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News from 2021-2022

Posted: November 1, 2021

Lunchtime Club Celebrates Native American Heritage

The newly formed Native American Club at Hoover Middle School connects students to cultural activities, learning materials, and positive Native role models.

There’s a new student club at Hoover Middle School, and they’re off to a busy and fun start. The Native American Club was established for the 2021–22 school year, and recently took its first field trip. The club’s debut outing was to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, where they toured the museum and participated in the Pueblo Pollinators educational activities.

In addition to learning about the history of Native Americans in New Mexico, the local ecosystem, and traditional crafts and farming techniques, the students were also invited to participate in the cultural center’s annual Native American Student Art Show.

Zoey Loretto, a sixth grader of Jemez Pueblo and Navajo descent, enjoys the club and the field trip. She says, “I think it was really cool. We learned about how to hang chile, and pollinators, and corn seeds, and other things. The different languages were cool, too. If you learn about it, you can listen to more people if they don’t know how to speak in English.”

C. Diane Brummell, a counselor at Hoover, noticed the school had a large population of Native American students and wanted to form a lunchtime club that celebrates Native American heritage and connects students to cultural activities, learning materials, and positive Native role models. As a first step, she reached out to Philip Farson, Instructional Manager in APS’s Indian Education Department.

“We try to be a resource for teachers and staff around the district, and have somebody to bounce ideas off of,” says Farson. “As a district, we’re looking to expand opportunities for Native students. We have options for students who are struggling, and we have options for students that incentivize them to learn more about their culture and language.”

Native Americans make up 5% of the APS student body, or roughly 3,500 students. The APS Indian Education Department supports more than 100 American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, and provides supplemental instruction for eligible American Indian and Alaska Native students through culturally relevant teaching methods and materials, with a goal to empower and strengthen student self-esteem and academic skills.

Hoover sixth grader Luke Williamson, who is Navajo, says he liked every part of the field trip, and plans on attending any future trips the Native American Club plans. What does he like best about this new club? “The fun activities, and being with some other Native people,” he says. “It’s definitely a lot of fun.” 

Native American Programs include: Native American Government and Economics, Navajo Government and History, Reading and Math Intervention, Navajo and Zuni Languages, Distinguished Stoles and Seals Award, Graduation Credit Recovery Program.

To learn more about Native American Programs, visit the APS Indian Education website.

Be sure to join us for the Indigenous Life Celebration on November 13. This event, planned and coordinated by high school students, takes place at the Berna Facio Professional Development Complex at the corner of Louisiana and Comanche from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and will feature performances, plus presentations on wellness, food sovereignty, language, culture, leadership development, entrepreneurship, climate change issues, and more.