County 10 reports that the Northern Arapaho Revitalization and Cultural Preservation Organization is hosting two Arapaho language camps this summer!
The first session starts July 22-24 at the Wind River Tribal College in Ethete, WY. The second camp is August 11-13 at the St. Stephens Mission. Starting at 8 am, participants will learn the Arapaho language from fluent community elders in an immersion style setting where the use of English will be limited. Giving tribal members a chance to learn from their elders in a setting that speaks to their traditions is the driving force behind the camps, organizer Stephen Fasthorse said.
“It’s an opportunity to learn more about their identity as Arapaho people,” he said. “The language camp experience will foster growth and help the students realize what makes us unique as Arapaho.”
Throughout the day, students will weave through different workshops where they will learn about Arapaho songs and dances, proper protocol and life ways, beadwork, tribal history, storytelling, regalia construction, arts and crafts, teepee set up, horsemanship, food preparation, traditional games and gardening. At the core of each session is the use of language and vital it is to passing on these traditions, Fasthorse said.
“It all ties back to the language and how important it is,” he said.
In its second year, Fasthorse said, they are expecting over 300 students to attend this year’s camp. Free to the public, forms for participants to preregister for the camps are available at the 789 Smokeshop & Casino, Arapaho Immersion School and the Wind River Tribal College. Breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information or to volunteer for the event please contact Stephen Fasthorse at (307) 840-5772, Eugene Ridgley Jr., at (307) 840-4494 or Marlin Spoonhunter at (307) 335-8243.