Native students at North Eugene High School find comfort, cultural bonds with student union

4 months ago The Register Guard

Native students at North Eugene High School find comfort, cultural bonds with student unionplay

Show Caption

Hide Caption

North Eugene students recognize native peers

North Eugene students recognize native peers


Students at North Eugene High School recognized Native American Heritage Month with an Indigenous People's Day celebration, raising native voices to share their experiences with peers.

The students in the Native American Student Union said the recognition and acceptance from other students was uplifting.

Steven Lee Bryan, a senior at NEHS, said he feels comfortable talking about his Cherokee culture and heritage in a way he never had before. After talking on a student panel about being Indigenous in Eugene, he received significant positive feedback from his peers.

"I've gotten so many reactions, each time it's a different one," Lee Bryan said. "I wish that my sixth grade year I knew about my tribe, and I knew that there was a Native American meeting at the school. Just hanging out with everybody is just a great experience."

Lee Bryan joined the NASU group at North Eugene his junior year of high school. He was invited by his friend and recent NEHS graduate Keith Schnick, who graduated in May and is Chiricahua Apache. Schnick and several other recent graduates came back to the school for the Indigenous celebration to support the younger students.

Honoring Native culture

The Indigenous People's Day celebration at NEHS is normally held during Native American Heritage Month or occasionally on the true Indigenous People's Day holiday. This year, a three-presentation rotation took NEHS students through Oregon history, innovative indigenous music and a panel on NASU students' experiences. To close out the celebration, a drum circle was held at the totem pole of the school.

Schnick, who was a member of NASU starting his freshman year, said students this year showed significantly better support than in the past.

"(Compared to my) freshman and sophomore year, this year went a lot better," Schnick said. "Those years we got a lot of kids talking and kind of making fun of it. So it was good to see kids at least, like, be silent, because then it's like they care."

The Native American Student Union at North Eugene participates in a drum circle as part of an event recognizing Native American Heritage Month.— Miranda Cyr (@mirandabcyr) November 18, 2022

During the NASU panel, students in the audience asked questions. One student asked how the students at NEHS could better support their native peers.

Schnick responded by recommending people keep up-to-date on native issues and get involved with them, such as the missing and murdered Indigenous women movement.

"It's hard to be an ally," Schnick said. "Just be more aware. If you have the chance to come to our meetings or maybe even if it's outside the school, I would always suggest just going and showing support for any of our movements. Even just one more non-native showing up could help us a lot. Even one voice is better than none."

Recognizing Indigenous people during the holidays

The Thanksgiving holiday has become more divisive in recent years as the treatment of native people under colonialism has become more broadly recognized and discussed.

Some of the current and former students shared their thoughts on the holiday and suggested ways the community can recognize Indigenous people during this time.

Halie Nightpipe, who is Lakota Sioux and graduated from NEHS in 2021, said Indigenous people have varied opinions on the holiday. Some celebrate Thanksgiving while others choose not to.

She said her family uses the day as a day to join together and feast, but they do not recognize the supposed harvest feast shared between colonists and the Wampanoag people.

"We take that away into bringing it to a family-oriented holiday and we celebrate it with each other," Nightpipe said. "It's more of a day to get together and hang out with the family and just enjoy each other's company and enjoy the food."

Alán Ortiz, a freshman at NEHS who is Navajo and Zapotec, said his family celebrates in a similar way.

"We never really associated Thanksgiving with the origins of Thanksgiving, about the settlers," Ortiz said. "We think of it as a holiday to just feast. During Thanksgiving, we always stay silent for a moment and just remember our ancestors."

Lee Bryan said one way people can keep Indigenous people in mind during the holiday is by doing their own research about local tribal communities and nations, looking into their traditional clothing, songs, food and more.

In Oregon, there are nine federally recognized tribes: the Burns Paiute Tribe; the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians; the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon; the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians; the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; the Coquille Indian Tribe; the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians; and the Klamath Tribes.

Lee Bryan and several other students suggested attending a local powwow or other public events to learn and connect with different cultures.

North Eugene support

The NASU stressed the importance of supporting Indigenous peers during the holidays and beyond.

Brenda Brainard, former executive director of the Eugene School District 4J Natives Program, explained the meaning behind the drum circle performance. She said the song is recognized as the "Native American national anthem," but was originally a Northern Cheyenne war song.

"Sometimes you have to be a warrior in your own life," Brainard said in relation to the song.

She said North Eugene has really stepped up as a school.

"North Eugene is possibly the most supportive high school that we have, and they have made a commitment to do this every year," Brainard said. "Other schools are hit and miss depending on who... their NASU kids are, but the administration at North Eugene has really made the commitment to make this happen."

Nightpipe said she continues to return to NEHS to support the NASU group. She said it's great when non-native students choose to join the union or sit in on their meetings.

Nightpipe said it's an opportunity to share their culture and for non-native students to learn about different communities.

"We're letting the public know who we are and what we represent," Nightpipe said. "As we get to know each other, we become a family."

Miranda Cyr reports on education for The Register-Guard. You can contact her at [email protected] or find her on Twitter @mirandabcyr.
Continue reading...

Read On "The Register Guard"
More News On "The Register Guard"
27 days ago - Wayne Shorter, jazz legend and N.J. native, dead at 89 27 days ago - What to make of Grant Williams’ surprising DNP in Celtics-Cavs matchup 27 days ago - Grading the Canucks’ Trade for Filip Hronek 29 days ago - McGhee's dramatic buzzer beater lifts Dragons into NSIC championship game 29 days ago - Buster Posey has heartfelt Scott Cousins message 12 years after collision 29 days ago - Ravi Shastri Settles Shubman Gill vs KL Rahul Debate With A Blunt Verdict 29 days ago - AMA vs KOT Dream11 Prediction, Fantasy Cricket Tips, Dream11 Team, Playing XI, Pitch Report, Injury Update- Navi Mumbai Premier League T20, Match 2 29 days ago - Murdoch admits some Fox News hosts 'endorsed' false election fraud claims 29 days ago - LaMelo Ball breaks ankle, latest setback in rough season 29 days ago - Ball fractures ankle in Hornets’ 117-106 win over Pistons 29 days ago - Avalanche examining trade market — The Fourth Period 29 days ago - Knicks deliver statement with stifling win over NBA-best Celtics 29 days ago - Who are Jimmy and Dee Haslam, reported new Milwaukee Bucks co-owners? 29 days ago - Celtics vs. Knicks takeaways: C's go ice-cold from 3 in frustrating loss 29 days ago - UNC Basketball: Photos from win at Florida State 29 days ago - Butler's acrobatic layup, 23 points lead Heat past 76ers :: 29 days ago - NBA roundup: LaMelo Ball breaks ankle in Charlotte’s win over Detroit 29 days ago - Murdoch says some Fox hosts ‘endorsed’ false election claims 29 days ago - Drunk flyers getting unruly led to tighter rules: AI CEO 29 days ago - UNC Men’s Basketball Holds Off Florida State Rally, Wins Final Road Game 29 days ago - UCLA Set to Host LMU, Michigan in Midweek Battles 29 days ago - Minus Timo Meier, Sharks host new-look Canadiens 29 days ago - Elon Musk Reclaims Top Spot on Billionaires List 29 days ago - No. 9 UConn still standing ... barely ... as sole regular-season champion of Big East 29 days ago - Breaking new ground, video game engages with Holocaust 29 days ago - John Oliver Goes After SF-Based OpenAI and Its ChatGPT Product: ‘The George Santos of Technology’ 29 days ago - HAGENS BERMAN, NATIONAL TRIAL ATTORNEYS, Encourages Catalent (CTLT) Investors with Substantial Losses to Contact Firm's Attorneys, Securities Fraud Class Action Filed - Catalent (NYSE:CTLT) 29 days ago - Florida State fights hard on Senior Night, but this time the comeback bid falls short 29 days ago - How do you talk to a whole country about COVID-19? Use a GIF. 29 days ago - 1 killed as tornadoes rip through Oklahoma, California braces for more snow 29 days ago - Austin Police Department staffing crisis: 77 officers could retire by end of March as vacancies pile up 29 days ago - Alec Baldwin sued by three Rust crew members who suffer from anxiety PTSD and have blast injuries 29 days ago - Assessment Covid-19 leaked from Chinese lab is a minority view within US intel community, sources say 29 days ago - Quinta Brunson, Kevin Jay Anik’s Relationship Timeline 29 days ago - Sydney World Pride: Here’s what you need to know ahead of Harbour Bridge closure on March 5. 29 days ago - Reddit Has a Must Read Thread About The Worst Things People Have Seen at Disney World 29 days ago - Courteney Cox snubbed by ‘Friends’ at Walk of Fame star ceremony? 29 days ago - No. 1 CSI draws Snow College in Region 18 opener: 'It'll be a hard game' 29 days ago - Rochester organization working to prevent adverse childhood experiences 29 days ago - ‘Friends’ star Courteney Cox didn’t think Hollywood success was ‘possibility’ growing up in Alabama 29 days ago - Winds shred Southern Plains; California set to get more snow 29 days ago - Robbins: Zelenskyy & Navalny heroes for standing up to Putin 29 days ago - An Arizona driver was charged after plowing into cyclists, killing 2 and injuring 17 29 days ago - DeSantis clemency only option for ex-death row inmate after Supreme Court denial 29 days ago - Rupert Murdoch admits some Fox News hosts 'endorsed' false election fraud claims 29 days ago - Nolan Gould: What Happened To The Modern Family Star? 29 days ago - Chip 4 Alliance: Senior officials finally meet to discuss semiconductor supply chain 29 days ago - Zero-calorie sweetener linked to heart attack and stroke, study finds 29 days ago - ‘American Idol’ Alum Adam Lambert Made a Lana Del Rey Song Sound Like Led Zeppelin on His New Album 29 days ago - Student Association meets with Micron to potentially develop a partnership 29 days ago - Hornets vs Pistons: How to Watch Live Stream, TV Channel, NBA Start Time 29 days ago - ‘Hoping for a miracle’: Fundraiser for family of Angus man seriously injured at Collingwood-area work site raises more than $31K 29 days ago - Disney World’s Self-Governing District Now Under State Control 29 days ago - JD Vance, Sherrod Brown demand EPA, CDC start health screenings in East Palestine after train derailment 29 days ago - UConn women's basketball guard Nika Mühl surpasses Sue Bird's single-season assist record 29 days ago - Messi, Putellas headline FIFA Best award winners as Kerr makes World XI 29 days ago - Florida Governor Strips Disney of Special District Control 29 days ago - DeSantis signs bill that gives him more control of Disney’s special district 29 days ago - Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors – 2/28/23 Free Pick & NBA Betting Prediction 29 days ago - Maple Leafs answer Lightning by making trade with Blackhawks
free geoip