This blog has been created as an enhancement for our web site, www.anelder.org
Friday, October 5, 2012
Walk In Beauty - Fall 2012
by Cindy Cook and Ray Coleman
It was the first morning of the fall shoe delivery and the sun rose like a fire ball.
The truck was filled with nearly 500 pairs of new shoes. We were eager to begin putting them on the children and looked forward to our time on The Land.
Our Coordinator at Canyon de Chelly Elementary is Patrick Tah. His family is from the Canyon and he generously took us on a tour.
On his family’s home land is a stone Hogan over 200 years old that is still in use. Patrick shared many stories and lessons he’d learned from his elders. One was that the Holy Ones come in to the children to look in on us and see how we adults are doing. It was a wonderful perspective to have as we crossed The Land and shared the company of so many children.
Mesa View Elementary was added to the program this fall. We met with Parent Coordinator, Doris Davis, last spring and she agreed to coordinate the Walk In Beauty program for her students.
Schools on the reservation are working hard to improve the academic achievement of their students. There was a great deal of staff restructuring and program enhancement going on during our visit. At least 6 of the schools in the Walk In Beauty program had recently been assigned new principals. The new principal at Tsaile Elementary, Mr. Elliott, had previously taught there and left a professorship at ASU to return. He was familiar with ANE, having been a teacher during the time that the food runs were held at the elementary school. He was very enthusiastic and supportive of Walk In Beauty and said, “Thank you for taking care of our kids.”
Walk In Beauty received a certificate of appreciation.
Tsaile Coordinator, Josephine Yellow, and some of the students who received new shoes.
There is great need for a pair of supportive and proper fitting shoes.
With support from Coordinator, Colt Chischillie, students from Leupp Boarding School gave Walk In Beauty a thank-you card with their signatures.
Many Farms Public School Coordinators, Lorraine Begay and Sadie Hoswoot, work hard to identify students in the greatest need of new shoes.
At Rocky Ridge Boarding School, teacher Lavernda Whitehair, takes time away from her class to coordinate Walk In Beauty.
It is interesting to observe how the schools bridge the modern with tradition. In one school lobby there was a sign that read, “Have you made your ancestors proud today?” As we reflect on the generosity of our donors, we feel certain their ancestors would be proud. With their continued support, children can look forward to receiving new shoes in the spring.
Questions about Walk In Beauty? E-mail us at: email@example.com
The mission of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program is to create a Bridge of Hope between Native Americans and other cultures, reaching out to one another to mend the broken circle of our relationship with the Land and the Native Americans who hold it in sacred trust.