St. Stephens hosted family activity in colloboration with CNP and the Northern Arapahoe Tribe

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

St. Stephens Indian School hosted an event today in conjunction with the Northern Arapahoe Tribe. A University of Wyoming Extension Cent$ible Nutrition educator, Willimena Spoonhunter, from the Wind River Reservation spearheaded the activity.

Students and parents painted with stencils to encourage cultural education and physical activity.

Spoonhunter stated, “These stencils are unique because we made them into Native American signs. The rest of the state has different ones, and these ones were made just for the reservation so it’s kind of neat, they like them.” The stencils are geared toward the reservation with traditional symbols to promote kids to get moving.

St. Stephens Indian School Superintendent, Frank No Runner explained, “Designs of our culture, of the Arapahoe culture. The designs are on the sidewalks that the kids and the parents helped paint together. It’s been a rough year, but I’m really happy that we got to organize an event where our parents could come be a part of our school today.”

The superintendent said an important part of today was allowing the families to finally get the chance to take part again in school activities. “As Native Indigenous people, our family structure is the backbone of every family. We always rely on family. That’s where we’re rich is in our family,” added No Runner.

St. Stephens Indian School Kingergarten through 8th grade Principal Greg Juneau said the movement and interaction of students is vital for their growth.

“We don’t want them behind a screen. A lot of social and emotional needs are met just by them being around their peers,” noted Juneau. The Chairman of the Northern Arapahoe tribe emphasized the importance of the art aspect of the event.

“Art is a very powerful tool for native people and how we told stories. If you see here, all these kids are taking part in art, they’re creating something very beautiful,” described Jordan Dresser, Northern Arapahoe Tribal Chairman.

A council member says this has been a pivotal time to influence young people for the better.

“We’re coming out of a pandemic and a lot of these kids were home for about a year, so to get them out, get them back active again is really important for their mental health, their physical health,” stated Boniface Ridgley, Northern Arapahoe Tribal Council member.

Cent$ible Nutrition plans to have stencil painting events for all the other reservation schools, as well.

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