Turning the Page at the Page High School UNITY
Condensed by Native Village
Jingle dancer Leah C. Hoschain of Kearns, Utah
Due to school and work responsibilities Hoschain seldom gets to dance anymore but she made the trek down to Arizona to support her sister and powwow organizer Shannon Secody.
Arizona: Last month, more than 100 dancers and nearly
1,500 people attended the UNITY Contest Powwow at Page
High School in Page, AZ.
annual event saw the usual southward migration of Utah
dancers. It also paid respects to a beloved member of
the pow wow community.
Longtime friend of the Page pow wow and local dancer,
Cecil American-Horse, was honored with a song.
Cecil died of a heart-attack in February while chopping
wood for his granddaughter's
Kinaaldá. More than 100
people lined up at the powwow circle to shake hands and
express their condolences to his family and close
"At first it is hard to come to a pow wow," said his
daughter, Lucy American-Horse. "It was hard to come into
the building and even watch grand entry and not see my
"It felt good and then sad to remember him," his widow,
Cora, said. "A lot of people didn't know he passed away
and they were really surprised and sad."
Jimmie Austin, a respected northern traditional dancer
from Kayenta, skipped a larger powwow where his son was
singing to attend this one with family and friends of
"I used to call Cecil my brother and he called me the
same," Austin said. "This guy was a good teacher. He
wasn't afraid and didn't hold back on anybody because he
wanted to let people know where this all came from. I
always tried to listen."
The popular pow wow -- the only one in Page -- almost
didn't happen this year because many sponsors backed
out. Despite the setbacks, coordinator Shannon Secody
was determined to see it through. She and the high
UNITY Club chapter secured donations from new
sponsors and found funding elsewhere.
a Native youth organization based in Oklahoma. It has
chapters across the tribal U.S. and Canada.
"I probably have close to 30 active students in the club
and they mainly did a lot of food concessions because a
lot of our fund-raising comes from selling food," Secody
said. "Some of them danced as well and were encouraged
by the community because the people and local
communities want to see a local powwow here."
Two small figures stuck-out on among the sea of
Native people and regalia of all colors. Sabine Dederoy
and Michele Arnal from France were vacationing in nearby
Antelope Canyon and were delighted to hear of the event.
This was their first powow.
“The pow wow is marvelous, just gorgeous. We didn't
understand a single word in any of the songs but it was
still wonderful," Dederoy said.
In addition to the honor song for Cecil American-Horse,
the contest pow wow also featured a drum and hand-drum
contest and a teen girls fancy special.
On Sunday morning, an exhausted Secody had a late
breakfast. She was happy about so many accolades and
positive feedback from dancers and community members the
night before, but now she had to rush to the store.
"I need to get some of that stuff that removes frybread
grease from the floor," Secody said.
Native Village Home Page
Village © Gina Boltz
To receive email notices of Native Village updates,
please send your email address to:
To contact us, email
Thank you to ALL the wonderful individuals, friends,
organizations, groups, news services and websites who share or donate their research, work, time and
talents to make Native Village possible
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed
without profit or payment for non-profit research, archival, news, and
educational purposes only.
NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth, educators, families, and friends
who wish to celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples.
We offer readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and Education
News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites. Each issue shares
today's happenings in Indian country. NATIVE VILLAGE also houses website
libraries and informational materials to enrich all lives on Turtle Island.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written in full by the credited author at
the credited source link. We are responsible for format changes and additional
photos, art, and graphics which boost visual appeal and add dimension to
the reading experience. Pictures and graphics not appearing with the original
article are either credited on the page or by right-clicking the picture. Some
may be free or by sources unknown.
Please contact us with any copyright
corrections so we may properly credit the source.
We are not responsible for changes to outside websites and weblinks. Please
notify us if any problems arise.