O’NEALS — No spring is complete at Minarets High School without the annual Keep It Native Day.
Not familiar with the event?
It first started as a youth conference six years ago, which turned into a mini-pow wow and conference for teens and children. In 2013, Brandon Lourence named it as Keep It Native, which has been a Minarets tradition ever since.
Over the last five years, Keep It Native Day has been an event put on by a senior for their Senior Legacy Experience (SLE). This year was no different and it was organized by seniors Destiny Bethel and Breezy Benally. They successfully planned the largest and most successful Keep In Native Day while also establishing a new acronym for the event, KIND.
The day was filled with games, dancing, Indian Tacos, and learning about Native American cultures for all ages. Many organizations showed their support for the event, including Fresno State, Fresno American Indian Health Project (FAIHP), and North Fork Rancheria. Students were invited from around the Mountain Area and those in attendance included elementary students from North Fork, Spring Valley and Coarsegold and high schoolers from Sierra High School.
This year’s presenter was Johnny Jae, the founder and CEO of A Tribe Called Geek, “an emerging multimedia company that is dedicated to showcasing and encouraging indigenous contributions to geek and pop cultures as well as STEM fields.” Her presentation focused on how her organization represents indigenous culture and spread the word around the country as well as why they do it.
Our principal, Dr. Daniel Ching, explained that “this event always makes me very proud and I am so thankful for having been a part of it since day one. As a person with indigenous ancestry myself it brings me great joy to see cultures celebrated on our campus for all of our student experience!”
All in all, the fifth annual Keep It Native Day was a massive success and plans are already underway for next year.
Ashley Davis is a student at Minarets.