September 15th, 2015 Last Updated on: January 20th, 2016
DK: You're so radiant! Please introduce yourself to us?
ES: My name is Elizabeth Thiyozanzan Mato Najin.
DK: Such a gorgeous name! Would you please tell us what your name means?
ES: My name means Standing Bear Light in the Lodge.
DK: Lovely! Sure does suit you! How old are you now?
ES: I'm 9 years old.
DK: Oh, it's fun to be nine! Share your tribal heritage with us please?
ES: I am federally recognized with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sicangu Oyate. I am also Oglala and part Navajo.
DK: What a noble legacy! How do you live out your culture in your life?
ES: I dance Northern Traditonal Cloth and one day want to Dance northern Traditional buckskin when my mom makes me one.
DK: Excellent! We love seeing young people walk in the traditional ways! What do you like about your dancing?
ES: What I like about my dance is that my great grandmother danced these categories.
What I also like best is that I can wear Traditonal beaded designs that my mom beaded for me.
DK: Great reasons to dance! I am thrilled that you are honoring your ancestors by dancing and wearing your mom's creations. Your beautiful mother made my jingle dress and my moccasins, so I know how magnificent Rhonda Standing Bear Kozma's talent truly is! How did you choose your dance style?
ES: I chose this dance style because as soon as I saw a picture of my great grandmother that I was named after, Elizabeth “Neva” Standing Bear Light in the Lodge, I wanted to be just like her. That's how I chose my dance style. My grandpa Calvin Standing Bear says that back in the day when the men came back from battle the women had a dance for them, Traditonal Dance. They wore buckskin dresses, later they wore cloth.
DK: Thank you so much for teaching us about your dance style! It's so refreshing to see a young lady following in such honorable footsteps! How do you feel when you dance?
ES: When I dance at powwows I get nervous but when I start listening to the drum and the songs, I am not nervous anymore and I start to think of all my ancestors, my grandpa who is an Air Force Veteran and my dad Joseph who had also come home from the Army and I feel proud when I dance. Like I am dancing that they all came home from battle. I am happy to have my grandpa and my dad.
DK: Of course! I think it is delightful when youth appreciate Elders!
ES: I do! My grandpa says all my great grandfathers were all Chiefs. Chief Luther Standing Bear, Chief Henry Standing Bear and Chief Silas Standing Bear Light in the Lodge.
DK: Beauteous! As you carry on their traditions, what do you like best about powwows?
ES: What I like best about powwows is getting ready with my brother Eugene and my cousins to dance.
DK: Family is a fun part of every powwow! Is there anything you would tell other yonng people to inspire them to enter the circle too?
ES: I want to tell other young people that want to dance that it's good to learn now so we don't forget who we are.
DK: You are a beautiful soul! Anything else you want us to know about you?
ES: I am very thankful for my grandpa Calvin who helped me with my giveaway and my new friend Richard Goodface who honored me with plumes when I was brought into the powwow circle recently.
DK: Great! Thank you so much for sharing with us today!
ES: I was also honored to be the 2015 Denver Art Museum Powwow Head Girl! Wopila Tanka!
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