Social Gatherings Offers Cultural Teachings for GRIC Youth
November 4, 2022
The Tribal Education Department’s Culture & Language Program hosted two October social parties that integrated O’otham traditions while exploring self-esteem, creativity, social skills, and building a healthy spirit for youth ages 5-8.
Held at the District 3 Multipurpose Building, the events provided an opportunity to socialize, learn various topics, and become more familiar with the Community over two weekends.
On Oct 8, “Pretty in Pink” was the theme of the girls’ event, which featured learning sessions on photography, internet safety, manners, and proper table etiquette.
Former Miss Gila River 2013-14 Lisa Hendricks hosted a “crown-making” session, where the young girls created paper crowns and learned more about the Miss Gila River and Jr. Miss Gila River titles.
The Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council also volunteered for the event.
Then on Oct 15, a superhero-themed event was held for boys. The event featured cape-making, sessions on self-defense, “stranger danger,” and bullying provided by the Gila River Police Department.
District 1 Council Rep. Arzie Hogg joined the event, hosting an arts & crafts session with Mikhail Sundust, where they taught colors in O’otham.
As military veterans in the Community, GRIC Council Reps. Avery White and Joey Whitman assisted in the cape-making session, where the young boys cut out and styled a personalized cape for the event.
TED’s K-12 Program Manager, Lance Reyna, assisted in coordinating the superhero event and hosted a session where he demonstrated how to make “shegoi pouches” and shared their cultural significance.
Former Lt. Gov. Robert Stone was a guest speaker, sharing memories of growing up in the Community and his educational and career background.
The guest speakers shared some of their backgrounds and roles in the Community to help the young participants gain a better understanding of all the many opportunities they have to look forward to in the future.
TED hopes to continue similar events throughout the Community in the future.