Wings of America 15th Annual American Indian Running Coaches’ Clinic

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Plate by Jemez Pueblo potter Bernice T. Gachupin

In June I had a great opportunity to speak at the Wings of America organization’s annual American Indian Running Coaches’ Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Wings of America exists to “enhance the quality of life for American Indian youth” by promoting running and pride in one’s “cultural identity.”

I spoke to a group of nearly 50 Native high school runners, and a number of coaches, including Hopi coach Rick Baker. I don’t often get a chance to speak to such a well-informed audience!

However, the highlight for me was listening to Hopi runner Wendi Lewis from Kykotsmovi, who gave a wonderful talk on running through the “trials and tribulations of life.”

Other presenters included Navajo scholar Lloyd Lee, Anthropologist Peter Nabakov, who once published a remarkable book entitled Indian Running, Jemez Pueblo runner Steve Gachupin, and many others.

Although I was not able to listen to Steve Gachupin’s talk, I have great respect for him as a runner.

Known for winning six consecutive Pikes Peak Marathons in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he is a strong advocate for running among Native youth.

I first learned about Gachupin and his running accomplishments from an excellent article by historian Brian S. Collier  entitled “’To Bring Honor to My Village’: Steve Gachupin and the Community of Jemez Running and the Pikes Peak Marathon” (Journal of the West, Fall 2007).

If you are at all interested in running, be sure to read this article (it’s an article that I often cite in my work).

I should also note that the beautiful plate above was given to everyone who presented at the Clinic. It was made by Jemez Pueblo potter Bernice Gachupin, Steve Gachupin’s wife.

Finally, I want to give a special thanks to Wings of America Program Director Dustin Quinn Martin and other organizers for their hard work in making this terrific event possible.

Kwakwha’!

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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and a Dean's Fellow and Conrad Humanities Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Foreword to Kevin Whalen’s Native Students at Work: American Indian Labor and Sherman Institute’s Outing Program, 1900-1945

A Second Wave of Hopi Migration (History of Education Quarterly, August 2014)

Sun Chief: An Autobiography of A Hopi Indian by Don C. Talayesva, New foreword by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Sept. 2013)

Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912 (Western Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2012). Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, Western Writers of America (2013)

“Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930”, American Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1, March Issue 2010 (Click image to download article)

Hopi runner Philip Zeyouma’s trophy cups featured on cover of American Quarterly

Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010)

Education beyond the Mesas – Introduction (click image to download)

“‘The Hopi Followers’: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909”, Journal of American Indian Education, (Click image to download article)

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images From Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012)

Arizona English Teachers Association highlights Hopi authors (click image to download)

Constitution and Bylaws of the Hopi Tribe (With all amendments, click to download)

Click to listen to KUYI On-Line

Matt’s Goodreads

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