muralist Ruby Chacon, expanded to five months, when students and faculty decided to create a 24’ long and 8’ high mural, the largest student-generated work this eight-year-old program ever produced. This video describes the initial—and critical—mural design process; students focus on challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
Monday, 12 October 2015 21:16

Utah's Indigenous Day

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Wednesday, 16 September 2015 17:24

Navajo Language Classes for High School Students

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Tuesday, 15 September 2015 19:39

American Indian Leadership Conference 2015

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Please joiin us for the Annual Native American Leadership Conference on September 30, 2015!!

Students and parents are welcome and encouraged to attend the conference.

A bus will pick up conference participants at Jordan High School (95 East Beetdigger Boulevard) on September 30 at 7:15 am; students without a parent or guardian will need to have a "parent filed trip notification form", signed by a parent or guardian, in their possession when they board the bus.

This link (Parent Field Trip Notification Form) will provide potential student participants with the "parent field trip notification form" that is required to board the bus.

The bus will trasnport parents and students to Salt Lake Community College located at 4600 Redwood Road and the bus will then return students to Jordan High School by 2:00 pm.

Parents and students are responsible for thier transportation to and from Jordan High School.

Please contact David Shirley at 801-826-5046 for further information.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 19:34

Title VI American Indian Education Events

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015 00:00

American Indian Leadership Recognition Nominations

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The nominations for American Indian Leadership Recognition are now open.
The nominated students willl be recognized and honored at the American Indian Leadership Recognition Ceremony. 

Event Details:
  • Thursday, March 17, 2016
  • 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Jordan High School Auditorium
    • 95 E. Beetdigger Blvd. (9880 S.)
    • Sandy, UT

Please click on the following button to nominate the student for this recognition:

2016 Student Nomination

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 00:00

Spring Social-Family Night at Hillcrest High

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Monday, 01 December 2014 00:00

Hillcrest High Students Unveil 'Sacred Images' Mural

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A group of students have found a way to bring the heart of Nine Mile Canyon's Native American rock art to Hillcrest High without moving a stone.

Instead, they used their talents, imaginations — and a little bit of paint —to create their own images of identity and the power of the past, present and future high on the wall in the main atrium.

With the swoop of a curtain and a round of applause, the students this week revealed their new mural in honor of Native American Heritage Month. The fresco, which the students completed after eight weeks and 160 hours of work, is the final step in the “Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art” program facilitated by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art.

“It’s going to leave an indelible impression here at Hillcrest for many years,” Dr. Paul Kirby, Hillcrest Assistant Principal, said at the unveiling.

The program, with financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Zoo, Arts and Parks Program; the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation; and the Utah State Office of Education, began with a daylong field trip to Nine Mile Canyon, where students examined and drew ancient rock art and learned about the Fremont people that once occupied the canyon.

A renowned Kiowa-Apache storyteller, Dovie Thomason, visited the school and shared her experiences in classrooms and in a student assembly. The students were so moved by Thomason’s words they included her image in the far left panel of the mural, representing the past.

The main focus of the mural is a student who is sleeping — her mind immersed in the things she has learned, representing the present and future. She is surrounded by petroglyphs, depictions of the universe, aurora borealis, and specific images that relate to the identities of the group of students involved in the project — such as a guitar — and each of their faces.

The students worked with their art teacher, Kari Bennett, and CDEA artist-in-residence Kevin Goodrich to create their finished product. Aside from learning about how to express an idea through art, several of the students said the project taught them more about their own valued identity.

“I learned a bit more about my culture,” said Joey Cly, a student with Navajo heritage who helped paint the mural. “If I had never done this, I wouldn’t have learned about rock art.”

In celebration of the mural’s unveiling, community dignitaries, students and District administrators gathered to learn about the Sacred Images project and give homage to all those involved in the process. Several Canyons students sang and performed dances from their native heritage, and Shirlee Silversmith, Director of Utah Division of Indian Affairs, addressed the crowd.

Her words emphasized the importance of the location where the project, and student inspiration, began — Nine Mile Canyon.

“There is a spirituality in these symbols, and a message from our ancestors,” Silversmith said. “There is a worry these beautiful messages will be destroyed. My message to you is to take care of what is in the canyons on the rock walls. Teach others to respect it and protect it for generations to come.”
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