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Tribal Student Interns Reconnect To Public Lands

Parashant National Monument

National Park News

Native youth employment programs at Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument have wrapped up another successful season. The interns spent the summer experiencing natural and cultural resource management career options and exploring some of the traditional homelands of the Southern Paiute, now encompassed within the monument boundaries.

Maiya Osife served as an intern in interpretation and worked to create and distribute a newsletter to the various Southern Paiute Bands located in southern Utah, northern Arizona and southern Nevada that highlighted some of the monument partnership activities with the tribe. She also served as a spokesperson and role model for tribal youth at the newly established Kwiyamuntsi Southern Paiute Youth Camp,  where she shared her work experiences, first as a member of the historic preservation crew and as a returning intern to serve in an Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative position.

An excerpt from the newsletter sums up how Osife viewed her intertwined roles as both a public lands steward and tribal member. “It became clear to me just how vital we are to the career of natural resources and how important it is to me that I be able to apply my passion and education to something as important as our land. I believe strongly that it is so important to have Natives involved in natural resources and sciences not only to bring our ways into the practice but also because it is important for our people to be involved and stay informed on our Native lands and land rights.”

The Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians education committee honored Osife with a Pendleton blanket at the Sounds of Thunder annual Pow-wow gathering, to acknowledge her high school graduation. She will attend Portland State University in Oregon this fall.

The tribal youth cultural preservation crew celebrated its fourth summer in Parashant and continued its work to preserve a historic ranching cabin located in the high mountain pines near Mount Dellenbaugh. Crew members conducted archeological surveys, and Marisa Ybarra analyzed more than 10,000 pottery sherds. Ybarra is enrolled at the Mohave Community College. One of the original crew members, Markuitta Thomas Bushhead returned as crew leader for a second season.

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument contains more than a million acres of remote public lands in northwestern Arizona that are co-managed as a Service First organization by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.


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