Student Empowerment

American Horse 4th- 8th graders had the opportunity to work with Clayton Small Ph.D. Northern Cheyenne, the owner of Native Pride, the past week and into this week. Dr. Smalls Program Native H.O.P.E. (Helping our People Endure); begins with a day of “Training the Trainers” which involves school staff and community members learning his program and becoming Tiospaye Leaders for groups of children.

American Horse School’s Trainers headed up by Francis White Lance included; Angela Bush, Quentin Red Bear, Chastity Shot With Arrow, Lolita Attack Him, Thomasina Fast Wolf, Jonas Horse Looking, Dario Vasquez, and community members Steve DuBray Sr., Warren “Gus” Yellow Hair, and Lionel Yellow Hawk. For the next three days, all of the 4th-8th graders were in the gym, doing large and small group self-empowering activities. Edwinna Brown Bull and Warren “Bim” Pourier assisted with opening ceremonies in the morning and after-school activities with the students. Edwinna and Bim will be working with the students on a weekly basis after school to continue supporting the students with their endeavors. The students met in the gym for 3 days, with their teachers, para-professionals, trainers and Dr. Small participating in large and small group activities. It was an awesome experience for everyone, sometimes sad, sometimes silly, always heart felt with a spirit of emotional, spiritual, and thought provoking growth. Everyone young and old, grew as a result of these days. One of the activities the students did in their groups was to develop Tiospaye Mottos: The following are the motto’s the students created, developed through the results of the activities, discussion, and learning that they experienced.

  • In that situation, at that time I did the best I could, and that’s good enough. Hurt or Betrayed, FORGIVENESS.
  • Bulling is Whack! Get on the right track!
  • We are all human; no need to judge, because we are all the same.
  • Don’t Judge us by the color of our skin, but what is “inside.”
  • Judgment is so bad, it makes people sad, and then they turn mad. Let’s just be Glad, start a fad: Let it GO! Let it GO!
  • I am smarter, I am stronger, I will take it No, No longer.
  • Inch by Inch, Day by Day, Step by Step, All the Way, Piece by Piece, Bit by Bit, and a little by little then you’re there.
  • Let it go! Don’t judge people based on their skins color, we are all still people with the same parts and emotions.
  • We will change Racism by still being friends through forgiveness.
  • Resentment and Anger will hurt me no more. We are keeping the dream of being better people! They call us the dream keepers.
  • We’re too cool to let someone judge us by the color of our skin. Stay Positive Pray Forgiveness. *Let it go! There are good people out there. Don’t let it bother you. Native Pride
  • We will not be controlled or put down by racism. We are full of pride and Joy!
  • Our commitment statement is to stay positive. We also commit to be respectful and nice to everyone. Changing out attitudes will impact us to have better days. We also commit to be more active. We will not bully, judge, or make anyone feel that they are not worthy. We promise to be kind, generous, helpful, and loving.
  • Toughen up, Stand up and be strong, Man up, or Woman up, achieve or over achieve, no surrender, *We can still be friends, we will stand up for ourselves. Take a stand and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourselves, you’re still a champion.
  • Next Steps include developing a school youth council that schedules group sessions to continue with empowering activities, to act as leaders to promote self-affirmation at all grade levels, and promote community involvement.
  • American Horse School wishes to thank everyone involved in providing The Native H.O.P.E. program for our students, all of the students and staff who work above and beyond each and every day, and to all the awesome caring individuals (not only locally, but nationally, and internationally), who support not only our children but the end of racism in all forms.
  • People may forget what you said; people may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”-Maya Angelou

Jodi Richards Ed. S American Horse Middle School Principal