Stakeholders gather for morning blessing at the site of the new Gila Crossing Community School
June 15, 2018
Gila River Indian News
As the sun rose up over South Mountain at the site of the Gila River Indian Community’s newest school, a traditional blessing was given to prepare the ground ahead of construction.
Gila River Indian Community Lt. Gov. Robert Stone welcomed the gathering of school administration and educators from Gila Crossing Community School and council representatives from District 6 at the GCCS North Campus on May 31.
Used to house school administration the GCCS North Campus will be no more come July 14 when the Community breaks ground on the new school that will go up in its place.
Old trailers currently occupy the area, which will be demolished as construction begins in July.
According to Lt. Gov., he said, “It’s good to take care of the land before we commence of the construction of the new school.”
He said in O’otham traditions around the land (Jeved), it is customary to offer a blessing on the land before anything is done to it.
“In the O’otham way, we bless the ground, underneath this school that we are building is our mother earth, which we want to provide a strong foundation for the school,” said Stone.
District 6 Council Representative Anthony “Chris” Villareal Sr., thanked Stone for blessing the site and adding that the site will be a place of learning for generations to come.
Akin Gump Policy Consultant Steven Heeley, who was on hand at the blessing said, “The fourteenth will be the big ground breaking, so we will have presentation boards that will display designs of the school.”
Until then, the old buildings will be torn down and the open space will be prepared to start construction on the new school after the groundbreaking.