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Chehalis Youth Create Innovative Suicide Prevention Music CD 2 By Todd Denny, Music Mentor Academies hip hop girls. The Academy included In April there were 32 youth and 14 adults daily suicide awareness workshops, music who gathered for the frst ever “Chehalis and poetry project development as well Tribal Youth Music Academy.” The group as jam sessions. Todd Denny said, “Our spent four days immersed in examining goal is to break the cycle of secrecy and personal challenges they face at home, in denial regarding suicide in our Native their community, and at school. During the communities. To achieve this, there were Academy, the youth created and recorded frank conversations with young tribal an original CD of poetry and songs devoted members. We are taking an important step to cultural preservation and breaking the toward health for future generations.” cycle of violence, alcohol, drug abuse, and Though the Academy ended in April, suicide. The program, funded entirely by the music created by the Chehalis youth a grant from the Northwest Portland Area lives on. Follow-up visits with the youth Indian Health Board, prepared Chehalis are preparing them to present their music as youth for their work as musical peer peer educators at a community CD release educators in their community and schools. Youth enjoyed spending the weekend creating and recording music for the celebration this June. Watch for fyers. A The idea for the Academy began with a first ever Chehalis Tribal Youth Music Academy. Pictured (L-R) top row are unique component of the Academy enables Tony Medina, Todd Denny and Elder Elaine McCloud. Middle row (L-R) are conversation with Cindy Gamble and Tony Issack Hofstetter, Denay Young, Savanna Bird, Kiahra Pickernell, Valerie tribal youth to evolve into an ongoing peer Medina, who enthusiastically supported education group which will continue to the idea. Amy Loudermilk, tribal planner, Pickernell, Jerry Youckton, and Kathy Horn. Bottom row (L-R) are Mei-lien attract other youth. The fnal CD will include provided valuable technical assistance, as Tanner, Daniel Gitchell, Bradley Gitchell, Jordan, Nathan Wittwer, Roberta over 28 songs professionally recorded for did the Chehalis Business Committee, that Youckton, and Jubilee Kainz. In front is CJ Youckton. distribution to the participating youth and provided a letter of support to the grant Kelly Horn of the Washington State attempt. I tell my story and share my pain the community. proposal reviewers. Amy stated, “The grant Youth Suicide Program presented a Youth so hopefully it touches someone and helps Program partners that were instrumental was a great ft and an exceptional project to Allies Workshop that focused on three support prevention. The kids were enjoying in accomplishing the music program goals work on for our youth.” critical areas: Show you care -- Ask the themselves once they got comfortable, are the tribal youth program staff, including Under the guidance of Tribal Youth question (are you thinking about killing working hard yet having fun. The use of the Chehalis Business Committee, Youth Program Director Tony Medina, Heritage yourself?) and -- Call for help (1-800-273 music to spread the message about suicide Program Director Tony Medina, Tribal Program Coordinator Elaine McCloud, TALK.) She said, “The more we build prevention really touched me.” Health Program Coordinator Cindy Gamble, and Music Mentor Academies (MMA) protective factors for our youth, the less Sindick Bura and Kurtis Kelly, members Heritage Program Coordinator Elaine Program Directors Todd Denny and Jose likely they are to become depressed and, of the Nooksack music team, helped fuel McCloud, Grant Writer Amy Loudermilk, Gutierrez, the tribal youth were deeply possibly, suicidal. The Music Academy the passion for music creativity with high the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health involved in creating a poignant CD. serves as a protective factor in that it energy musical performances and youth Board, the Washington State Youth Suicide Gutierrez observed, “It’s always powerful provides a way for youth to express their song writing mentoring. MMA staff, Program and the crucial component of when youth and elders communicate. The thoughts and feelings in a productive, including professional recording engineers Chehalis parents, elders, and family. Academy helped facilitate that connection. healthy way. It allows them to share a and musicians, worked with youth, parents For further information, contact Initially shy attendees quickly warmed to message of hope to others.” and elders to record both traditional and Todd Denny, Director, Music Mentor express their personal feelings about suicide, Elder Elaine McCloud remarked, “I have contemporary music. Academies at 360-866-7140 or email info@/ a diffcult and important issue for all tribal a personal interest in the project since my The wide range of talent included communities.” sister died from complications of a suicide budding poets, traditional drummers, and Oakville Senior Honors Chehalis Basket Youth Learn Language, Cedar Work Weaving Tradition for Cultural Arts Credits While Making Gifts for Moms By Diane Devlin, Cultural Coordinator By Fred Shortman, Editor On May 14, 18-year-old Shelby McCrory classes on Thursday evenings, where she In April youth made an assortment of gifts and the youth learned how to say “Happy featured her basketry skills for the tribal picked up all kind of tips and stories about for Mother’s Day. What a special way to Mother’s Day!” when they presented the community at the Gathering Room located gathering and weaving from the elders. honor mothers and recognize the love and special gifts. in the new Community Center. Shelby Note: Tribal elders who share a love for time they commit to raising their children. taught a cedar weaving class to demonstrate weaving meet on Thursday nights and help The children attended classes in the Cultural Youth Center the skills she had engendered from years of community members with weaving projects and Youth Center classrooms. They were Youth Center staff Theresa Pannkuk and watching, learning and fnally doing. Shelby or teach new ways to work with weaving focused and committed to fnishing their Marla Medina provided craftwork supplies showed participants how to make cedar materials. The name “The Red Cedar Hat projects so they could present them to their like bobble heads, cups, fower pots, and woven graduation caps. In recent years, Club” was a nix-name we gave ourselves mothers. fowers for the youth to make Mother’s Day tribal students who graduated from public one evening and it just stuck. gifts. Jerry Youckton and Theresa Pannkuk schools have opted to wear a cap woven Recently Shelby accompanied the Tribal Cultural Center encouraged the children use paint pens to from cedar, rather then the customary cloth Cultural Coordinator on a cedar pulling trip. At the Cultural Center classroom, decorate their little bobble heads. The youth cap. The class turned out to be a big hit. Each year the tribe issues cedar gathering children decorating fower pots and making displayed their artistic concepts choosing Shelby, a senior at Oakville High School, permits to tribal members for the purpose handmade cedar roses. This two-day class different arrays of colors to paint with. spent the past two years with the Chehalis of gathering and preparing cedar bark for involved decorating pots with Elders They personalized their bobble heads by Tribal Cultural Program developing her basket making. Shelby learned there are Sally Pikutark and Diane Devlin. Their trimming the photos and gluing their smiling basket weaving skills from gathering to fnal traditional rules to follow when gathering commitment greatly assisted the completion faces onto them. Youth smiled and laughed, product. Shelby began recording her school basket materials, rules that have been passed of these Native gifts. The youth were also thinking about what their mom, grandma project last year. She wanted her Senior down from generation to generation. In assisted by Elder Elaine McCloud in the or aunt would think of their personalized, Cultural Art Theses to showcase Chehalis addition to the types of tools we use to pull making of cedar roses. On a special note, handcrafted gifts. Others were seen basketry and allow herself to carry on the art the bark, she also learned what we do not Dan Penn, Language Coordinator, had decorating cups or putting together fower of basket making in her family. do. For example: We never take more then “Happy Mothers Day” in the Chehalis arrangements for their mothers. Shelby comes from a long line of notable a fourth of the bark from a tree, so as to language placed on each individual pot Volunteers always make it successful, basket weavers. Her great-grandmother is guarantee the tree’s continued life. and many thanks to Master Basket Weaver Katherine Barr and Shelby learned many more gathering Valene Klatush, and aunties include Master Basket Weaver Cindy rules and techniques: We only gather from Frank Boyd. It was Andy and Master Basket Weaver Marie female trees. We can begin to gather as early great watching the Griswold. There is a saying in my family as March. Later in the summer it is best to youth work on their that we use when we see a person who picks travel up into the mountains to gather bark. projects. up the art of weaving so easily: We say, “It No bark is ever gathered in the fall or winter. is in the blood.” Before the pulled cedar bark is brought Elders and Shelby not only picked up the art of home, the puller must clean the outer bark youth work weaving, she has the skills to teach others as off the ribbon-like bands that were extracted together making well. Last year Shelby was selected as one from the trees. The cleaned bark is then traditional of a few “Youth Featured Weavers” during rolled up and tied for easy packing. Mother’s Day the 2009 NNABA National Basket Weavers The cedar Shelby pulls is stored by gifts at the Conference held at the Great Wolf Lodge. hanging it in a dry, covered space. Often Cultural Center. Shelby was delighted to share and pass on cedar is stripped into one-inch, half-inch or her knowledge of weaving to eager younger quarter-inch strips for weaving Chehalis Business Committee David Burnett, Chairman weavers from around the country. baskets. When Shelby is ready Tribal Don Secena, Vice Chairman When told by her instructor during to make a basket, she splits the her junior year at Oakville High strips of cedar until they are Newsletter Jessie Goddard, Treasurer School that she needed to develop and paper thin for the best results Cheryle Starr, Secretary implement a Native art project for a in weaving a fne basket. 420 Howanut Road Dan Gleason, Sr., 5th Council Member cultural art credit prior to graduation The great thing about Oakville, WA 98568 Chehalis Tribal Newsletter Staff: from high school, Shelby had no doubt seeing our younger people (360) 709-1726 (office) in her mind what she wanted learning to weave is that we (360) 273-5914 (fax) Fred Shortman, Communications her project to be. Shelby know we have done our Coordinator. Go to this direct link wanted to give back job and the art will not Articles and opinions expressed in this for online newsletters copies: www. to the community die with us, but will be publication are not necessarily the opinions by sharing her honored for another of this publication or the Chehalis Tribal weaving talent she generation. The task Business Committee. had learned from then falls to those The Chehalis Tribal Newsletter encourages her family, and we have taught to tribal members to submit letters, articles, acquired while pass it on, so our photographs, and drawings to be considered participating in traditions will for publication. These are subject to editing. tribal sponsored live on. Shelby weaving classes. McCrory is doing Contributing writers, artists, and photographers include Chehalis tribal Shelby took just that. community members and staff. it upon herself to Shelby McCrory is an Oakville High School The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis attend “The Red Senior who has made the commitment in Submission deadline: 6th of each month Reservation... Cedar Hat Club” passing on weaving traditions. Printed: Each month “People of the Sands”
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