Youth honor past, look to future

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Elaine Newton comments on how Jimmy Newton Jr. enjoyed helping the youth.
Vice Chairwoman, Lorelei Cloud welcomes the youth in attendance at the Jimmy Newton Youth Leadership Conference held on July 20 at Ignacio High School.
Elaine Newton, mother of the late Chairman Jimmy Newton Jr. welcomes the youth in attendance of the Jimmy Newton Youth Leadership Conference held at Ignacio High School on Wednesday, July 20.
Youth guest speaker, Jerrika Rarick tells the youth about why Chairman Jimmy Newton Jr. was her hero.
SunUte Community Center Fitness Director, Robin Duffy-Wirth works with the youth on figuring out their “Social Styles” and how to deal with each style.
Councilman Tyson Thompson helps Richard Joseph lift and push a tire, which weighed more than 100 pounds. Thompson was a part of the Be Strong, Mind, Body and Future session, which helped youth, get their hearts pumping.
Another part of the Be Strong, Mind, Body and Future session was doing rope work. Abel Velasquez, Fitness Trainer for SunUte Community Center helped the youth get some cardio in while making it a fun game.
The Southern Ute Environmental Programs Division did a session with the youth called Methane Bubbles and Climate Change. The session informed students about greenhouse gases and methane. Also showed the youth a camera they work with that detects temperatures.
Lorenz Wilbourn smiles as he participates in a game called machine presented by Durango Dot Comedy and SUCAP as they had students come out of their comfort zone and participate in a session called Fun With Others.
Trae Siebel talks to attendees about perseverance and setting goals to accomplish.
Sam Burch performs with Yellow Jacket drum group as Elaine Newton and Beth Santistevan watch on.
Lexy Young and D’Vondra Garcia attend the Health Care & Hands On Pharmacy Compounding class. Participants made a healing ointment out of crushed Smarties and petrolatum.
Allisianna Baker crushes smarties in a bowl in order to make a healing ointment.
Robin Duffy-Wirth, SunUte Community Center Fitness Director talks about different social skills and human interaction.
Deanna Frost, director of Shining Mountain Health and Wellness, discusses the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
Abel Velasquez, SunUte fitness trainer, talks with youth participants about staying healthy with exercise.
Don Folsom, community resource officer, talks about various ways to create a safe environment.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
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Students from the three Ute tribes, and other local Native youth, convened at Ignacio High School to participate in a conference that was focused on the youth and their futures.

The 2016 Jimmy Newton Jr. Youth Leadership Conference was held Wednesday, July 20 and consisted of breakout sessions and motivational speakers that all focused on this year’s theme, “Honoring the Past for our Future”.

The conference has been held in remembrance of the late Southern Ute Tribal Chairman Jimmy R. Newton Jr., who passed away while in office in 2014.

Chairman Newton is remembered for his love for children, culture and community. And it is with this conference that his vision of educating and supporting all children is being kept alive.

“Jim was a big advocate for the youth,” Councilman Alex S. Cloud said. “We want to keep carrying on the visions and dreams of Jim.”

This year’s conference had about 150 attendees who all got to learn about what the late chairman did on behalf of the youth, tribe and community.

“I learned a lot from him,” Treasurer James M. Olguin said of his nephew, Jimmy. “Life is really short … be caring and compassionate.”

Elaine Newton, mother of Jimmy took the time to honor people who were special to Jimmy and helped him throughout his life. Among those recognized was the family of the late Orian Box.

Box took Jimmy under his wing when Jimmy was young and taught him about Ute culture and traditions, Elaine said.

Jimmy’s relationship with Box proved to be an example of this year’s theme. Jimmy was young when he became close to the elder who taught him about traditions and values. With Box’s teachings, Jimmy was able to grow up being involved with his culture, which also helped him reach his goal of becoming a leader of his people.

Jimmy was proud of being Ute and knowing his culture, his mother said.

“He was 14-years-old when he first Sun Danced,” Elaine said. “He learned the songs and who he was, he found himself. He was a Nuche and he was proud.”

After the recognitions and learning about the past leader, the youth got to enjoy a day filled with activities that were aimed to help them as they make their own journeys through life.

The youth were given a variety of breakout sessions to choose from that included social interactions, education, health, finances, and bullying – amongst many others.

The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council (SCSYAC) played an integral part in the planning and organizing of the conference. For the most part, the conference is put on by the youth for the youth – with help from family, Tribal Council, tribal departments and community organizations.

Chairman Newton swore in the first Youth Council and had high aspirations of what the council could be.

Today, the Youth Council is thriving; traveling around the country representing the tribe and tackling issues young people in the community face every day. Much of what Jimmy had envisioned of the Youth Council has become a reality.

 

 

 

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