All Nations Program Celebrates New School Year

The All Nations program had their annual Welcome ceremony on the football field Thursday, September 6th

Elizabeth Santana

The All Nations program had their annual Welcome ceremony on the football field Thursday, September 6th

Elizabeth Santana , Staff Writer

The All Nations program had their annual Welcome ceremony on the football field Thursday, September 6th, during 2nd hour, to celebrate the start of the school year. All Nations students, staff, families, and several other classes united in a circle on the field to enjoy songs of the Hoka Hey drum group, and smudge (the burning of sage, as a form of prayer and cleansing for Native people) which is done at every ceremony.

The number of people who had attended was larger than ever before. Even former principal Cecilia Saddler was present.

“It was too big… we didn’t even get to do what we were supposed to do, which was go up there and shake everybody’s hand… the smudging took up so much time so we didn’t even get to do that” explained All Nations sophomore Karissa Ficken, who brought smudge around for everyone who attended.

All Nations coordinator, Joe Kingbird was absent and has been on leave due to health issues.

“A lot of the people would have been way more respectful.. when we’re doing prayer and when we’re doing the smudging you’re not supposed to talk. There was plenty of talking going on” says Ficken, on Kingbird’s absence.

This year, the program is looking towards the new year and focusing on being a good relative. This means more family involvement, high quality academic work,  and showcasing student work. Jackie Vertigan, the All Nations counselor  is hoping that the program meets all of these goals.

“I hope that these kids are gonna live up to their greatest potential. All of these kids know what they need to do and they know what they can do. So it’s a matter of following through; and when things get hard, which they do sometimes, that they reach out for help, and let us help them get through it.” says Vertigan.