St. Peter students sing and dance for National Native American Heritage Month
November 17, 2017
Roberto A. Jackson
Gila River Indian News
National Native American Heritage Month took on a special meaning on Nov. 14 when about 60 students visited the Governance Center in Sacaton to share traditional songs and dances. St. Peter Indian Mission School was the center of attention during a distinctive presentation in the Governance Center lobby as the students sang and danced in honor of the month long observance of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
The Gila River Indian Community’s Human Resources Department hosted the school and invited GRIC staff to attend the 10 a.m. presentation, which featured first and fourth grade students and the middle school boys and girls.
“It’s what we do as O’otham, we come together,” said Bryson Hall, Culture Teacher at St. Peter, prior to the dances. According to Hall this was the fourth time the students have danced in honor of National Native American Heritage Month, which highlights tribal sovereignty and self-determination.
The songs and dances lasted about 45 minutes with staff observing the students and listening as the students described the cultural significance of each song.
Jr. Miss St. Peters Angel Pasqual introduced herself and thanked the staff members for attending the presentation.
Corina Harrison, Culture Teacher at St. Peter, said that the participation of the students was determined by their grades and attendance. The students who maintained their academic responsibilities were among the 60 or so who danced for GRIC staff, which included Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis.