As we approach the Winter Solstice, Office of Indian Education Deputy Associate Superintendent Serena Denetsosie would like to share this article, “Acknowledging the Winter Solstice is a Decolonial Act For Indigenous People" as well as her own thoughts on this restorative day:
Winter solstice is about the renewal of life. This teaching was shared with me by my father and grandparents and their grandparents before them, around a fireplace where we learned our stories and reconnected with the universal order of things. As my father used to say when he passed on stories, I share this with you and what you learn from it and what action you choose is up to you. This teaching about this time is about resiliency, self-awareness, and understanding our humble connection to the universe.
In many cultures and practices, our relationship with the Holy Ones, Mother Earth, the seasons, Five-Fingered, Four-legged, Winged, and Gilled relatives are renewed in respect and with gratitude. A moment for cleansing and renewal, to be grateful for another season, to let go and revitalize our teachings. It is an opportunity to create space and unplug from the busy world, disconnect from the electronical now, and care for ourselves in whatever place we are in our life journey. In our reflection of the season passed we solidify the lessons learned and the growth we have been blessed with. It is a chance to connect to our relations to mend, nurture, or let go. On this day, the shortest of the year, we make offerings in gratitude for our blessings and challenges. We re-center ourselves and continue the path to seek balance, harmony, and beauty, Hózhó.
COVID-19 Updates and Resources
Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund Webinar
The Arizona Department of Education hosted a webinar update on the Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund grant. Funded by the CARES Act, this program supports local school COVID-19 recovery efforts. ADE shared an update regarding this program's current status during this session and included statewide data regarding LEA grant application processing and draw-down of funds. We also reviewed eligible local uses of ESSER Funds and how to leverage them strategically to support local COVID-19 response and recovery needs, such as using these funds to manage current LEA fiscal needs. View the webinar recording HERE.
Student-initiated COVID Support Group
Teens with COVID is a student-initiated and led support group for students who have contracted COVID-19 as well as those who have not. Teens with COVID was developed by a Colorado student who contracted COVID-19 and wanted to provide support to their peers. The initiative has a website teenswithcovid.com, Instagram, and Facebook. Teens can sign up for their support group using this Google Form.
Resources and Update from OIE Partners and Stakeholders
NAU Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals: Host Sites Needed For Summer Internship Program
The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals – Environmental Education Outreach Program at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona is seeking air quality focused offices and programs to host a college student for an 8-week summer internship. Tribal environmental offices, EPA offices, and other tribal environmental organizations are encouraged to apply.
The interns will be highly motivated undergraduate or graduate students majoring in environmental or related careers from different colleges and universities nationwide. ITEP provides each student intern with a $4,000 stipend, and limited housing and travel allowances. The host site provides a workplace and supervision for the intern.
The projects MUST focus on addressing air quality issues in tribal communities. Submit an application online at http://www7.nau.edu/itep/main/eeop/Internships/ssi_host
Deadline: Apply by January 18, 2021.
For detailed information on the internship and requirements, visit our internship website: nau.edu/itepinterns