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Native Sun News Today: School donates to Northern Cheyenne elders and youth

Northern Cheyenne tribal members with gifts from the Lippon School. Photo by Clara Caufield

Jewish school donates blankets and coats to Northern Cheyenne
By Clara Caufield
Native Sun News Today Correspondent

LAME DEER, Mont. –– For the second year, Chief Dull Knife College language and cultural instructor Burt Medicine Bull with the Cheyenne name of “Appearing” and his students on the Northern Cheyenne reservation had the opportunity to gift tribal elders and children with warm blankets and coats donated by the Lippon School in Ohio.

The gifts are part of a cultural exchange program between Chief Dull Knife College and the Lippon School, a Jewish school, which like CDKC emphasizes religious or traditional studies and language studies. The exchange program, in its sixth year, was initiated by long-time tribal lawyers, the Chestnut family from Seattle, Washington who are of the Jewish faith. Medicine Bull a follower of the traditional Cheyenne ways said “We have a lot of similarities with the Jewish people, especially our dedication to preserving our unique languages and cultures.”

Each year, CDKC sends ten 7th and 8th grade students from the reservation to the Lippon School for a week long cultural exchange project, an effort closely superintended by Medicine Bull. “We select students who are traditional dancers, academic achievers and good ambassadors for the Cheyenne people,” he said. “It gives them exposure to the outside world.”

In return, Lippon school students come to the Northern Cheyenne reservation for a week each spring. During their visit they attend a sweat lodge meet; tour local historical sites such as the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Deer Medicine Rocks and a historic buffalo jump; are introduced to the Tribal Council and even to bead working.

This year’s CDKC students who helped with the blanket and coat distribution included Anna Crow (White Buffalo Woman); Ghive Ortega (Day Woman) and Misty Hopfins (Yellow Hair Woman).

“We are very happy about the donations from our sister school, an expression of generosity which will be highly appreciated by those who receive these gifts,” Medicine Bull commented.

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