technology continues to evolve, and the Uintah Basin sees perpetual
growth in population and businesses, Ute Indian Tribe leaders are
working to bring native people back to their roots by creating a
community garden and educating people about horses, hunting, Tipi
building and survival skills.
doesn't mean that we are returning to the blanket," said
Forrest Cuch, the adviser and co-founder of Rising American Indian
Nations. "It just means that we are taking the best of both
worlds, combining the best of both worlds."
is a non-profit organization that believes that American Indian
people will rise and provide leadership to the nation, Cuch said.
To help with that mission, he brought in several experts in horses,
survival skills, tipi building, archery and gardening to young people
during the week of June11.
encouraging American Indian people primarily the Ute's
at this point to return to their native diet which includes:
growing their own vegetables, preferably organic grown vegetables,"
he said. "But most importantly eating native foods, staying
away from the grocery store, more native fruits and vegetables,
including berries, more deer, elk, antelope, bison, (and getting)
planted a community garden in mid-June of beans, squash, tomatoes,
Hopi corn, blue and white corn and a variety of other vegetables
near 5000 East and 3000 North in Whiterocks.
Director of RAIN Shauna Engen said the organization will hold a
monthly cookoff during harvest season. They will demonstrate how
to cook with the food out of the garden, and then send people home
with the ingredients. The garden is supported by donations from
the Ute Indian Tribe.
said he believes that teaching the younger generation about gardening,
horses and other valuable skills "will take (native people)
away from the negative technologies, television, the influences
of alcohol and drugs and move away from those destructive influences."
Landolphy with Red Horse Nations and Mary Lee Brighton of Windhorse
Relations instructed youth about how to bond with horses. Their
visit was not about riding the horse, but experiencing being with
goes beyond words," Brighton said in trying to explain how
she lets students get close to horses and pet and hug them. "You
have to have that experience to feel that. When you do it gives
you an awareness that stays with you for the rest of your life and
you look at a situation differently."
agreed about it being an experience.
think in our society we're always thinking control first and
this is connection first. Connection over control," Lanolphy
of the things that we all, myself included, suffer from is utilitarianism,
something has to be utilized in order to be valuable, and as opposed
to just being," she said. "Just being with a horse is
enough, and yet we always have to do something like ride it or it
has to perform, or it has to do something.
said during that week, they were "just with them."
we had more relationships that were less utilitarian in our own
lives we would be happier," she said.
agreed saying, "it's not about breaking the spirit (of
the horse), it's about partnering and creating a willing relationship
with the spirit."
spiritual element was brought in with a group of survival skills
Villarreal, a volunteer visiting from Texas teaching survival skills,
said the difference between most outdoor survival skills teachers
and what he teachs is the spirituallity that exists.
said native people believe that everything on this earth is a gift
from the creator and people need to give back to nature and "walk
more in reverence of and appreciation of nature, that (has) been
gifted to us, not to be taken for granted."
and two other survival skills teachers with 4 Elemnts Earth Education
taught a group of people how to create a bow drill with sticks in
the area nearby, how to build a shelter, and how to find pure water.
more of a spiritual connection," said founder and director
of 4 Elements Rick Berry, "not fighting but trying to
blend with it."
said it's about showing reverence for the elements on the earth.
said if a person has to find pure water in the desert or mountains,
when they come back home, "they turn the faucet on they have
more reverence for it and they don't just take it for granted."
instructor with 4 Elements, Danielle Stanki said they teach people
survival skills so that they can become more confident and curious
about their surroundings.
said they try to encourage people to "go and find out for themselves,
try something different (and) try something new."
said with the creation of new technologies it's important not
to abandon them, but to incorporate them and use them to help you.
said it's a balance.
doesn't mean learn how to do into the woods and become a hermit
or anything, it's not all about that, but just teaching people
to create that bond with outdoors," Villarreal said.
agreed, and said that's why he brought in others, like Darren
Cuch, who taught students how to use a high-tech bow for archery,
Raphael Kanip to teach how to construct a tipi, and Nino Reyos to
instruct youth in how to play the flute.
us to survive and enjoy this life we need to do something really
important and that is, we need to keep what is really good in our
own culture and take the best of what the white man has to offer,"
Cuch said. "If you interpret that to today's ways, it
would be avoid the alcohol and drug and pollution and the bad food
and all that junk, but take the good technology, the education,
the knowledge the history all the information that makes us more
knowledgeable, educated people, take the best of both worlds."
information about RAIN and the community garden in Whiterocks, visit
www.rainutah.org or call 801-768-4336
or email Shauna Engen at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call her at 801-651-0539. Forrest Cuch can be reached at 385-232-5979.