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Students share work with community

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ST. IGNATIUS — From making a film to restoring a Harley Davidson to researching family ancestry, St. Ignatius students studied a lot more than reading, writing and arithmetic this school year. And they had a chance to show off their new skills and completed projects at the school’s annual community showcase last Thursday.

The evening kicked off with a free spaghetti dinner in the school cafeteria with senior project presentations running simultaneously. To graduate from Mission High School, students are required to complete an extensive project — usually in an area the student is particularly interested in or that benefits the community — along with a research paper explaining their work. 

Senior Antoinette Yazzie was one of several students who presented their projects to teachers and family members during the community showcase. For her project, Yazzie attended the A. Susana Santos' Journeys in Creativity program — a two-week Native American art workshop at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Ore. — along with 15 other high school students from around the country. There she made a Salish canoe paddle and a miniature canoe, all carved by hand. 

“The hands-on things they do there are amazing,” Yazzie said.

Yazzie said she’s been interested in art since middle school, and plans to study art and silversmithing at Salish Kootenai College.

“My mom and dad have been my most inspiration with art,” she noted.
Yazzie also attributed her love for Native American art to her Auntie Marie, who helped teach Yazzie the importance of her Native heritage.
“If it wasn’t for her, I never would have had this chance,” Yazzie said. “Art is important to me because it’s in my blood.”
The Journeys in Creativity workshop, while grueling at times, fueled Yazzie's passion for art and sculpture and left her with a sense of accomplishment.
"Our canoe models had to be my favorite part, because it was so challenging to me," she said.
Other senior presentation topics included exploring music education, video making, volleyball camp, domestic violence awareness, child development, Harley Davidson restoration, horse shoeing, glass blowing, career exploration and researching bloodline.
Younger students got in on the fun, too, showing their parents class projects from Yaya dolls in Aileen Plant's Native American studies class to the kindergartners' miniature hot air balloons modeled after Dr. Seuss' book Oh, the Places You'll Go. And another special presentation wound up the evening as students displayed their artistic abilities in a talent show.

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