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

Haskell Women’s Volleyball Chosen to Compete in 2017 AII Conference

by Sean Parrish
Haskell Indian Nations University Women’s Volleyball (17-22) were one of the four teams that were chosen to participate in the 2017 Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I) conference this season. The other three teams were:

  • Kentucky Christian University; Knights (31-12)
  • Lincoln Christian University; Lions (19-21)
  • College of the Ozarks; Bobcats (32-6)

During the game Haskell was led by Alliyah richards(Oglala Lakota/Northern Ute) with 17 kills, hitting .369, also posting 1 dig and 1 block. Following her was Krista Costa(Crow) with 12 kills, 24 digs, and 4 blocks. Shayla Yazzie(Diné) with 14 digs and Sophia Honahni(Hopi/Diné) with 13 digs, and                 Randi Romero(Laguna-Pueblo) with 41 assists, 1 service ace, and 9 digs.

Sadly, Haskell lost in four sets to the Lions (25-20, 20-25, 22-25, and 17-25)

  • Haskell concluded the game with 47 kills, 44 assists, and 79 digs.
  • LCU had 51 kills, 43 assists, and 69 digs.

 Sydney Dray, when asked about the A.I.I. conference and her overall volleyball season personal  experience, stated that “The conference went really well we played really good as a team, we played like a family. We played our hearts out but fell short when going into the finals. I received the Champions of Character Award, which is an award about having sportsmanship, always being positive, and never giving up.” She concluded in saying “This was my first semester playing and the season went by fast because it was so fun playing the game that I love. I can’t wait until next season!”

Krista Costa, Allieyah Richards, and Randi Romero were selected for the 2017 A.I.I Volleyball All-Tournament Team.

Congratulations to all the Ladies who dedicated their time and effort this season to the game they love most.

Keep up the good work! Onward Haskell!!

Book Review: “The People Shall Continue”

by Sean Parrish


The People Shall Continue is a children’s literature book, re-released by LEE & LOW BOOKs. It was written by Acoma Pueblo storyteller and poet; Simon Ortiz  and illustrated by Sharol Graves. The book gives an overview about the hidden history pertaining to the genocidal actions which colonist projected upon our ancestors. Most importantly this book reminds the readers that Native Americans did not only inherit their ancestors TRAUMA, but they also inherited their WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, AND STRONG SPIRITS.

This book is revolutionary based on the concepts it introduces to children. It is recommended that The People Shall Continue is used in classrooms. This book is a good way to introduce difficult concepts that students may use as a building block later. If it is not on your child’s class reading list, it would be beneficial to parents to have their children read the book. This book will widen their world view and have them think about one of the most controversial topics of the day: race.

Fall 2017 Graduating Class Sets Record

by Travis Campbell
photos courtesy of Diamond Williams

Haskell Indian Nations University awarded diplomas to 92 students this semester. Stephen Prue, of the Office of the President stated that this the Fall, 2017 graduating class is largest fall graduating class to date continuing a trend of record breaking classes that has extended the past three consecutive years.

Sergeant Bronson Star of the Arikara, Nez Perce, and Lakota nations, as well as a 19-year veteran of the Lawrence Kansas Police Department was the keynote speaker. Sgt. Bronson spoke fondly of his time serving in the United States Army, as a wild land firefighter, as well as his time at Haskell (Class of 1998) and the University of Kansas.

Other speakers at the graduation ceremony included Miss Haskell, Caroline Wiseman; Haskell Brave, Baron Hoy; Gil Vigil, of the Haskell Board of Regents; and Student Senate President, Calvin Smith. Graduates were awarded their diplomas by Dr. Daniel Wildcat, Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The staff of the Indian Leader would like to congratulate all of the Fall, 2017 graduates and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.

Flanagan Has High Hopes for Women’s Basketball Team

by Travis Campbell
photos courtesy of Brent Cahwee

Haskell women’s basketball coach, Shane Flanagan, spoke with the Indian Leader briefly about the 2017-2018 season and his hopes for the team.

“We have a young team, so I’m starting three freshmen and relying on a lot of freshmen this year. We have two seniors, Kelli Warrior and Justina Coriz. The season’s going pretty good we’re just trying to learn how to win right now and do the little things. We’re much taller than we’ve been, and more athletic than we’ve been. It’s a new group and I think right now, they’re just learning how to play together. I’m very excited about it.”


Flanagan stated that he believes that the team will do well in conference play and that the team has been constantly improving and working hard since the beginning. “The talent is there, we just have to start executing now. I’m extremely excited about this group.”

Kelli Warrior, one of the two seniors on the team, is within

200 points of breaking Haskell’s career record, which Flanagan believes she will accomplish in the 2017-2018 season. Another highlight of the season has been being selected to be the only tribal college to wear Nike’s N7 uniforms and it is something that the team takes a lot of pride in.


Shadow Figure Seen in Curtis Hall

by Kayla Bointy

On a cold October evening, while walking back to her dorm, Lisha Numan witnessed something spooky inside of Curtis Hall.

Do you believe in ghosts?

Lisha Numan:  “I think they’re just entities, residual energy who used to reside here and who don’t know they’re not living, perhaps lost.

Did you witness this with your own eyes?

“I saw it through my phone, actually. I was walking from Winona with my friend, who had injured her ankle, so we were walking slowly. I happened to look at the windows at Curtis and I see one TV on. and I stopped to look at it. I thought it was odd the TV was on so late. so I took out my phone and recorded on Snapchat, I scanned across Curtis slowly, I zoomed in on the tv slowly, and right when I zoomed in enough to see the tv clearly, a transparent figure! Slowly moved left to right in front of the tv!”

What did the figure look like to you?


“It looked like somebody peeking, as if someone was walking in front of the tv, but it was transparent. Because you could still see the tv through it. But it didn’t look normal… it looked stretched out, like expanding, as if its body was catching up to itself.

How did you respond?

“I said Uudah*! I almost ran away, but I realized my friend had a hurt ankle and I couldn’t take off on her.”

*Uudah is Paiute word, an exclamation meaning surprised or scared.

What did you do after and what are your thoughts now?

“ I walked back to my room and smoked myself off (with cedar) to make sure nothing followed me back. I still feel weird about it .”

Do you find it interesting this happened in October :

“Yes because, it’s the anniversary of different past events, the campus was very active … also its near Halloween. “

You agreed to this interview, may I ask why you didn’t post the video?

‘I don’t want anyone to exploit the spirits or going into Curtis, without knowing what it is. I don’t know if it’s malevolent or benevolent. There are spirits all around that don’t reveal themselves, so I wonder why that did now and why did I see it and not my friend.‘’

It is the opinion of Numan and many others to not exploit the spirits of Haskell, to leave the spirits alone. Haskell is an old place and we must respect all residents. Haskell is our home. With that being said, if you have any paranormal experiences don’t be afraid, just be respectful.

Fall 2017 Candidates for Graduation Announced

Haskell Indian Nations University is proud to announce the Fall, 2017 candidates for graduation! We here at the Indian Leader would like to express our congratulations to all of the graduates!


Last_Name First_Name Degree Major Ankney Robert Wayne Bachelor of Science Business Administration Anquoe Talia Sioux Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Aspaas-Montoya Adler G. Associate of Science Natural Science Barraza Robert Michael Gabriel Bachelor of Science Business Administration Berryhill Krystal J. Bachelor of Science Business Administration Bia Shelsea Devonna Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Birdtail Hailee Vera Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Brown Alicia Sherrill Bachelor of Science Environmental Science Campanero Jr. Jesus Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Campbell Travis Alan Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Colvin Jamie Kay Associate of Science Natural Science Cook-Furst Jessica Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Crowfeather Shailene Associate of Arts Para-Professional Education Culley Cheyenne Miyah Bachelor of Science Business Administration Daniels Michael Scott Bachelor of Science Environmental Science Davis Michael Dewayne Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Dayzie Daryline Pearl Associate of Science Natural Science Deluna Randa M. Associate of Science Community Health Denny Yasmine Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Desrosiers Jr. Gabriel B. Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Devine Tristen Marie Associate of Science Natural Science Dewit Donald J. Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Drake Kyle David Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Dray Kendall Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Dray Mariah Associate of Science Natural Science Eastman Obadiah Ezra Malachi Bachelor of Science Business Administration Ennis Justin K. Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Fine Caleb C. Associate of Science Natural Science Finley De’Ja LarMarie Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Fraley Nathan Samuel Associate of Arts Para-Professional Education Franks Kason Dane Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Garnanez Michael I. Associate of Science Recreation and Fitness Management Gibson KiAllen Bachelor of Science Business Administration Gonzalez Alejandra C. Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Griffin Jr. Warren E. Associate of Arts Social Work Hicks Robin Kay Bachelor of Science Business Administration Holder Noah Killsenemy at Night Bachelor of Science Business Administration Iron Whiteman Austin Jordan Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Jake Christopher James Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Jenkins Cody T. Associate of Science Community Health Johnson Isaac Anthony Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Jones Eunice A. Associate of Science Natural Science Kenton Shawna Marie Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Kuhn Kelsey Lauren Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Laravie Montoya James Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Largo RaeShelle Bachelor of Science Business Administration Lighthall Colton Lee Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Lombard Shana Nicole Celine Associate of Arts Media Communications Lopez Shania Ashley Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Marquez Starlatia Associate of Arts Liberal Arts McGee Jr. Kenneth W. Associate of Science Recreation and Fitness Management Merrill Shawnee Rose Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Miner Felicia Cheryl Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Naylor Kami R. Associate of Arts Communication Studies Nelson Melony Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Numan Alisha J. Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Osborne James Dee Associate of Science Natural Science Pahmahmie-Anderegg Deanna Kay Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Parrish Sean Michael Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Peña Steven Daubon Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Penn Sierra Aspen Associate of Science Natural Science Pueblo Trevor Lane Bachelor of Science Business Administration Redbear Michael T. Associate of Science Natural Science Romero Angela Associate of Science Natural Science Romero Randi Jaylene Bachelor of Science Business Administration Serio Alina Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Smith Angela Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Smith Shaundeen Nizohni Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Springer Ivory Warrior Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Sturm Kristofer L. Bachelor of Science Environmental Science Tah Mary Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Tenono Christen Jennie Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Thompson Uriah William Associate of Science Natural Science Turley Chris Brandon Associate of Arts Recreation and Fitness Management Veneski Connor Bachelor of Science Business Administration Wagoner Natasha Rae Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Wahweotten Brennah L. Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Walkingstick Cory Hawk Associate of Science Natural Science Walsey Geraldine Emily Bachelor of Arts Indigenous and American Indian Studies Wathogoma Andrew Associate of Arts Liberal Arts Wilkerson Alexandra Rae Bachelor of Science Business Administration Williams Diamond Sherrell Associate of Science Natural Science Woodie Nizhoni Shaandiin Bachelor of Science Environmental Science Wright Amos Pergis Associate of Science Community Health Yazzie Jamie Kirsten Bachelor of Science Environmental Science Ziegler Derek S. Associate of Arts Liberal Arts


Commentary: Americanized Mockery

by Rashad Squalls

Taken from our ancestral lands to the football field, American society seems to get a kick out of the public use of Native
American heritage for entertainment. Native American heritage is held highly sacred to its descendants. It is very disheartening
to see and hear rituals, names, and Native regalia in the public as a mascot. No harm done, right? Wrong, Native
American culture is practiced among Natives up to this present day. How long must Native Americans be held captive to
oppression? One must truly understand and respect the roots of someone’s heritage before being a part of it. America is supposed
to stand for equality of all nations and races. Native life has become a part of the American society, but not entirely
respectfully. To be seen in one of the media’s biggest entertainment industries as a mockery is disrespectful in many unspoken
ways. Hopefully, as a nation we can come to some kind of understanding to why it is Native Americans feel as such. It’s
unjust, hurtful, and uncaring to carry on with the parading of another culture’s heritage. It’s hard to stand by and watch an
important part of history mocked.
Not only are we mocked in the entertainment field, retail products are also produced by non-Natives. A popular clothing line
named Urban Outfitters created a panty line under the name of “Navajo.” Many fashion trends continue to create and sell
Native American names. There are also ads that are very offensive to Native culture. One ad I discovered was from a cereal
by the name of Post Toasties. This ad is very disturbing, it features Natives speaking about being full of energy because of
Post Toasties. The ad goes on to say that corn is the best thing that the Natives have discovered.
Food, clothing, and entertainment are just a few examples of Native oppression. Vehicles have also been modeled using Native
based names such as the Jeep Comanche, Jeep Cherokee, Winnebago (RV), and Pontiac. Pontiac, I actually discovered
was a war chief who allied with the French. One of our most celebrated holidays in America, Halloween, is celebrated with
costumes and props every year. I can guarantee that there will be many children and adults dressed as Native Americans all
throughout our country. Another thing that Americans opposed would be Native religion and spiritual beliefs. Christianity
has always been forced upon Natives to get them to convert over entirely. For example, here at Haskell I witnessed a man
dressed in a suit handing out small New Testament bibles. I saw the Chick-fil-a fast food chain restaurant selling their food
at one of our powwows (Christian-based franchise). It seems like Native religion has always been shunned by the American
society as a whole.
Native American schools are also few and far between in the United States. Natives are forced to put their children into
public schools that teach their children to live the American way. History books in public schools offer false teachings and
accounts of Native Americans. It’s because of improper teaching of history that Americans don’t fully understand and respect
the Native ways of life. Overall, I am upset with all of the blatant disrespect from the media when it comes to Native
American culture. Although Natives protest for our traditions to be kept sacred it only seems to egg on more companies to
continue creating offensive media. If the roles were reversed I’m sure others would understand where we are coming from.
In order to stop American opposition we need more activists to stand up and be a voice for Native Americans. Although
America is supposed to be based off of equality it has took a turn for the worse. We live in an age where it is okay to poke
fun of someone else’s heritage. I find it ironic that more of the Spanish language is taught over Native tongues. I never truly
understood why the teaching of foreigners’ languages have been put in the majority of universities and public schools when
our land was founded by Native Americans.
There are many ways the American culture has dominated over that of Native Americans. America’s views continue to
corrupt people’s minds with lies about our real history. Native American culture continues to be destroyed and mimicked
throughout America. It’s up to us to teach our children Native traditions and raise them with respect for our heritage. Our ancestors
died valuing the very land that was founded and inhabited by our people. America/media’s focus has always seemed
to be one-sided. Either you’re American or you’re not, everyone else’s traditions and beliefs have always seemed to be put
on hold. As a Native American it is important that we stand firm in with our traditions.

Cultural Imperialism

by Amanda Smith

In today’s society all Native American tribes have adapted into this non-Native world. Many are now realizing that their life has been
taken control of by non-Natives, they have to follow these people who don’t care about our culture, language, and us as Native people.
Taking it back to our ancestors who signed these treaties long ago, they were forced to become these non-natives and learn about
their ways. They were taken control of like they were nothing but dumb Native people who didn’t know anything and how I see it is
that we are just repeating history. It seems like people are just trying to change us and our ways of living, but what they don’t know is
that nothing will change who we are. Together as Native Americans we are stronger and nothing can break that from us. For example,
what happened in Standing Rock, no matter how out of control the non-Natives got, we were still there fighting for water that is sacred.
No matter how small or how big something is, if it’s important and sacred in our culture we will do anything to protect it. This is why
we have many who stand for their people and tribe, activists finally getting their voices heard. For many years we, as Native Americans,
have been trying to get our voices out there to the world, about who we are, and fighting for what we believe is the best way for
Although we have changed and adapted into this non-Native world we still have our beliefs and practice our traditions. Because to
us our traditions are important for ourselves and generations to come to know. From a young age many of us have had to deal with
growing up in two different worlds, one side was non-Native and the other was our own culture. For me I’m Navajo, Taos Pueblo, and
Hopi, and the only culture I learned a lot about is the Navajo. I was taught how to speak Navajo, understand it, and to know the traditions.
I’m very appreciative of my family for teaching me such a unique culture and I’m proud to be Navajo with other mixed tribes.
Growing up I never knew that being Native American would be as important as it is today, we have many things going on with natives
who are speaking up and getting their voices heard about how our native people shouldn’t be treated the we are being treated today.
From disrespecting our Native people with mascots, building on sacred land, many things going on that I never thought would happen.
I’m sure every tribe has experienced seeing this on their reservation, but to me I think this is an example of American culture dominating
my own people. Alcohol was never here and no one knew what it was until the non-natives introduced it to us. Now look at where
that put our own people, many become alcoholics and many die from this drink that non-natives gave us. Back in my hometown I’ve
seen too many people who are without jobs, walking alongside the road, and others asking for money. I hate to see my own people go
through this. non-Natives made my people become addicted to this poisonous beverage that they spend all their money on it. Although
it’s not allowed to be sold on our reservation, many people go to the border of town to get it and our own people are selling it from
their homes. I’ve seen my own relatives go through this and it hurts me to see them this way.
Clothing is one of the main forms of domination in every tribe, especially mine. We wear clothing like a non-Native instead of wearing
our traditional outfits. In the past our people wore their traditional outfits every day and everywhere, in our society we don’t. We
wear jeans, t-shirts, and shoes like everyone else around us. The only thing anyone cares about today is the brand they wear. They
don’t think about their ancestors who wore the same shoes, and outfits, every day and they didn’t complain about it. We’re living in a
society where everyone judges too much and we have to change our style to just be like them. But no, we can express ourselves anyway
we want, especially through our culture. Another example of American domination would be electronics. Everywhere around us
everyone has a phone, tablet, etc., including myself. Electronics are just another way of adapting into this non-Native world. When you
think about it, our ancestors never had anything like an iPhone for them to send a message. They had to travel, not with a vehicle, but
on horseback to get that message to the other person. My own people have adapted into this non-Native life and have seen everything
No matter what we change about our selves or adapting into this non-Native world, we are still Native Americans who hold on to all
the teachings that were taught to us. For me, I’ve changed and seen so many different things that aren’t part of my culture. But the
way I see it is I’m still that same girl who was taught everything about her culture and to this day I am still learning more about it. In
giving back to my culture I am going to school and getting an education for myself. From everything that my ancestors went through
to get me this far, I won’t let them down. Nothing can change who I am, despite what my tribe and other tribes go through, we are all
still native people who are still here in this non-Native world practicing our traditions, learning more about our culture and teaching
younger generations about it.