While UCCS was celebrating its largest-ever graduating class, a group of local American Indians used the campus to celebrate its accomplishments.
On May 22, 39 American Indian students representing educational attainment from kindergarten through doctoral degrees, were celebrated at the University Center. The event was sponsored by the Colorado Springs Indian Center.
“There were more than 100 people who came to celebrate and to encourage Native American education,” Marguerite Cantu, senior instructor, Communication, said. “By recognizing accomplishment and showing what others have done, we send a message of hope to the younger members of our community.”
The event was both inspirational and traditional as Doug Goodfeather and Marty Waters, members of the Lakota Tribe, played an honoring song on the drum and Sebrena Forrest, a Mohawk, sang a joy-filled closing song.
In addition to elements of Indian culture, the two-hour event featured comments by Don Coyhis, president and founder of White Bison, Inc., and Anthony Cordova, director, Multicultural Office for Student Access, Inclusiveness and Community. The event recognized the accomplishments of six who received degrees from area higher education institutions, 11 high school graduates and 22 who completed school milestones including completion of kindergarten and graduation from elementary and middle school.