Deb Bickford, Secretary
Taking Care of the Children at Lillian Vallely SchoolMy name is Deb Bickford and many of you know me as the New England Bundle Keeper. I am deeply honored to be a member of the NCPC Board as it provides me with an opportunity to support the future of our dances as well as the restoration and preservation of the culture and traditions of the Great Basin people. Through my participation on the board I am meeting my own need to offer support and give back at a much deeper level. I am often reminded with the numerous requests that come in that the need is great and the support provided by the NCPC can create life changing opportunity.
Recently a request came from the Lillian Vallely School for crafting supplies for the children as they were creating regalia to wear for local gatherings and events. The school is located on the Fort Hall reservation and was opened in 1998. The children who attend the Lillian Vallely School learn academic subjects and are taught their native culture including the Shoshone language, dance, crafts and the Indian flute.
Their request for crafting supplies brought to mind how we can offer support to the children in reconnecting with their heritage and culture. The NCPC has sponsored a number of projects with the Lillian Vallely School including restoration of the school tipi, supporting a school Pow-wow and the hiring of a teacher to teach the children how to make flutes and play them. In addition the NCPC purchased a large drum for the school and has contributed or purchased a number of books on Native Culture. Recently, the board unanimously agree to provide a donation of $300.00 in order to support the project. I also connected with the school and offered a donation of craft supplies. The School Director, Cathy McDaniel, expressed deep appreciation for the donation on behalf of the children. This one request reminded me of why I am so grateful to be on the NCPC Board. To provide opportunity for children to reconnect with their roots and move into their future while maintaining their culture.