CSKT Tribal Education awards
By Lailani Upham
(L to R) Elementary Student of the Year award winners; Polson's Cherry
Valley Elementary Student of the Year, Turquoise Pierre; Arlee
Elementary Student of the Year, Jerome Felix; Polson's Linderman
Elementary Student of the Year, Denzel Lefthand; Ronan K. William
Harvey Elementary Student of the Year, Zarec Couture; Pablo Elementary
Student of the Year, Isabelle Hewankorn; and St. Ignatius Student of
the Year, Robert Dempsey. (Lailani Upham photo)
PABLO — In continuing their mission to recognize
the success of their students, parents, tribal leaders, and to
acknowledge the teachers who make a difference in the public school
systems, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Education
Department announced their 2011 winners at the CSKT Tribal Education
awards reception held last Thursday at the Salish Kootenai College Joe
McDonald Health and Fitness Center.
Nominations of students, parents, and educators
that make a difference in their schools are accepted from each
reservation-based school and handed in to the CSKT Tribal Education in
the early spring every year.
Bev Michel, CSKT tribal education department staff gift Kootenai elder
Seraphine Bufton with a bright blue star quilt for the Cultural
Preservation Award on behalf of the Kootenai Culture Committee.
(Lailani Upham photo)
The nominations are reviewed and selected by the
Indian Education Committees for each category.
Thanks went out to the Kicking Horse Job Corps
students and staff that catered the banquet for the evening.
CSKT Dixon Tribal Council Representative Terry
Pitts and former educator, gave the welcome address and the blessing
was asked for by Salish Pend d'Oreille Director, Tony Incashola. Arlee
singers opened with an Honor Song along and ended the ceremony with the
traditional song, "Home Sweet Home."
Michael Durglo, Sr., smiles after receiving the 2011 Cultural
Preservation award from the Salish Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee
Director Tony Incashola. Incashola described Durglo as a man of deep
commitment to survival and a guy with a crazy sense of humor. (Lailani
The award that is presented first goes to an elder
from each of the Salish and Kootenai cultural committees. It is an
award that recognizes an individual who gives tirelessly of themselves
to the preservation of traditional values, language and spiritual
guidance, according to the CSKT tribal education department.
The elders whom are selected are those who help
with school presentations, historical insight and language preservation
efforts throughout the year.
(L to R) Staff of the Year for the following school districts are: Anna
Baldwin, Arlee; Elaine Meeks, Polson; Darci Nice, Ronan; Aileen Plant,
St. Ignatius; and Jami Hanson, Two Eagle River. (Lailani Upham photo)
This year's Salish Pend d'Oreille Cultural
Preservation award was presented to Mr. Michael Durglo, Sr., by Salish
Pend d'Oreille Cultural Committee Director, Tony Incashola. Incashola
described Durglo as an elder who has given a lifetime to his community.
Durglo, a Pend d'Oreille Indian, was born in 1935 and has lived his
life the old ways, Incashola told the crowd. Durglo, a Korean War
veteran also worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 30 years,
Arlee School District Parent of the Year Claudette and Rodney Bird walk
hand in hand after being announced as the first couple for the 2011
tribal education recognition. (Lailani Upham photo)
This year's Kootenai Cultural Preservation award
was presented was to Ms. Seraphine Bufton by Dorothy Berney, Kootenai
Culture committee member who had the honor to announce Bufton's
achievement. Berney told the crowd that Bufton had been a rock in
upholding the Kootenai language in the schools for decades.
Durglo and Bufton both were selected as beacons of
hope for the continuation of the Salish and Kootenai people, CSKT
tribal education department announced.
Nkwusm Salish Language Student Dallas Swab stands proudly holding the
Small School award on behalf of his school with his aunt and Nkwusm
staff member Trina Felsman. (Lailani Upham photo)
The lifetime achievement award went to Alvin
McCrea. McCrea was chosen for the award for giving a lifetime to
education and to improving schools and providing guidance and direction
to young people and standing as a role model in the community.
According to the tribal education criteria, each
school district demonstrated leadership qualities, high academics,
community services and a knowledge and practice of cultural activities.
The Parent of the Year award goes to parents who
in the eyes of their peers show extraordinary patience, dedication and
support for not only their own children but for also supporting and
advocating for children in their community.
Royelle Bundy receives award and Pendleton jacket for the 2011 High
School Student of the Year award on behalf of her son Trail Bundy at
this year's CSKT Tribal Education Award banquet last Thursday evening.
St. Ignatius student Trail Bundy was absent that night due to attending
an Advanced Biology workshop, his mother said. The Pendleton coat was
sponsored by Salish Kootenai College. (Lailani Upham photo)
The Staff of the Year is an award is given to a
teacher or staff member who has gone far and beyond for children and
who have been an inspiration not only to their students, but peers as
The one High School Student of Year award is given
to a CSKT tribal member who exemplifies outstanding cultural
involvement, community leadership and academic achievement among his or
her peers. This year's award went to St. Ignatius high school student,
Trail Bundy for his positive lifestyle in leading the way as a tribal
youth, according to the CSKT tribal education department.
Two Eagle River School student Sierra Webster-Shorty receives a
certificate from CSKT Tribal Education staff Miranda Burland, as one of
the High School Student of the Year nominees. (Lailani Upham photo)
The CSKT Tribal Education Department would like to
congratulate all recipients for the 2011 Confederated Salish and
Kootenai Tribes education awards.
For more information on the CSKT tribal education
program, and their services, call Penny Kipp at (406) 675-2700, ext.