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Rose Yazzie is a cultural educator/mentor at Sacred Paths Family Programs at the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake City (UICSL), Utah, who will be using her $1,040 grant to form a monthly book club focusing on books by indigenous authors or about indigenous experiences that will be paired with cultural activities and reflection on their own tribal identities.
By facilitating this program with UICSL she hopes to create a sense of community that may be difficult to build across schools in the Salt Lake valley and hopes to bring students together in this central location. Students in this program may be facing financial, travel, and other access issues to texts written by Indigenous authors. The book club would also provide critical thinking and cultural activities for each book and facilitate reflections on their own tribal identities and history.
This program is a resource needed to help students and families begin to create their own libraries of books written by and showing indigenous people like them. Costs of books can be a major barrier for our students and for many accessing the public library is also not an option. By reading together and keeping these books students can begin to locate authors and genres they may be interested in and internalize being a reader as a part of their identity.