Haskell Safety

by Erynn Ducheneaux

In the wake of the deadliest mass school shooting in U.S. history, Haskell students are
curious as to what the Universities protocols are if this school were to have an active shooter on
campus. Chloe Gunville, a current student at Haskell, states that she feels safe here on Haskell
campus around fellow natives but what concerns her is the law that was introduced allowing KU
campus to carry firearms. For her being a bridge program student, and KU being a P.W.I
(predominantly white institution), she says she is a little more guarded when on their campus.
Haskell’s Code of Conduct does not include any instructions or procedures to follow regarding
an active shooter, so how would the students know what to do? Dawnee Keckler, a current
Haskell transfer student pointed out that if she were ever to be in a situation of the sort, she
wouldn’t know what to do if she were in panic mode because it is never talked about and is not
written down anywhere. Although Haskell has an E-2 Alert text messaging system in place for
emergencies, many Haskell students stated that they know nothing about it. The E-2 alert
notifications are a free service that is used during emergencies that will include time/date, a brief
description of the emergency, where and who to receive further information from. Students can
sign up for these alerts at But that is only one form of security, are there others?
Haskell has unarmed security patrolling the campus but what about inside the buildings and what
happens when their shift ends for the day? Acting director of Haskell library, Carrie Cornelius
indicated that it has been brought up in previous staff meeting about what to do if an active
shooter were to enter the building, she then stated they go into lock down, get students away
from the windows and find an enclosed room for the students and staff to hide out in. Carrie did
also mention that this is not talked about enough and the evacuation maps are outdated but in the
aftermath of this shooting, Haskell staff have recently received an emailing regarding an
upcoming safety trainings for this type of situation and are also encouraging students to report
anything they may see or hear that does not sound or feel right to authorities on campus. Students
deserve to feel and know how to be safe. Chloe Gunville mentioned that maybe the school
should have metal detectors and card access to get into buildings, not too bad of an idea.

The Historical Context of Indigenous Leadership

by Allen Stephenson

Here at Haskell, we’ve observed our American President say some rather questionable
things to the press and tweet undeniably questionable things to the public world at large. While
we ultimately don’t condemn or condone the president’s actions we can only help but wonder
about the legitimacy of his leadership skills. It was this thinking on criticisms of Trump as a
leader that I was struck by the notion of studying Indigenous leadership and decided to see what
lies within the leadership of current and past Native leaders.
Gone are the days of wild dances and primordial fires. Our ancestors of the last true tribal
independence have told their stories. Great stories of battle and sacrifice. Stories that have
shaped a nation, created empires and ultimately defined what it means to be a Native American.
How then, do we put the great stories of our people, the indigenous people, into metrics the
world can understand? We need only to look at the pivotal examples of our forefathers, the
iconoclast leaders of the many tribes that populate the Americas of both past and present.
Throughout history we have looked at the many and varied ways indigenous
leaders have exhibited leadership to some surprising results. The biggest observation we see in
the historic examples shown to us would be, that there is no one way to lead. When it comes to
indigenous paradigms, high levels of variance are common. This means that we see each leader’s
example use their own Tribal epistemology and methodology applied toward concepts of
To be a leader, you must have followers. This truth permeates throughout the annals of time and
with good reason. The leaders in all our most famous studies had followers.

Tribesmen, families, elders, all looking to them for answers and this is where we make our
second observation. Many of the Indigenous biographies studied had a common factor in their
historical context. The rise of America as a world power, the Industrial revolution and the last
formal fights of resistance are all common backdrops in the lives of virtually every leader that
existed during this time frame.

The past clearly shows us that Historic context gave birth to leaders. That people,
our people, at least have always risen to the challenge of survival. The simple fact that we are
still here is testament enough to that. What about the narrative of leadership? Did all our
examples have the same motivations? Of course not. While some will argue the personal
motivations of these historic leaders is paramount for research, we should instead look at the
cultural context that is applied to each leader. It is by doing this that we gain greater insight into
the culture and people they respectively belong to.

This is very important when it comes to our perception, because our world is not the
world any of the historic leaders could have ever imagined. As we try to dissect the narrative of
indigenous leadership from the historic perspective of the Indian Leaders of the past, we find a
few glaring problems, not with them, but with us. As the modern Native identity seeks to
reconcile its new “American Individual” alter ego within its own indigenous community. We
must remember that even as we see their biographies as individual, they are very much a single
part of a whole, not a whole single part.

This is critical if we are to decipher their actions and truly learn from the priceless
examples of Indigenous Leadership they set before us. This final observation is that none of
these leaders were individuals in the sense that we know.

The followers they had were directly connected with them. There was no distinct
separation of class between a leader and follower within the indigenous paradigm, all were of the
tribe. With this final truth we begin to see the unique definition of Indigenous leadership come to
fruition and realize all the sacrifices of the past will not be in vain. Standing on the shoulders of
giants, Now it's our turn to lead for the next generation. The way is clear, the path is open.

The Man With The Ice Scraper

by Cody Vannaman

I got the chance to talk with Noah Webster aka The Man With The Scraper. I asked him why he went out in the cold and helped scrap the ice off of other people’s car? He said, “It had to be done.” I asked him to walk me through how all this went down. He responded with, “I was walking back from lunch around one and I saw people try to scrape the ice off their windshields with their id cards. Then I yelled do you need any help, so I went and helped them. After that I went inside, put warmer clothes on and moved from car to car and just didn’t pay attention to the time and keep going.”

My last question I asked him was would he do it again, he said, “Of course I would do it again. I feel it’s my civic duty to help people in the community.” So next time you see someone who needs help with something, if it’s scraping ice off their car or with a subject in school, or just anything, be like Noah and help them. A good deed can go a long way if you just help.

One Game At A Time

by Cody Vannaman

Haskell Women’s Basketball Roster
21. Tiana Guillory
23. Justina Coriz-Captain
13. Paige Dale
33. Darrian Diwayan
20. Chloe Gunville
30. Nykki Benally
05. Janee Bates
22. Sierra Penn
44. Keli Warrior-Captain
1. Jandra Levi
3. Lexi Kimball
40. Devon Spoonhunter
35. Caylee Lujan

Managers: Alec Peehler and Jake White

Head Coach: Flanagan

Assistant Coach: John Morris


The Haskell Women’s Basketball Team is making it to conference this year and will play on Saturday the 24th. I interviewed most of the girls on the basketball team and their head coach for their upcoming battle in conference. I got the chance to interview Coach Flanagan (Head Coach), and he had a lot to say about his team. “We have enough talent, size, and young players we really relied on this season. Our plan is obviously to win the next game, but we want the culture of responsibility to represent the best way possible. We also have a moto I guess, it’s do everything to your best ability.”

I asked how he felt about his seniors, he responded with, “Keli Warrior is a big part in the process especially since she holds the record for most points her at Haskell, her and Justina Coriz don’t overthink anything, they are playing in the here and now, and they are always doing better everyday.”

I also asked about Paige Dale, a key player in their rotation, and if her being injured affects anything? He answered with “It affects our rotation and having other having to play her position.” I asked him how he feels about the girls, the team, and why the community should come and support them, he added with, “We have a great group of girls, we have Keli who like I said is the leading scorer in Haskell, and we are a fun and exciting group to watch.”

I got the chance to interview most of them, but not Keli, but senior Justina Coriz had this to say, “Me and Keli are trying to make our last year the best it can be. We have to play one game at a time, we are trying to survive, but be on the lookout cause you don’t wanna miss anything.” Tiana Guillory had this to say, “All the hard work throughout the season has paid off big for us.” Sophomore guard, Sierra Penn said, “I’m very excited to play with the teammates I have, I think we have a good chance at getting far.”

Darrian Diwayan is quiet, but deadly down in the post, she had this to say, “I’m not really nervous to be playing in conference, just glad to be apart of a team.” Janee Bates also sophomore guard and starter said, “We are a different team from last year, we gotta go to conference and do work. We have a good chance at winning.” Number 30 Nykki Benally said, “Every team has to play in the tournament, so if we play our game no one can beat us.”

As a reporter and fan of basketball, I think they can pull off the win and can move onto nationals and possible win it all. Most of the girls had said they wished their seniors had another year to play with them. They all motivate each other in different ways, but mainly through the game and the effort they put out. They are all very excited to be playing in conference and happy they got the two seed. If they win this Saturday they will automatically be in Nationals which would be big not just for the girls, coaches, and team, but also for the school in general.

Celebrating Diversity at Haskell

By Terrence Littlejohn
February is Black History Month, prior to the story, Haskell had not set up anything to celebrate but currently two events are being planned. We asked students about their cultural heritage of being both African American and Native American.

1. As a Native American that is also of African descent do you feel racial stereotypes at Haskell?
2. Do you feel that there is more pressure on you being both African American/Native American than that of a Native American mixed with another race?
3. Which race do you relate more to?

Shanice Chatlin, Haskell Sophomore, San Carlos Apache responses:
1. Yes, because weather some know it or not they tend to make racial comments concerning black people. I’ve encountered racism here on campus being half black.
2. Yes, because Native American and African Americans are both minorities and both dark skinned. Going in public and being dark skinned people assume many different things.
3. I relate more to my Native American side. Only because all my life I’ve only knew my Native side.

Aiyana Jack, Haskell Junior, Yankton Sioux & Standing Rock Sioux
1. Yes, because some people look at you here at Haskell as being only a little bit of Native American or not enough.
2. Yes, because we come from two oppressed cultures.
3. I think this is different for everyone. I grew up in a Native household and I didn’t know much about my African American side, but being from a reservation and being one of the only multiracial children on the reservation I feel like I could relate more to my African American side.

Emalyne King, Haskell Sophomore, Oklahoma Choctaw
1. No, but I feel like that could do with the people I surrounded myself with and the time that I got here. When I arrived last Spring, it was a bunch of girls pretty much locked in Pokie (Pocahontas Hall) because of an incoming ice storm, so all of us were new and in the same situation of not knowing anything, so we all got along. Since I’m always with my friends I haven’t given myself a chance to experience biases on campus.
2. I feel that as both Native and African American there is more pressure to not be a stereotype and show people that I can be successful and that my nationality does not define me.
3. I can’t say I relate more to either side. Once I’m outside of my group of friends and family people assume I’m black just from looking at me and when I speak ask why I don’t sound black. Or if I say I’m native, people are shocked that natives still exist and then wonder if I live in a teepee.

Baron Hoy, Haskell Senior, Mvskoke
1. The feeling is a bit different than the rest of the world but there are similarities. Prejudices here exist. Unsaid prejudices, practices of exclusion and ignorance of the black/Native students is prevalent here. It’s similar in a sense of superiority as the rest of the world. It’s similar in that there is division. It’s weird that it’s coming from your own, indigenous people but they also seem to benefit from African American culture through music, art, fashion, sport and lingo.
2. Most definitely, yes. Unlike other people we are a double minority. Being Black is objectified, and labeled a certain way. It’s unsettling because Native Americans have that syndrome where they love their oppressors but hate their oppressors as well. Minority people including African Americans look up to their oppressors and seek their validation, services, products instead of building economies of our own and creating our own value. That self-perpetuating system is what keeps us under bondage and oppressed. Our Ancestors would be ashamed of the division and corruption. As a people we have ceased looking out for the people we are looking out for ourselves. To our ancestors that alone would make us the white man. Not by race but by action. If it swims does it make it a fish? Most likely yes. “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”-Malcolm X
3. Both, I was raised as both. There wasn’t a “Coming to Native America”, realization for me. As many would assume. I was raise both a black individual and native. I grew up I identify as both because it is my right to. I am Mvskoke, I am Creek fully as I am African (As was told to me by a respected elder in 2015 on my tribal grounds.) Haskell has been in my vocabulary since I was very young. My mother went to Haskell, and helped Haskell transitions to a university from a Junior college as student senate president. So my involvement is solidified.

Valentine’s Day

by Tiffany Blevins

Valentine’s Day is really frustrating from a women’s perspective in regards to what kind of gift is acceptable to give a
man. Every holiday I come across that includes gift giving is always frustrating in this way. Men are so
hard to shop for. Everything they want is super expensive: tools, sports gear and equipment, video games,
things for their car, and the list can go on and on. Spending like 50$ + on a non major holiday is painful.
Now with girls, you can buy them some ten dollar boquet of flowers, five dollar stuffed animals or even
write a poem, that costs nothing out of your wallet, and they LOVE it. I remembe this one Valentine’s
Day, I was in the 5th

grade. I had the biggest crush on this one boy in my class (we will call him C.C.).
C.C. was just about the sweetest country boy you could ever meet. So I decided to get him a V-Day gift to
tell him how I felt. So I watched some romantic comedies to get ideas on what people like for vday. I
wanted to get it right so I got him: A box of chocolates, a stuffed animal, a single rose, and of course a
card confessing my affections. To top it off I combined it all into a lovely gift basket and left it in the
front office for him to deliver. BIG MISTAKE! I was the absolute laughing stock of my grade that day.
Aparrently it is odd for boys to receive those kinds of things. C.C on the other hand was not unkind to me,
but he did avoid me for a month before we regained our normal friendship after the weirdness of rejection
faded. Well what I learned that day was, most men, do not like the same type of gifts that girls do,
generally speaking ( I know there are always the exceptions). 15 years have passed since my 5th
failure and I still have a hard time figuring out what to get a guy, and even more pressure on finding the
right gift for him that won’t break the bank. Come on guys, help us girls out with some gift ideas 20$ or

under and save those bigger items for bigger holidays like Christmas.

Make America Think Again

by Allen Stephenson

Its been several days since President Trump’s State of the Union address, a highly
anticipated, albeit mixed bag of political rhetoric. While the first half of his speech seemed to
focus on his slogan “Make America great again,” we can only question how the logistics of the
policies he sets forth could happen. The President undoubtedly is making good on his word at
face value. His policy of putting “America first” became evident with the subject matter in the
beginning his address. Tax cuts, the economy, regulatory reform, trade and new ideas on
immigration, but in terms of the American people, just who are they?
"Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground,
and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve," Trump
exclaims at one point. The American people are many things and one of them is most definitely
divided. The irony of calling people to come together when the government itself was on
furlough several days prior is glaring. It was also painfully apparent that Bipartisan policies were
no where to be found and not happening anytime soon. Trump appeared to be bragging almost
about undoing every Obama era regulation, even to the point of declaring that Guantanamo Bay
prison in Cuba would stay open. An insult to injury as it were, to Obama’s long-standing struggle
to shut the prison down during the time of his presidency.
The arena of American politics is a savage one to say the least, so where then do we as
Native Americas draw the line between hope and political despondency? In the surge of
American energy production Trump has consigned land from the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge in Alaska and offshore for oil drilling and fracking. “We have ended the war on
American energy. And we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.” Trump claims in his

speech. This is troubling to indigenous people for many reasons, but is he aware of that? Just
how much do Indigenous people add up in his vision for the American people? Its hard to say.
We can do more than hope however by staying informed and knowing how political discourse
works in the white man’s court is a critical start, if not necessary for the future of our people. The
president discussed many things having to do with the “greatness” of our country and presented
the lives of veterans and their stories in true hallmark fashion towards the conclusion of his
speech, but nary a word on Russia or pending investigations on possible collusion, go figure.
The new American politico doesn’t have to be some middle aged white guy touting
outdated political values based on profit and private ownership. He or She, could be someone
from Wolf Clan, A water protector, someone with powerful medicine, someone with long hair or
who was raised by their elders. Someone that danced jingle dress or straight. This person could
be indigenous, this person could be you or me.

Welcome to Sovereignty

by Allen Stephenson

Today we welcome six new tribes into Haskell Indian Nations University as they gain
Federal recognition! The six tribes in question The Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy,
Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan, and Nansemond of the Virginia commonwealth
have been fighting for their status for the past two decades. This outcome was achieved by
Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017 which was
passed in the House of Representatives in May of 2017 and again by the Senate in January 2018.
As we welcome these tribes into their newly acquired status we should reflect on why this is
Sovereignty is integral to the success and future of any and every tribe currently residing
in American or it’s many and varied territories. Why is it important you ask? It’s important
because Federal acknowledgement or recognition means the United States government
recognizes the right of an Indigenous tribe to exist as a sovereign entity. There are still a plethora
of terms and stipulations that come along with Native Sovereignty and rules we must follow and
hoops to jump through, but Federal Recognition is the first step to giving ourselves agency with
the government of the United States.
Federal recognition of Indian tribes is also similar to the diplomatic recognition that the
United States extends to foreign nations. When a tribe is federally recognized, it has the right to
establish a tribal government and enter into agreements with the federal government in much the
same way the federal government makes agreements with Canada and Mexico.

Tribes without federally recognized status do not share these same benefits and have
historically suffered greatly at the loss of recognition, the Menominee are a prime example. The
Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act will allow tribes to
Compete for educational programs and other grants only open to federally recognized tribes.
Repatriate the remains of their ancestors in a respectful manner. Many of these remains reside in
the Smithsonian, but without federal status there is no mandate to return the remains.
Provide affordable health care services for elder tribal members who have been unable to access
Overall the lives and political power of these Virginia Natives will grow stronger and
help promote self-governance within Indian country. This is a win, this is a cause for celebration,
and this is a people returning home after fighting the good fight for many years. The battle may
be won, but the war is far from over, remember where you came from.

Haskell Highlight Night

By Shirley Cypher

Haskell Highlight Night kicks off the semester by letting new and continuing students participate and join
different clubs and organizations on campus. It’s a great way to help students to adjust to campus life by
joining a club of their interest.
The Spring 2018 Haskell Highlight Night was held in Tecumseh Hall. It’s an event that lets students join
clubs on campus and visit information booths. Students also participated in random drawings for door
prizes such as gift baskets and gift cards. With different clubs from the Haskell Band to joining a
fraternity or sorority and different clubs in between. There’s always something for everyone to join and
be a part of the campus life here at Haskell.
For more information about clubs/organizations, you can look online at the Haskell website under
Student Senate. You can also look under the Student Senate’s Facebook page. And look for posted flyers
across campus for various clubs to join.

Education is the Key to Success

by Amanda Smith

            Haskell Indian Nations University has been a college that provides us an easy way to get our education. Not many students realize that our school provides as much as it can to help students get a degree. Haskell wants us as Native students to succeed, we have many that look up to us and at us, we’re in a Non-Native community that think we are all the same but we all come from different tribes and all have goals to accomplish. It’s about us making a change in our communities on the reservations, and showing that Haskell is not just a Native college but an institution that helped many get an education and going farther to become more successful.

One alumni commented, “Haskell was the place where I started my education, it may still look the same since I graduated but it’s the best decision I made, I got the chance to learn about other cultures, made new friends from other states and lastly got my bachelors”. Haskell isn’t a big campus, but that’s what makes it better, we have easy access to being able to sit in a room less than 20 people, we get one-on-one contact with our instructors, and we get the help we need. It’s a start to achieving our goals we have in mind, we want the best and Haskell gives it to us.

Many don’t realize that other students at universities are struggling to pay tuition, room and board, textbooks, and classes. One student stated, “Haskell was a good choice for me, especially if you’re a parent and have a job, it was affordable, flexible class schedules and very helpful”. As for us here at Haskell we are paying less, many complain about how it’s too much to pay but they need to know we may be a small college, but it beats having to go to a college with over 50 students in one classroom or paying for textbooks. Our success starts here, with many relatives from all over the states who all share the same goal to get an education. We can accomplish our goals no matter what.

Haskell Softball Preview

The Haskell softball team huddles around Coach Gary Tanner

By: Cody Allan Vannaman

The softball team is more determined and focused this year compared to any season in the past according to their players. Speaking with three freshman on this year’s team: Kylee Sellers, Shawn Harrah, Nicole McWilliams and assistant coach, Summer Moncivais. All of them stated, “we want to win as many games as possible. We want to win conference and keep the program alive here at Haskell.”

When asked what they meant by keep the program alive here at Haskell, their response, “have more people want to come here and play softball, by looking at how well we played this year and the possibility of success later on.”

Why should the community come watch them?  McWilliams said, “come watch the change, we are in a vulnerable spot right now, whatever we do everyone will see and they will hopefully see us win.” Second baseman Shawn Harrah said, “We aren’t the same team as last year, don’t compare us to any team without watching us play.”

Assistant coach Summer Moncivais had this to say about the team, “We work pretty well together, we’re hard working, flexible to change, and we are a championship caliber team. Everybody here shows so much dedication to wanting to win and just wanting to work hard towards our goals.”

When speaking about softball coach Gary Tanner, they responded, “we love our coach, he’s like a father figure in a way, real good role model, and he just wants the best for us.” When asked about their senior captain Brianna Smith they respond with, “She’s ready for a change this year, we are glad that we have her on our team, and she’s like a big sister to us.”

Head Coach Gary Tanner had a lot to say on this season and on the team. “We are a part of Haskell and if we had to have a goal in mind it would be to be a positive part of Haskell and grow along with the University. Winning is expected, one step at a time.” Tanner had compliments about his only senior captain Smith, “she’s a leader, leads by example, takes the team personal, understands this is her last year, and wants to make the most of it for her and her teammates.”

Tanner commented on players to watch out for.  “Nicole McWilliams, Kylee Sellers, and Lindsey Lofton. Lindsey is there starting shortstop and lead-off batter. We have a good group of girls, a lot of young players that can grow together in the next few years, by supporting and helping each other in all areas.”

Tanner reiterated he wants the team to be successful in all areas of Haskell. “I want all the girls to graduate, we want to win balls games, and produce a product or event that will get the Haskell community to come watch us play.”

When asked if he thinks this year will be better than the other years, Tanner said, “The past is the past, we continue to improve and we don’t want to be compared to any team in the past. We practice hard and work hard, that’s another reason we want people to come watch our games, it’s to see what we’ve done, because we do it for them.”

Tiff’s 2Cents

by Tiffany Blevins

Love Thy Neighbor as thyself. The Golden Rule is the basis for many well known religions and philosophies in which to live a better life. However a lot of people only remember the “love they neighbor part.” I find that being loving towards my neighbor is a lot easier than loving myself. If my neighbors cold, I can get them a jacket. If my neighbor is thirsty or hungry I can get them food and drink. How am I suppose to suppose to love myself though? I think a lot of people don’t know how to love themselves, especially while in college. Constantly pushing ourselves to succeed in our classes, trying desperately not to gain that “freshman” 15 ( Its hard to eat right and excercise all 4 years, sorry kiddos), going out late into the night even though we are exhausted, in order to maintain a social life and judging ourselves the highest penalties we can imagine for not meeting the goals we’ve set. There are lots of ways that if we were looking at someones else’s life, we’d more than likely tell them to slow down and everything would be okay. That they still matter and are important and will do better next time. One of the most loving things we can do for ourselves is to treat ourselves like we treat other people. This means things like not being so harsh, being forgiving, and encouraging to ourselves. The Golden Rule is a good motto to live by, but we can’t forget ourselves in that process.

Tiff’s 2Cents

by Tiffany Blevins

“The Best Laid Plans..of mice and men often go awry.” A saying adapted from Robert Burn’s Poem “To a Mouse” which was written in 1785 but still applicable for today. In a generation where procrastination is a common culprit of unfufilled plans, that was not the case over Christmas break 2017 for Tiffany Blevins
I went into this break with a carefully laid out plan that included the obligartory visits of family and friends, thoroughly cleaning house for my grandfather (whome I live with), investing in my art and writings, and studying the spring’s semester subjects so that I can be ahead upon my return. Although I had every intention to fufill all of my goals and make my vacation productive, I did not finish everything I had planned to. My first bump in my plans was the sudden illness of my Opa (grandfather). He’s okay now, stubbornly going against doctor’s orders and is eating to his hearts happiness, working on vehicles out in the barn in almost freezing weather, and I have on occasion, since he’s been well, caught him with a Cheyenne Red 100 between his lips. My first two weeks home was a juggling act between forcing him to behave the docor and getting ready for Christmas.

Christmas is a huge investment of time and money every year for me. I bought for 42 people this year mostly framily some friends. Shopping is never an issue. At the beginning of every year I start shopping for the next holiday season. However, I pride myself on wrapping. 25% of a present is the gift itself. The other 75% is in the presentation of the gift. With that in mind, carefully presenting 42 gifts is a nightmare that takes hours and hours. Not to mention the families I gift cookes to. 18 dozen cookies is how many were baked. That is a total of 216 cookies. A combination of chocolate chip and peanut butter. Every year the same cookies as is Tiffany tradition. Those tasks consumed my time all the way up until December 21. the next 5 days were spent in an elation of gift giving, food comas, church going, and hugs of loved ones and their appreciation of my time.

December 27th eventually rolls around and I am exhausted. My time is then spent in peaceful rest until the New Year in which I begin my New Years resolutions that I have every year to be organized in all areas of my life and to stay consistent. As I write this I have less than a week left until I return to school. That means the rest of my time will be spent getting everything together I will need to live in the dorms for the next 16ish weeks. Although I did not get my hefty goals accomplished, I completed the most important one of showing the people in my life how much they mean to me, by giving them the gift of my most valuable rescource, my time. My plans didn’t work out how I expected, but I am happy all the same the way everything played out on my Christmas Break.

Haskell Receives $5,000 LGBTQI+ Grant from AICF

Yá’át’ééh (greetings),

– Haskell students, staff faculty, and alumni, and the Haskell Indian Leader readers;
Shí éí Bry Cordell Smiley yinishyé – Hałtsooi nishłí, Naakai Diné’é bashíshchíín, Kinyáa’aanii
dáshícheii, Tahnees’zahnii dáshínálí – Akó Diné Nádleehí nishłí. [Hello, my name is Bry Cordell Smiley.
I am the Meadow People, born for the Mexican People / People Who Wander, Towering House for my
maternal grandfather, and the Tangle clan for my paternal grandfather, in sum, that is how I identity as a
Diné (Navajo) person.]

I one of the four diligent committee members taking the reins on the Haskell LGBTQI+ Grant,
funded by the American Indian College Fund (AICF). This five thousand dollar grant is to bring
awareness to our community we call Haskell – this institution has been transforming since its
establishment in 1884. This grant will not only celebrate Two Spirit / LGBTQI+ individuals on tribal
colleges (i.e., Haskell), but those in the past that were affected by colonial attitudes demeaning their
expression, also the present, now. As well as, include strategies and ideas of inclusion here on Haskell
campus which begins with telling our story after 130+ years and integrate Indigenous traditions, history,
& culture within the elements of the Haskell LGBTQI+ Grant project, which also is emphasized within
our academia here at Haskell.

Moreover, February 2018 is deemed the 1 st Annual Haskell Two Spirit / LGBTQI+ Month –
we, Haskell will hope to move forward in the 21 st century and realize no matter what, our Two Spirit /
LGBTQI+ people are still our relatives. In addition, the Haskell LGBTQI+ Grant will consist of four
weeks of events that pertain to the not only Two Spirit / LGBTQI+ peoples, but all people. For example,
Haskell will be hosting a “First-Ever” Two Spirit Powwow on Saturday, Feb. 24 th , 2018, beginning at
2:00 PM to MIDNIGHT at Tecumseh Hall on Haskell campus, *Alcohol/Drug-Free Event – This specific
type of powwow has never happened on Haskell grounds, ever – with its celebration of Two Spirit
peoples, Two Spirit Powwows are the expression of healing, as dancing is and the unity of Two Spirit
peoples. The powwow will be the conclusion of the project itself, we are planning to have an awesome
time throughout the month of February! *Our first two events will be Bystander Training (Wed., Jan. 31,
2018 @ Minoka Hall, 12-3PM) and Safe Zone Training (Fri., Feb. 2, 2018 @ Minoka Hall, 12-3PM).
In all, this grant is a mere celebration, remembrance, and shift of our self-determination as a tribal
college/university, but as tribal citizens whom represent well-over 140 tribal nations across the country. I
hope that the fruition of this grant will send the message that we are here. We have been revered and
recognized in form or another from our family, community, and tribal nation / tradition / stories. Also, I
hope everyone whom attends our events leaves with some new knowledge, questions, and comes from a
place of l o v e. I would like to thank Haskell Indian Nations University for hosting our events and AICF
for $ponsoring, ahé’hee’ laa (thank you much)!

-This is for the ones whom have gone on, the ones fighting on, #MMIWM, the Haskell babies, the
Haskell kids who wrote a letter so they could dance, and to my relations – Shímá ayoo aniinishní, I am
who I am because of you. –B

*For more information, you can contact Bry Smiley via e-mail,

Haskell Students inspired by Professional Native American Athletes Panel

Haskell Volleyball team poses with Damen Bell Holter, Temyrss Lane and Nicco Montano Photo by Michael Begay, Haskell Indian Leader

By Sean Parrish

A panel of Native American professional athletes spoke to Haskell students on how sports can help improve issues facing the Native community.

The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) held the event that was their first to specifically highlight the Native American community.

The panelists consisted of former professional basketball player;  Damen Bell-Holter (Haida Tribe of Alaska), former professional soccer player/Pac 12 network personality; Temryss Lane (Lummi), UFC Women’s Flyweight champion; Nicco Montano (Diné), and moderator, Kim Miller who is the RISE Vice President of the leadership and education programs.

Temyrss Lane talked about how sports helped her out in her life, “sports really helped open my mind to what is possible because it operated as a place where I was driven because I loved it so much.” Lane continued on saying “sports also helped me with my education because it held me accountable, because if I wasn’t getting good grades and taking care of the things that I needed to take care of to be a good student, then I wasn’t able to do what I love. So sports really helped me excel academically.”

With the high rates of health problems rising among Native Americans, Nicco Montano was asked about promoting physical fitness. Montano stated,  “I do, because I thrive off being physically healthy. My mind is healthy, my body is healthy,  my spirit is healthy, and I am healthy emotionally.” Montano ended in saying “You won’t know how much potential you have until you try”

At the conclusion of the event  when Damen Bell-Holter was asked what he wanted Haskell students to learn from the discussion he commented “what I want you all to take away is that we all have a voice. It does not matter if you have a platform or not, you just have to be willing to step up and speak out.” Bell-Holter concluded “I want you all to gain knowledge of your identity. Be proud of who you are, where you come from and who you come from.”

RISE is a non profit organizations that is dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress more information can be found at