Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Alexis Wirz selected as CSKT Christmas card design winner

By Lailani Upham

(L to R) Gabriella (sister), Sandra (mother), Brad (father), Alexis (winner), Sadie (sister), and Shaina Snyder (cousin) celebrate at the luncheon. (Rob McDonald photo) (L to R) Gabriella (sister), Sandra (mother), Brad (father), Alexis (winner), Sadie (sister), and Shaina Snyder (cousin) celebrate at the luncheon. (Rob McDonald photo)

PABLO — The most wonderful time of year has arrived where the art design of a Christmas card goes down in tribal history.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Education Department gives fourth graders across the Reservation a chance to enter a Christmas card design to be used as the official tribal holiday card.

This year’s Christmas card winner is Alexis Wirz.

A luncheon was provided for the fourth grader at the CSKT Tribal Complex on Thursday.

Wirz, a student at K. William Harvey Elementary, said she was excited that her design was picked as the official 2013 CSKT Christmas card; and her mom said she has been talking about since she got word she was the pick of the crop.

Wirz and her family received 25 professionally finished cards and a $25 gift certificate to Walmart.

Over 350 cards are mailed out from the CSKT Tribal Council to President Obama and other government officials, agencies and tribes across the nation.

Alexis Wirz's winning 2013 CSKT Christmas card will go to such places at the White House in D.C. (Rob McDonald photo) Alexis Wirz's winning 2013 CSKT Christmas card will go to such places at the White House in D.C. (Rob McDonald photo)

The contest was launched in 1998 and is still going strong with growing excitement in the schools as well, says Penny Kipp, CSKT Tribal Education Director.

A call for entries is sent out before the holiday break allowing students a three-week time line to get their artwork and entry forms back in. Judging is then done by the Indian Education Parent Committees where artists’ remain anonymous.

Every year the Tribal Education Department selects a fourth grade class from a school district on the Flathead Reservation.

The only rule is that the card have a tribal theme to it said Kipp.

Wirz’s artwork presented a small tipi and a large buffalo with blue twinkling snow flakes with two large Christmas trees lit in bright colors.

Alexis gets a well done hand shake from CSKT Chairman Joe Durglo. (Rob McDonald photo) Alexis gets a well done hand shake from CSKT Chairman Joe Durglo. (Rob McDonald photo)

She said it took her two days in class to finish the project.

Wirz’s parents Brad and Sandra; her sisters Sadie, Gabriella, and Peyton; and cousin, Shaina Snyder were present for the honoring. CSKT Chairman, Joe Durglo stopped by to congratulate the young artist as well.

One of her siblings mentioned she thought it was pretty cool that her sister’s cards were going to be going out to so many people.

Wirz says her group of cards are going out to her sisters, brother, parents, grandmas, aunts, uncles, and her cousin who just left for Africa with a mission group.

Correction — In the print version of CKN, Alexis' last name was mispelled a few times. This version corrects 'Werz' with the correct spelling of 'Wirz'.

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