By Don Decker, YAN News
Yavapai-Apache Nation children who participate in the weekly language program at the Nation’s culture center were honored yesterday afternoon by the staff of the culture department.
This language program offered by the Nation under the auspices of the Title VII Program/Camp Verde School district, coordinated by tribal member Laurie Kaaekuahiwi , has been met with much success over the past several weeks.
Students are dropped off at the culture center Monday and Wednesdays to work with both the Yavapai and Apache culture department.
The Apache culture department under the direction of Vincent Randall, teaches language and all aspects of Apache culture. Yesterday’s graduation program included performances of Apache songs taught by Randall to the children and learning the counting systems. Jason Fullmer Jr., son of Jason, Sr. and Olivia led his fellow classmates in counting beyond 20.
On the Yavapai side, students who worked with Reba Franco, Gertie Smith and Troy Kaska, cultural specialists, performed the Bird Dance with gourds and songs.
Kaaekuahiwi, counselor and coordinator of Title VII said she was grateful to the culture department and all of the entitles involved.
“Thank you, thank you—to the culture departments, Camp Verde Elementary School, the bus barn, Y-A Recreation department, the parents, grandparents,” said Kaaehuahiwi. “The students did awesome and made me so very proud to be apart of their accomplishments. I absolutely love our tribal youth—they are the best–.”
YAN community members expressed their appreciation to the departments who were involved with the language program. Dawn Beauty, parent, said, “Give yourselves a big pat on the back. I was very impressed with all that they learned. The culture department did a great job with all the kids!!! My son Jaden said he can’t wait to learn more!”.
There will be a new group of students coming in for the next cycle shortly.