11th annual Page-Lake Powell Balloon Regatta kicks off this week

By Krista Allen
Western Agency Bureau

PAGE, Ariz., Oct. 28, 2013

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Every year, Dá’deestł’in Hóstaa, hosts a balloon festival, attracting nearly 50 hot air balloons and their pilots, from across the country, for four days of flying, educational programs at the local schools, and not to mention the balloon glow and street fair.

The attraction is flying over Page and the Navajo Nation with views of the majestic Jádí Tó, Lake Powell, Navajo Mountain, and Tower Butte.

The 11th annual Page-Lake Powell Balloon Regatta kicks off Thursday with Education Day, an illuminating program that several of the balloonists from the rally will take part in to teach students in the Page Unified School District about how hot-air balloons work and how they fly.

The balloon regatta continues on Friday at 7 a.m. during the Media Flight Day on the Regatta Fields along U.S. Highway 89. 

The event will peak on Saturday at the Regatta Street Fair on the Elm Street Mall parking lot where there will be a beer garden, live music, games and carnival rides. A balloon glow will take place that evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. down South Navajo. 

The event will conclude Sunday morning with a Crew Appreciation Day on the Regatta Fields. 

Nearly 60 hot air balloons will participate in this year’s Page-Lake Powell Balloon Regatta. Spectators may park off U.S. 89 near the field entrance on black top.

Navajo Star Wars makes stop in Okla.

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK - The Navajo version of “Star Wars” continues to attract audiences nationwide.

The movie is going to be shown in Norman, Okla. on Oct. 30 at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and already the museum staff there is expecting to see a lot of Native Americans in their audience.

“I want t to be a fun event for the native community,” said Mary Lynn, associate curator for Native American languages.

The translation of the classic film was done two years ago through efforts of Manny Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum. Since then it has been shown a number of times at Navajo tribal fairs and events and is now being shown in areas that has a large native population.

As always, under the agreement with Lucas Films, admission is free and the showing of the film is being done not only to encourage the learning of the Diné language among tribal members, but also to raise awareness among those outside the Native community to the fact that Navajo and other tribal languages are thriving languages.

The translated film debuted Oct. 4 at Arizona State University in Tempe. Its screening tour is scheduled to stop in other locations in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, California and Washington, D.C., through Nov. 9. Visit the Navajo Nation Museum's Facebook page for more information: www.facebook.com/NavajoNationMuseum.

NM District games underway

By Sunnie Clahchischiligi
Navajo Times

SHIPROCK – District football season is officially underway in northern New Mexico.

Local teams have put in their first couple of games that could take them into the playoffs. This year, Navajo Prep dominates District 5-2A as they lead with a record of 2-0.

Prep defeated both district opponents Newcomb and Cuba for their undefeated record. Prep won both games with a score of 50-0.

Despite their strong start to the post season, Navajo Prep head coach Rod Denetso said his team must stay focus in the chance that other teams could show up better than they were in the regular season.

“We treat every game as if it’s a playoff game from here on out,” Denetso said.

Laguna Acoma leads District 1-2A with a record of 3-0. In District 1-3A Shiprock and Bloomfield share the lead with a 1-0 record apiece. Farmington and Piedra Vista lead District 1-4A each with a 1-0 record.

Read more in this week’s edition of the Navajo Times.

IHS offers user friendly website for Native people

WINDOW ROCK – The Indian Health Service has launched a user-friendly webpage on our IHS.gov website to help American Indians and Alaska Natives better understand and take advantage of the potential benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the Health Marketplaces, according to an IHS press release.

The webpage - www.ihs.gov/ACA - addresses issues such as eligibility determination, dependents coverage, cost-sharing exemptions, and the marketplace application process. It also has links to important additional resources for American Indian and Alaska Natives about the Affordable Care Act.

“These new benefits could mean more services for individuals and the communities we serve,” the release says. “So we’re encouraging every uninsured American Indian and Alaska Native to explore Healthcare.gov to see what benefits are available to them and consider enrolling in the Marketplaces. We hope this new webpage will help make this process easier and more understandable.”

Town hall allows parents to offer ideas to improve NM public schools

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

GALLUP - A town hall on education held in Gallup Oct. 24 attracted more than 60 people - mostly Navajo - who came to talk about problems in state public schools and how the schools could be changed.

One of the problem that came up during the discussion were problems that minority students, which includes Native Americans and Hispanics, have in taking tests because of language barriers.

Jennie Rodgers, a Navajo parent, said one of the problems she saw was the way the schools in this area treat Native American parents whose children have problems in the classrooms.

She told of her experience when her son had problems at one of the schools public school system. When she was called in to talk to the principal, she said she was treated as if she was a criminal.

She said that Native parents have had a long history of being traumatized by the school system.

Another participant, Vern Lee, who said he had nine children who have gone through the system, said he didn’t think that the schools here were addressing the issue of culture, especially when it comes to the area of testing.

He said tests do not give an accurate indication of what Native American students are learning because the schools rely solely on tests. The school system ignores other areas that students - especially Native American students - excel in.

The Public Broadcasting System in the state sponsored the town hall.

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