Native Village
Youth and Education news

Volume 2, January 2012
AmerInd Club helps Native American kids connect
Read the entire article: http://www.inmaricopa.com/
Condensed by Native Village

Arizona: A population boom has changed the dynamics of student life at Maricopa High School.  Ten years ago, the Ak-Chin community was the majority in the public school system. Now it’s the minority.

Aidan Balt sponsors the AmerInd Club. The club brings together Native American students to help each other deal these changes.
 
Another focus is to keep Native students in school. Club treasurer Shinasha Bedonie says it is common for Native students to drop out of school or just stop going.

“We are trying to make it fun for them to keep coming back to the club, so they are more into going to scho
ol,” she said.
 
AmerInd is also involved in helping younger Native students focus on their schoolwork now, so they do not drop later.

The AmerInd club has about 30 member. Bedonie says more students are joining because the weekly meetings are so much fun.

Club members elect officers for president, vice president, historian, public relations representative and treasurer. The officers and other students attend various conventions, then bring back that knowledge to the club. 

“Leadership is what I gained from this experience, and the ability to motivate my other club members to come together as one,” said an AmerInd officer after a recent convention.

The four tribes that surround Maricopa are
Ak-Chin Indian Community, Gila River Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Tohono O’odham Nation. The Maricopa School System also has students from other tribes including the Navajo, Hopi, San Carlos Apache, Red River Apache and Lakota Sioux.


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