YOUTH: Drawing on Native pride

Posted on June 8th, 2010 by americanindiannews in Recent News

A student art contest held recently by the National Congress of American Indians to mark the 2010 U.S. Census recognized winners at different grade levels from across Indian Country.

Courtesy of the National Congress of American Indians Odessa Lozano’s “Stand Tall and Be Counted!” was the first-place winner for grades 11 and 12 in the National Congress of American Indians’ student art contest celebrating the 2010 U.S. Census. Lozano is San Carlos Apache from Arizona.

The second-place winner at the college level, Julius Badoni, a senior at Arizona State University, said he wanted to incorporate symbols of perseverance, tribal pride, and strength, while encouraging Native Americans to participate in the Census.

“Even at the lowest point in the 1900s, Native Americans endured,” said Badoni, who is Navajo, about his piece titled “Resurgence,” a colorful abstract showing the plight of Native people since 1492. “There will be a continued endurance and resurgence of Native Americans.”

The contest was judged by staff at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

“One of the most successful messages from the Census is that tribes are thriving and doing well, and the attempts to completely assimilate Native people into mainstream America weren’t successful,” said Jacqueline Johnson Pata, NCAI executive director. “This art competition was to showcase that Native people are still here.”

The 1990 Census failed to count an estimated 12,000 people living on reservations; an aggressive promotional campaign in 2000 helped to reduce the number of those missed to an estimated 4,000. The NCAI’s contest gave young artists a chance to learn about the Census, and why it is important for their families to participate.

The youngest winners, who were pre-kindergarten, received a LeapFrog Leapster2 Learning System or a Tag Learn to Read Storybook Pack. Winners in first through third grades received a Nintendo DSiXL or a LeapFrog Tag Dr. Seuss Reading Gift Pack. Winners in fourth grade through college were awarded a Wii or an iPod Nano.
—–
By The American Indian News Service

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