Skip to main content

Tribal Nations Tour embarks on journey to San Carlos Apache reservation

Tribal Nations Tour participants
June 27, 2014

Arizona State University American Indian students and student athletes will continue the second leg of the Tribal Nations Tour when they travel to the San Carlos Apache reservation this weekend.

The Tribal Nations Tour brings ASU students and staff to Arizona’s Indian lands, where they learn about Native cultures and share in healthy activities. Offering a meaningful cultural exchange, the tour provides opportunities to interact with tribal members, encourage higher education and wellness, and work together on community service projects.

“The San Carlos Apache Tribe is pleased to host ASU American Indian students, student athletes and staff on June 28-29, 2014, at San Carlos to provide two days of fitness and community service activities in conjunction with our 2nd annual Summer Sports Camps organized and facilitated by the Boys and Girls Club of the Apache Nation,” said Terry Rambler, Chairman, San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Bringing programs to the reservation that benefit youth and emphasize healthy lifestyles is one aspect of a memorandum of understanding that was signed earlier this month between ASU and the San Carlos Apache Tribe. The agreement will also bring a college to the tribal nation.

This weekend’s adventures include young tribal members in the San Carlos Apache Summer Sports Camp taking a trip to ASU on Friday. San Carlos Apache youth will learn about what it takes to be ready for college and to be a student athlete. A tour of the university includes American Indian Student Support Services and Sun Devil Athletics facilities.

Rounding out the weekend as the Tribal Nations Tour travels to the reservation are activities such as working with the San Carlos Apache Summer Sports Camp, participating in community service projects, sharing experiences at a Summer Sports Camp assembly and a traditional Apache dinner and cultural exchange. On Sunday, there will be a “Running with the Sun Devils” 5k run and 2k walk, which will be a fundraising event for the San Carlos Apache Boys and Girls Club.

Last weekend’s Tribal Nations Tour took American Indian students, student athletes and staff to Hopi and Navajo lands. Students learned about traditional Hopi perspectives on running, enjoyed a Navajo meal, participated in a “Sun Devils 5k Run and 3k Walk” and learned about Navajo contemporary and traditional culture. They also met with the Hopi Opportunity Youth Initiative, enjoyed a Hopi dinner and learned about the tribe’s culture. The tour is coordinated by the ASU President’s Office of American Indian Initiatives.

"My experience with the Tribal Nations Tour in Tuba City and Moencopi was very rewarding. As a member of these communities, it was exciting to witness the interest of ASU athletes and Native students in our culture and traditions. To be a part of the planning process to make that event happen gave me a sense of accomplishment to be able to bring higher education back to my hometown," said Justin Hongeva, who is a member of the Hopi tribe and earning his master’s degree in American Indian Studies at ASU.

“The opportunity to engage with the Native American community through service projects and cultural exchanges gave the group an in-depth look and appreciation of the Native American culture,” said William Kennedy, ASU associate athletic director.

ASU has one of the highest American Indian student populations in the nation and is a leading university in the country for awarding graduate degrees to American Indian students. In addition, the Tribal Nations Tour was featured as a best practice at the National Indian Education Association Conference and the annual College Board conference.