Chief Tahgee students with NAMMY winner Conrad Benally and his daughter Mary.
By LACEY WHELAN
FORT HALL –Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy celebrated Native American Heritage Month with an assembly and also having Native American Music Awards winner Conrad Benally and his daughter Mary sing for them.
The students were awarded for many accomplishments and also participated in a round dance.
Conrad Benally received a blanket and also a medallion from the CTEA and Roseanne Abrahamsen let him know she was proud of him and also that more Native people should honor each other.
Conrad sang one of Mary’s favorite songs “Sweet Melodies” as well. After he finished singing, an unidentified student sang a song for Conrad. Conrad thanked him for singing the beautiful song and said hearing the young man sing made him proud and also proud of where he comes from.
Conrad encourages the young man and all the students to keep going. “Don’t let nothing or anybody discourage you from reaching your goals and your dreams. Keep moving forward.” Conrad also said he takes his daughter Mary Benally along with him to show her his accomplishments, and hopes one day she can also achieve her own.
Conrad Benally (right) with his daughter Mary (center) and a local student who
sang for Conrad.
Seven students were awarded for being there since the school opened; they include Lashena Irwin, Ahmari Cherry, Aiden St. Clair, Skylee Osborne, Analiyah Farmer, J.J. Sanchez and Roshelle Tavo. Pam Davis presented the students with certificates as well as medallions.
She also presented Abrahamsen with a wool bag, along with presenting Tyson Shay, a beaded pen. Davis encouraged him to keep writing. The students also played a trivia game where they were encouraged to answer in Shoshone and were rewarded with prizes. Many of the boys lined up to show the length of their braids — Abrahamsen praised them saying how the boys should be proud of their hair and how it showed respect for their ancestors and family.
After the awards were given out all the students participated in a round dance that was sung by Medicine Thunder.
BLACKFOOT (AP) — A Blackfoot man accused of killing an 18-month-old boy has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
Prosecutors say 22-year-old Jesus Adan Castillo struck Zachary Tendoy in the head and abdominal area causing injuries that led to the boy's death on March 25. Tendoy was the son of Castillo’s girlfriend.
According to court records, Castillo told investigators he “heel-kicked'' Tendoy in the stomach, shook him multiple times and hit him as hard as he could.
Doctors compared the injuries the boy sustained during the attack to injuries from a 70 mph (113 kph) car accident.
Castillo had initially pleaded not guilty to Tendoy's death, but changed his plea to guilty Wednesday.
He faces a minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
His sentencing is scheduled for January 22.