Produced by McNary High School senior, Communications Intern Coal Bach

November is Native American Heritage Month and this is a time for us all to honor the diverse heritage and culture of the Native American community. The district encourages everyone to learn about tribal lands, customs and cultures to celebrate and honor the rich diversity of our SKPS community.

As Native American Heritage Month comes to a close, we are spotlighting McNary High School senior, Monica Barrios-Arredondo.

I’m Monica Barrios-Arredondo, a senior at McNary High School, and I’m the daughter of Juan Jr. Arredondo. I’m a part of two tribes: Blackfoot and Cocopah.

I am proud of the richness of my culture and have a huge appreciation for my parents for teaching me about our history. I decided to participate because I don’t want other people that don’t have knowledge of this topic to give out wrong information. My roots are strong in my heritage.

I want everyone to know that my culture is all about building community and sharing our stories. Two key things I want to share with our community about my culture are:

Many tribes cut their hair while grieving the death of an immediate family member, or to signify a traumatic event/major life change. This represents the time spent with the loved one who has passed and it’s the ending/new beginning.

Powwows are one way we build community in my culture. I recommend everyone try frybread, which is flat dough, fried or deep fried. This is often shared at powwows and it’s amazing. I highly suggest trying it.