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Wed Dec 20 14:02:50 MST 2000

The Denver Post

What it means to be Arapaho(e)

Students get lesson in meaning behind high school mascot

Saturday, December 10, 1994


Page: B-01

Judith Brimberg

Denver Post Staff Writer

Caption: PHOTO: The Denver Post/John Leyba

[photo unavailable from archive]

CULTURE CLASS: The Arapaho Legion Post 84 color guard stands at attention
during gymnasium dedication ceremonies at Arapahoe High School yesterday.

LITTLETON - Arapahoe High School continued to strengthen its ties with the
Arapaho Indian Nation yesterday in a daylong exchange culminating in the
renaming of the high school gymnasium for Arapaho elder Anthony Sitting

Before the dedication assembly, which most of the school's 1,969 students
attended, tribal members discussed their history and spiritual beliefs with
students, who were curious about tribal language, schools, food and

Arapaho history never was written but rather was handed down by word of
mouth. So students in different classes received different accounts.

"I can only relate what was told to me," said Arapaho John Goggles, 50, a
Vietnam veteran who counsels teenagers released from alcohol and drug
treatment programs.

For example, while artist Mark Soldier Wolf, 68, maintained there are two
Arapaho languages, one masculine and one feminine, elder William C'Hair,
51, a teacher, characterized them as two delivery systems, "interchangeable
and understood by all." The pair also disagreed on the word for "hello."

Despite these differences, the Littleton students "know a lot more about
the Arapaho people than they did before," and the exchange promotes mutual
respect, Goggles said.

Fourteen months ago, the tribe agreed that the high school could keep its
"Warrior" mascot, provided one of their own artists, Wilbur Antelope,
redraw the logo to more accurately depict an Arapaho warrior. Soldier Wolf
was the model for the new logo.

The agreement included other provisions. As a result, 32 tribal members
were interns at the high school last summer, and some Littleton students
have been studying what life is like for the 5,000 tribe members who live
on Wyoming's Wind River Reservation.

"This is very good," said freshman J.P. Thorne, 15, as he watched a
ceremonial dance. "We get to see how they lived before we moved in and we
kicked them out."

One hundred thirty years ago, the Arapaho tribe wintered in what now is
Arapahoe County - which they called "Place of the Inn" - from their
original home in the Boulder-Estes Park area.

They were eventually pushed north to a much colder, 4,125-square-mile
reservation in west-central Wyoming and placed under federal government

Indian agents renamed some tribal members: The veteran whose Indian name
was Woxon became Goggles. And though the reservation has public schools and
Bureau of Indian Affairs contract schools, "You should be thankful for your
teachers and facilities. We don't have this," Soldier Wolf told a freshman
history class.

Students were enthusiastic about the visitors. "It was interesting to learn
how the different names came about," said Joanna Kemp, 15.

Tribal members reciprocated.

"This encourages us to come back again," Soldier Wolf said.

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