indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Lakota student earns space camp scholarship

Filed Under: Education | National | Technology
More on: native sun news, oglala sioux, south dakota, space camp, youth
   

The following story was written and reported by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.


Calletano “Tano” Fillspipe-Rodriguez, 10, is the first Oglala Lakota to be selected for a spot at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. PHOTO COURTESY/ELLEN FILLSPIPE

Red Cloud student reaches for the stars, makes history
Youth first Oglala Lakota to attend Space Camp

By Karin Eagle
Native Sun News Staff Writer

OGLALA, SOUTH DAKOTA –– Native Americans in the space and robotics field are rare.

A young Native being selected to join the prestigious field is even more rare. However, an Oglala Lakota youth is making his presence known among his people with just such an accomplishment.

Calletano “Tano” Fillspipe-Rodriguez, 10, a soon-to-be fifth-grader at Red Cloud Middle School on the Pine Ridge Reservation, was recently awarded a Spencer Proffer Scholarship to attend Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., this summer.

The Spencer Proffer Scholarship is a full scholarship for tuition and room and board offered to Native American students only. This was a highly competitive selection, with only 12 students being selected. In order to be considered for one of these 12 slots, Fillspipe-Rodriguez had to submit a 30-second video introducing himself and explaining why he deserved this opportunity.

“My big sister Gabby and my brother Bishop, also students at Red Cloud, used to go to NASA camps at our old school. Even though I was only (in) kindergarten, I really wanted to go. But their teachers said I had to wait till I was (in) fifth grade,” Fillspipe-Rodriguez explains. “I always liked space and the stars and wanted to learn more about them. I always looked for space camps. The scholarship link said ‘Space Camp,’ but when I got accepted they gave me a chance to choose between space camp, space and robotics, or space and aviation. I picked space and robotics because I love robots and want to learn more about them and how to program them.”

The camp accepts only 25 students, with 12 going to Aboriginal Canadian and/or Native American students between the ages of 9-11 who have a passion for space, exploring, learning and leadership. This year, seven students are from the United States and five are from Canada.

Fillspipe-Rodriguez will be attending the camp from July 22-27.

“I will get the chance to (simulate) rescue astronauts from the International Space Station; will work to design and program the ultimate robot; do simulations and space missions; do some robotics, designing and engineering; work on teamwork; take part in the Legos robotics competition and do some astronaut simulations,” he said.

When speaking about what he will find most exciting about his adventure, Fillspipe-Rodriguez replied, “I’ve never been on a plane before. I’m looking forward to working on the robots and doing the Lego competition. And we get the chance to be an extra in a major box office movie about Space Camp. My brother said, ‘First, Space Camp? So now he’s going to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a movie star?’

” “I hope next year more Red Cloud kids could go. I think it would’ve been fun to take someone from my school with me,” he said.

Fillspipe-Rodriguez explains his plans for his future, saying, “When I grow up, I want to go into engineering and work in aeronautics. I saw a picture of a Lakota man that works there now. I want to be the next Oglala Lakota to work for NASA.”

He decided to make sure people would remember him, so he submitted his video in Lakota, with subtitles so non-speakers could understand what he was saying.

The youth had the help of his mother, Ellen Fillspipe, and Matt Rama, Red Cloud High School’s then-multimedia teacher.

Translated to English, he said in his video: “Good day. I am Red Buffalo Cap. My English name is Calletano Cruz Rodriguez. I am 10 years old, and I am an Oglala Lakota. I am of the Two Bulls family. I go to Red Cloud School. In my culture, we show respect to our family and our people by telling others who we are and where we come from. I am a fourth-grader from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Since I was little, I have loved the stars and wanted to work amongst them. I have waited for a chance like this my whole life. I want to be the one of the few Oglala Lakotas to work for NASA and maybe share my culture’s beliefs of the stars and why the stars and space are so important and fascinating for me and the Native people. Thank you for offering chances like this. Pilamiya ye, mitakuye oyasin (Thank you, my relatives).”

On June 2, Fillspipe-Rodriguez received confirmation via email that he was a recipient of a full scholarship for Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, to be used in the months of June, July or August.

As far as the staff of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center are aware, he is the only Oglala Lakota to ever be selected to attend Space Camp.

“I want to show the people and the other kids at the Space & Rocket Center how important the stars are to the Lakota and share some of our culture’s stories with them,” said Fillspipe-Rodriguez. “I can’t wait to go. I’m really excited.”

“I want to say thank you to my mom for finding this and helping me translate and to my Uncle Matt Rama for helping me with the subtitles. Our council lady, Valerie Janis, and the (Oglala Sioux Tribe) Finance Committee helped with some of my lab fees and some spending money. But Mason Big Crow, he’s our treasurer for the tribe, he got my plane ticket. I’m so grateful to him, especially.”

“There’s just my mom and us four kids. My sister Gabby, 16, went to study at Georgetown University at their Summer Biomedical Science Institute for a month. My other sister, Bella, 12, always goes to the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in the summers to study engineering and computers. And my brother Braedon lives basketball and helps our grandpa, Wilmer Mesteth, with the Sun Dance in the summers and helps our grandma and babysits.”

Fillspipe-Rodriguez is the youngest of four children and comes from the Lakeside Community in Oglala. His grandparents are Joan Two Bulls-Decker and the late Edwin Fills the Pipe. His great-grandmothers are Rebecca Jumping Eagle and the late Eleanor Broken Nose-Slow Bear. He comes from the Two Bulls-Broken Nose-Looks Twice-Jumping Eagle tiyospayes.

(Contact Karin Eagle at staffwriter2@nsweekly.com)

Copyright permission by Native Sun News www.nsweeekly.com


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Disputed leaders of Nooksack Tribe hit by Supreme Court decision (4/27)
Indigenous activists make presence known for climate march in DC (4/27)
Interior Department announces $5.7M in tribal preservation grants (4/27)
Mark Trahant: Senate candidate cites Standing Rock as 'awakening' (4/27)
Native Sun News Today: Battle over Whiteclay liquor just beginning (4/27)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Why are we still dealing with racism today? (4/27)
Albert Bender: Navajo family still waiting on justice for loved one (4/27)
Whiteclay liquor stores win surprise court ruling on liquor licenses (4/27)
Dakota Access firm faces fines for two spills of drilling fluid in Ohio (4/27)
Gathering of Nations gets ready for annual powwow in new venue (4/27)
Secretary Zinke lacks leadership team more than a month into job (4/27)
Republicans seek to avoid shutdown with temporary spending bill (4/27)
Supreme Court ruling seen as benefit to casino bus crash lawsuit (4/27)
Mashantucket Tribe charges off-duty officer for assault at casino (4/27)
Trump singles out Bears Ears as an 'abuse' of government's power (4/26)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Let's call Columbus by what he truly was (4/26)
Native Sun News Today: Lakota youth set up beekeeping business (4/26)
Cronkite News: Trump seeks to hire thousands of border officers (4/26)
Doug Pibel: New film teaches us about value of indigenous seeds (4/26)
Jenn Weddle: 'Best possible result' from court in sovereignty case (4/26)
Peter d'Errico: Oneida architect offers indigenous approach to law (4/26)
Whiteclay liquor stores aim to stay open pending fight for licenses (4/26)
Support for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leads to recall in Alaska city (4/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe loses appeal in federal recognition lawsuit (4/26)
Police use tear gas & rubber bullets at indigenous protest in Brazil (4/26)
Mohegan Tribe wants gaming disputes resolved in judicial system (4/26)
Supreme Court hands defeat to tribal interests in sovereignty case (4/25)
Matthew Fletcher: 'Gamesmanship' brings defeat in Supreme Court (4/25)
Supreme Court relists petition in Gun Lake Tribe gaming land case (4/25)
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute team wins NASA prize (4/25)
Former top Bureau of Indian Affairs official joins Washington firm (4/25)
Native Sun News Today: Groups fight uranium mining in Black Hills (4/25)
Cronkite News: Budget deadline falls on Donald Trump's 100th day (4/25)
Mary Annette Pember: Indian Child Welfare Act heals our families (4/25)
André Cramblit: Tribes must make language survival a top priority (4/25)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.