Southern Paiute youth from tribal bands in Arizona, Utah and Nevada gathered in the pines near Mount Trumbull to camp and learn about their culture from respected tribal elders.
Twenty- one children participated in the fourth annual Yevingkarere Camp from September 16th to September 18th in their traditional homelands located within Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.
Gloria Bullets Benson, BLM Arizona Strip District tribal liaison and camp co-founder, welcomed the students and chaperones and was very excited to have the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and Moapa Band of Paiutes travel over from Nevada to participate.
“I believe each student came off the mountain a different person,” she said. “They now have a larger family, with grandparents, teachers and brothers and sisters, all sharing the same experience and views for the future of our Southern Paiute people. They seemed to have a real sense of pride in who they are and how they can live in our traditional world as well as the urban life.”
Camp activities included making tools, cliff rose cordage, medicine bags and small replica brush huts. Youth also learned to play traditional hand games and the hockey-like Que’pauck game. Language skills, cultural beliefs and a sampling of native foods were introduced during the outing. A visit to Paiute Cave to observe rock writing concluded the weekend camp.
“We are delighted to have the honor of hosting this camp and will continue to support this important cultural exchange for our Southern Paiute partners,” said Rosie Pepito, the park’s superintendent.
The Yevingkarere Camp was developed in 2008 with NPS Youth Partnership Program and BLM “Take It Outside” initiative funding. Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in northwestern Arizona is jointly managed by both agencies