Northern Arapaho Newsletter Issue 005

Interview with WIHS Lady Chief Coaches

On Saturday March 6th, The Wyoming Indian Lady Chiefs won the 2021 Wyoming 2A state basketball championship. The 44-29 win against the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies solidified the Lady Chiefs' 3rd straight state basketball championship.

Sandie Friday, Jaden Ferris, and Angela Astorga were named to the 2021 2A All-State list. Angela Astorga, Jaden Ferris, Jolynn Fighting Bear, Sandie Friday, and Chaunte Redman were named to the 2021 2A Southwest All-Conference list. Sandie Friday was named the conference player of the year.

Aleta Moss

What does this 3peat mean?

This one is different from the first two because we almost didn’t have a season. It was looking like we weren’t going to. The parents requested that we play and our players spoke up. In November I was unsure if we’d play because of all the deaths taking place in our community. The Wyoming High School Athletics Association gave us a deadline and told us we had to start playing games and on January 21st the Inter-Tribal Councils lifted the stay put and we started practice the next day. We needed games so we were trying to pick up games on our schedules and our AD was able to schedule a few games for us. We decided to be safe and wear our masks. We wore our masks in practice and games. We tested our kids every week and we did temperature checks before every practice.

How did you prepare to wear masks?

It had to start with practice. It was a struggle from the beginning but the girls were willing to try and come back and win another championship. I struggled too. I used a microphone during practice because they couldn’t hear me through the mask. The biggest challenge was conditioning. I was lucky to have 7 seniors who knew my systems so it was a matter of getting in shape. I had to modify all of my workouts because most of their spring sports had been canceled and because of virtual school they didn't do much activity or social interaction. I told them that they would get used to the masks and they’ll get better at playing with them. My seniors made it their mission to protect themselves and our elders.

How did your team prepare in the weeks leading up to state?

I kept telling them, we’re going to have to do the best we can with what we have. I was really upset that some teams didn’t want to play us. To me, playing games was gonna get us more ready then practice. I was frustrated when teams cancelled their games with us. Like I said, we conditioned a lot and did a lot of skill work. We normally practice two hours but we had to scale it back to an hour and twenty minutes. Like I said, having all that senior experience paid off.

What did you tell your team before the state championship game?

We went over our game plan like every other game. I said you guys have been in the state championship more times than Rocky Mountain has. They’re the ones trying to take it away from you guys and you guys know what to do. It was a powerful moment—one of our seniors said a prayer for us and it really hit me in the heart. That prayer really moved me.This group of girls were very mature through this entire year.

What do you want your players to learn outside of basketball?

Our girls have been so good during this pandemic. When this pandemic started they stayed in touch through social media and other things. They advocated wearing masks and being safe. They did everything they could to show they were prepared for a season. They encouraged each other to get their schools work done. I’m honored to have a couple girls part of the honors society. They know and understand that basketball can take them somewhere else and give them experience. I want them to get their education and go explore places and never forget where they came from. I tell them basketball can be a tool to further their education and take them places.

I would like to thank everyone that supported us. I know it was controversial from the beginning when our kids and parents were signing petitions to the school boards. I’m thankful that people were able to see what we were trying to accomplish. I want to thank the Councils for helping out and Winder River Cares for being a part of that. Our school board did a great job helping our students and supporting them.

Loveeda White

What year did you start coaching at WIHS?

I started in the 2018-2019 season.

What has the experience been like coaching for your alma mater?

It’s been great. Felt as if I was just back home. Chief Nation is a great positive environment to be apart of.

What challenges did your team face during the COVID restrictions this year?

We had to face every team with 2 months less of practice and less in game experience. We had to commit to the tribes, our school and community that because this opportunity was given, we would be the safest we possibly could..on and off the court.

Tell me about the experience of winning a 3peat championship

It’s been surreal. Our teams had to fight for each one. From the beginning of the game all the way down to the last second for our first. From defeating a team who we had lost to in the beginning of the season for our second. And from learning how to adjust to COVID and not having as much time as we would’ve liked, to prepare for our third. Definitely appreciative and very grateful to be apart of the experience.

What have you learned during your time as a young coach?

A good life takeaway from this whole coaching experience is learning that in order to achieve any success you have to be able to take all the blame when things go wrong and the last to take credit when things go right.

Photo Credit: Shawn Ware

Opportunity for Young Indigenous Artists

THE BATCH magazine is seeking work from teenage Indigenous artists and writers. THE BATCH has a rolling deadlines for submissions.

THE BATCH is a literary and art magazine that showcases the talents of teen writers, artists, and photographers.

Works can be submitted at createwyoming.org

For more information, contact publisher Chase McFadden at 307-751-1002 or at batchwyoming@gmail.com

Wind River Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Northern Arapaho Tribal Housing Program was allocated $2.6 million to assist households unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals, native and non-native, residing in rental households located on the Wind River Indian Reservation and tribal members that live out-of-state are eligible for assistance through The ERA Program.

The program will launch on March 15th. The Wind River ERA Program will take applications through Google forms. Households will find the forms on their Facebook page, Emergency Rental Assistance Program- Wind River.

The funds are available for eligible households. Rental households must demonstrate that their housing is at risk due to unpaid rent or utility bills resulting from their income being negatively affected by COVID 19.

The ERA Program funds will be used to pay electricity, gas, water, and home energy costs.

The household’s income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income. The households cannot be receiving federal rental subsidies or receiving assistance from other rental programs.

Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional three months if the grantee determines the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability and if grantee funds are available.

The documentation needed to apply includes:

A photo Id.

A copy of a lease or rental agreement.

Proof of income affected by COVID-19.

Proof of unpaid rent or utilities.

The program director, Lynette Grey Bull, said they have a goal of providing $50,000 a week in assistance to the public.

This program is part of the $25 billion allocated by The U.S. Department of the Treasury to assist households unable to pay rent and utilities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information, contact the Wind River ERA Program at 307-332-5318

Arapaho Phrase

My name is — Nenee'eesih'inoo

Click the link below to hear a fluent Arapaho elder pronounce this week's phrase

The audio is from the Arapaho Language App, which is made possible by our fluent elder speakers and Arapaho School district #38

A Message From Wind River Family and Community Health Care

Grow Our Own Virtual Garden Workshops

A recent County 10 article released on March 2nd shared Local nonprofit Grow Our Own has been hard at work building 150 garden boxes for the community. These boxes were funded by donations and a Wyoming Hunger Initiative grant. Through March, the garden boxes will be distributed to participants who have signed up. If you are interested in a box, a waiting list is available.

Our Northern Arapaho Newsletter staff recently caught up with Darrah Perez, Grow Our Own's, executive director.

She said in addition to providing the community with boxes they plan to host virtual gardening workshops.

"Most of our participants are first-time gardeners. It's important that we share with them the do and don'ts of gardening, garden design, and companion gardening," said Perez.

Their first workshop will be on April 25th, 2021. They plan to have more workshops on growing strawberries, tomatoes, root vegetables, and the three sisters (beans, squash, corn).

Grow Our Own has been working with the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes to reintroduce medicinal plants in different areas on the Wind River Reservation. They ordered and will plant sweet grass, peppermint, and spearmint. The tribes will protect these plants.

"Our participants will help us plant medicinal trees. We ordered 400 chokecherry roots, 300 eastern red cedar roots, and 100 black currant roots. Gardening is a way of healing. People can learn about culture and traditions, and It's also a great avenue for health," said Perez.

To learn more or contact Grow Our Own, click the link below to visit their website or Facebook page. Sign up forms for the garden boxes, workshops, and plant roots can be found on their Facebook page.

You can read more of the County 10 article by clicking the link below.

Food Distribution in the Arapaho Area

The Food bank of the Rockies will host a community food distribution on March 22nd, 2021 at 1:00pm MT. The location will be St. Stephen's School 128 Mission Road St Stephens, Wy.

Contact us

CooXooEii Black



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