Char-Koosta News

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Tribal Health Youth and Wellness 3-on-3 encourages youth

By Lailani Upham

Nearly 80 kids participate in the CSKT Tribal Health Youth Health and Wellness 3-on-3 basketball tournament at SKC last Thursday evening. (Lailani Upham photo) Nearly 80 kids participate in the CSKT Tribal Health Youth Health and Wellness 3-on-3 basketball tournament at SKC last Thursday evening. (Lailani Upham photo)

PABLO — The “I Strengthen My Nation” 3-on-3 basketball tournament hosted by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Health Youth and Wellness program did not just happen as a “tribal program” effort but though a partnership of volunteers from Salish Kootenai College basketball players, students, parents and other organizations.

High school ballers make the best high jumps using quarter court space during “I Strengthen My Nation” 3-on-3 tournament. (Lailani Upham photo) High school ballers make the best high jumps using quarter court space during “I Strengthen My Nation” 3-on-3 tournament. (Lailani Upham photo)

The SKC Bison men’s and ladies team members helped out in mentoring and keeping track of scores as an effort to contribute to their community, said Pearl Yellowman Caye, THHS Youth and Wellness Coordinator.

It was a one-night deal where families were able to come and have fun and get exercise, and make a statement of healthy living says Yellowman Caye.

Katie Lynn and Kason Page show off their face paint art done by middle school student and volunteer Mikayla Caye. (Lailani Upham photo) Katie Lynn and Kason Page show off their face paint art done by middle school student and volunteer Mikayla Caye. (Lailani Upham photo)

Face painting booths, prizes, live D.J. and Subway sandwiches brought the families out. Nearly 80 students from fifth grade to seniors joined in on the competition.

Because it was a night of fun – no awards were given out at this tournament; simply bragging rights and a cleaned out lungs were brought home that night.

Participants received t-shirts with the “I Strengthen My Nation” logo that represents a statement that displays what each individual can do to strengthen their own Nation in ways of promoting healthy living. Basketball is one way says Yellowman Caye.

SKC Bison ladies and men basketball team players visit around the scoring table during a quick break. Members of the team volunteered as monitors and mentors as their contribution to the community, stated Yellowman-Caye. (Lailani Upham photo) SKC Bison ladies and men basketball team players visit around the scoring table during a quick break. Members of the team volunteered as monitors and mentors as their contribution to the community, stated Yellowman-Caye. (Lailani Upham photo)

The “I Strengthen My Nation” logo comes from a nation-wide organization that is a health resource for Native youth called, “We are Native.” It provides content and stories about the topics that matter most to the Native youth. Their goal is to promote holistic health and positive growth in each local community and the nation at large through community involvement to learn more about culture, history and current issues.

Middle school students watch each team battle against each other throughout the evening 3 on 3 tournaments. (Lailani Upham photo)Middle school students watch each team battle against each other throughout the evening 3 on 3 tournaments. (Lailani Upham photo)

Yellowman Caye says she hopes the event will spread to other communities in the near future.

Other sponsors included Friend Forever Mentoring, Total Screen Designs, Salish Kootenai College, and CSKT Tribal Social Services.

For more information contact Pearl Yellowman Caye at (406) 212-3709.

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