Native Profile – Sharon Brokeshoulder
Sharon A. Brokeshoulder
Dine’, and Southern Ute tribe
Where are you originally from?
Morenci Arizona, my father worked for the 2nd largest Copper Mine in the World, called Phelps Dodge Corporation. I was born and raised there in southern Arizona. I’m a “Copper Miners” Daughter….lol
o you live now?
Gallup New Mexico, just off I-40 between Albuquerque and Flagstaff. This was the last duty station in the Army while my husband was active duty. We ended up just staying here, our children were in getting into high school and moving every 3 years. We just decided to stay here. Now we are “growing roots”.
Married to Nick Br
okeshoulder for 28 years (Absentee Shawnee/Hopi). We have (3) Children: Randy, Brent and Audrey
What is your upcoming Pow Wow Schedule?
Southern Ute Powwow, Morongo, San Manuel.
Who are your favorite drums?
Southern Thunder, Omaha Whitetail, Scissortail, Midnight Express, Eyabay, the Horses.
Who are other dancers do you admire?
My sisters: Sandy Tate Harris, and Jereaux Nevaquaya, and Marjorie Borst, Shane Hughes and the late Janice Stevens from OK. I am the only girl in my family with one brother, and these women have took me in as their sister, I admire their dance ability and they have taught me styles from their tribe, and they have shared with me their way of life, and I admire them as people.
Who helped teach you to dance?
My husband Nick. I was brought into the arena by the late Marvin and June Stevens of Davenport OK.
Who makes your outfits?
I can’t take any of credit for any of my outfits. My husband Nick Brokeshoulder does all the cloth designs for the appliqué on skirts, and T-dresses. He uses a lot of his family designs from the Absentee Shawnee/ Sac and Fox side. BUT my newest beadwork is made by a good friend Doneta Kauley who is Kiowa, from Eufaula OK. My previous two sets were made by my other good friend Shane Hughes from OK. I’m very blessed to have some very nice artwork from these two ladies. They are very talented, and I enjoy wearing their artwork.
What transportation do you use to get to Pow Wows?
I have a Van, sometimes we fly if possible.
Will gas prices affect your Pow Wow schedule?
No, we try to plan these trips in advance.
What’s your favorite music?
I like powwow and Native American music, both southern and northern. I like listening to Doc Tate Nevaquaya flute music, and some of his church hymns. On the social/upbeat side, I like all kinds of rock music, which would include Van Halen, Judas Priest, Aerosmith. Favorite Artists, I have several, I like John Mayer, Pink, Pat Benatar, Heart, and Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam. His music is deep.
What other domestic skills do you have?
I can sew, some beading. I can cook, especially like preparing meats, like ribs, steaks for barbequing. I like working on my yard, planting flowers around the house, painting, decorating.
What’s your day job?
I am the Administrative Officer for a federal hospital (IHS) – Gallup Indian Medical Center here in Gallup NM. I oversee 8 departments, have around 300 staff I oversee. I enjoy my work as an Administrator, being the medical health field. It is important for our Native American People to have the best health care provided. I have a Bachelor of Business Science degree specializing in Management from Park University, and a certificate in Procurement from San Diego State University.
What do you like to do when not at a Pow Wow?
When I’m not at a pow-wow, I have a work out program that I do, I go to the gym and ride stationary bike for 30 to 40 minutes, and weight lift every other day working my upper and lower body. I have always been a physical person. I use to be a body builder, I lived that life for two years. It was hard, I followed this diet and exercise regiment. I didn’t eat red meat for two years, only ate chicken and turkey and A LOT of Tuna, fish. I got pretty strong and buffed. I wanted to compete in body building competitions while I lived in California, but working a full time job and going to school at night to complete my degree it got hard. I still work out and eat right. I also play tennis when the weather is good. I follow the US Tennis Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon, my favorite tennis player is Serena Williams. While in High School, it was Chris Evert. Love to play tennis!
What’s your favorite food?
Growing up and living in southwest, I love red chili stew and fry bread. I like anything with chili, red or green. I grew up with this style of foods, and eat chili whenever I can…lol I like pasta salads, a lot of fruit. My weakness is breads.. I love bread, but I have to stay away from it. It has a lot of calories…
What advice would you give young Native American people that look up to you?
Be honest, be respectable to everyone, be yourself, most of all love yourself. Pray each day and be thankful for life. Spend time with your parents, and grandparents, don’t be in a hurry to grow up. Set a goal and achieve it, don’t give up until you reach it!!
What is your most memorable Pow Wow moment?
In 2006, I traveled to the country of IRAQ with a dance team of 6 called “Native Star Dance Team”. This was headed by my husband Nick Brokeshoulder. We toured (9) combat bases in 8-days. From the southern part of IRAQ to the northern part by Turkey and Iran, flying in C10’s to Blackhawks. During this tour, we did a mini powwow dancing two times a day for the troops. We met many soldiers, foreign and US, the reception from the troops was overwhelming and so humbling. I never dreamed I would be in a War Zone, combat theater dancing and performing on the other side of the world. I was very humbled that these service men and women were giving the ultimate sacrifice of being over there protecting us. I will never forget this memorable pow-wow of dancing for the troops, and bring a little bit of home to them in this foreign land. I have a dress with (53) combat patches on the right sleeve given to me out of their gratitude of coming to a war zone and sharing our culture with them. The most memorable statement a Native American soldier said to me, “We have been waiting for the Eagle feathers to come to see us”…………………..
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Porcupine quills were used by Native people of the Great Lakes area as decorating materials long before the introduction of seed beads by the European traders. This seemed to be true where ever this animal was found in the wooded areas of the northern continent.
Quills were dyed colors with natural dyes, used in their round state, or flattened and used as a platting material. The most renowned decorative use of quills in the Great Lakes area was and continues to be on birch bark baskets.
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