EAC Intertribal Club Recognized for Community Service, Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
Photo by Monique Saldana/EAC: From left to right, EAC President Todd Haynie, EAC Alumnus Preston Kenton, United National Indian Tribal Youth Executive Director, EAC Alumnus Mary Kim Titla and San Carlos Apache Tribal Council member David Nozie participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
By Kris McBride/EAC
Thatcher – More than 40 members of Eastern Arizona College’s Intertribal Club were honored at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and luncheon to officially open two high-visibility crosswalks on the college’s Thatcher campus. Intertribal Club members have also been recognized for promoting and modeling diversity and inclusion and for respecting each other’s contributions.
The event began with club member Trinette Begay welcoming San Carlos Apache Tribal Councilor David Nozie; Mary Kim Titla, Native American youth advocate and former television news anchor, school administrator, and member of the EAC Intertribal Club; Juan Carlos Erickson, Director of Corporate External Communications at Nature Sweet; Todd Haynie, EAC President; and other college administrators.
“Because of their proposal, these areas have been transformed into high-visibility crosswalks that include warning signs, enhanced strips and curb extensions,” Haynie said. “The contributions of the Intertribal Club benefit everyone. They are constantly focused on the greater good, something that is needed more than ever.
The Eastern Arizona College Intertribal Club is one of the College’s oldest and most active student organizations. Since the early 1970s, the Intertribal Club has empowered hundreds of students by raising awareness of Indigenous cultures and enhancing college access and success. The club exemplifies ABC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by welcoming all individuals.
“The Intertribal Club is the essence of the EAC’s diversity and inclusion goals. Membership is open to all EAC students. In their words, ‘we appreciate who you are, different is cool, show yourself!’”
Mary Kim Titla also commended club members for their contributions to the College campus. She thanked the EAC and Intertribal Club sponsor James Pryor for providing Native American students with a path to success.
“Creating a community on campus for Native American students is so important,” Titla said. “Indigenous students face many unique challenges. I had many mentors at EAC who took the time to really get to know me. One was called Paul Phelps, an instructor who saw a spark in me and recognized my love for storytelling. He encouraged me to change my major from primary education to journalism.
During a lunch after the dedication ceremony, Titla encouraged students to remember their ancestors, reflect on their own family history, and remember that everyone has a purpose and a role. As the descendant of three Apache chiefs, Titla highlighted the role her family played in her success.
“You are the hope of our people,” she said. “You must be ready to rise to the occasion and take on leadership roles within your community.”
Titla ended her comments by encouraging students to remember 10 two-letter words: “If it has to be, that’s up to me.” She said those words helped her throughout her life and told the students that if she could succeed, so could they.
The event ended with San Carlos Apache Tribal Council member David Nozie encouraging the students to keep moving forward and doing great work in their community.
“Life isn’t always easy, but never give up,” he said. “We need you to succeed. Not just for yourselves, not just for your families, but also for your communities. »
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