Mission Community Showcase
spotlights student talent and effort
Mission Elementary School students decked themselves out in duds
usually adorned by folks from other countries while they sang, "We are
the World" at the showcase. (B.L. Azure photo)
ST. IGNATIUS — The students of
the Mission school system got to strut their stuff Thursday evening at
the annual Mission Community Showcase. The annual event has grown over
the years to become a St. Ignatius social staple based on education. It
is much anticipated and very well attended. It is a great way to get
the school, students and community to walk hand-in-hand through the
halls of education. Parents and grandparents as well as the interested
public get exposure to the school’s programs, staff and student
Every class, every subject, every teacher and
every student gets involved in the Showcase. Student projects occupied
the walls of hallways and elementary, middle and high school classrooms
as well as the Dog House. Several high school seniors, for the fifth
year now gave presentations of their senior projects to the interested
Antoinette Yazzie presented her senior project. (B.L. Azure photo
Antoinette Yazzie was one of the seniors who gave
a presentation. It was about her experience in the summer Journey in
Creativity Program on the campus of the Oregon College of the Arts and
Crafts in Portland.
Yazzie said art has always been important in her
life. She started beading at a young age and her artistic curiosity
blossomed from that seed.
“I want to do pottery. I like hands-on work,” she
Yazzie was one of 16 students accepted in the
two-week summer arts program and was the first person from the Flathead
Indian Reservation to attend. Each year the summer art program picks an
artistic subject and all the students put their unique artistic
perspective on creation of the art piece. The main subject of the
summer arts program Yazzie attended was the art of the canoe.
Travis Dumont showed the public how to shoe a horse at the Mission
Schools Community Showcase. (B.L. Azure photo)
“It was very intense at Journeys in Creativity,”
Yazzie said, adding that the 16 high school age participants came from
throughout the world. “I didn’t want to go at first because it costs a
lot of money.”
However, once she began fund raising to defray
costs of attendance she began to get excited about the opportunity that
lay before her. “Three months before I was supposed to go I started to
raise funds,” she said. “I raised $1,000 the first week. The Tribal
Council donated some money too and let me display my works at the fall
After that there was no turning back.
While in Oregon at the summer art program Yazzie,
among other things, made a carving knife, a carved wooden canoe model
with sail, and carved a traditional canoe paddle.
“Working on my project was really cool,” she said.
The annual Mission Schools Community Showcase was a hair-raising
experience for many folks including this young one. (B.L. Azure photo)
Yazzi and the other students at the summer
program had to attend numerous lectures and conducted research field
trips. Her research subject was the construction of a model of a
traditional Salish canoe and paddle as well as an optional sail. They
also began the traditional construction of a full-sized (21-foot)
The artwork created at the program was displayed
at the Grande Ronde Reservation in Oregon, the Smithsonian National
Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the Oregon
Historical Museum. Yazzie’s works were also displayed at the Peoples
Center and last week at the Community Showcase.
The foreign food table was very popular with everyone at the Mission
“It was great to have the opportunity to have our
artwork displayed at the Smithsonian,” Yazzie said, adding that she and
other students got to go to the Nation’s capital to view their work at
“Doing this has been a very amazing experience,”
And so was the annual Mission Community Showcase.
Amazing, very amazing.