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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    American Indians find peace with move to Kaibab

    American Indian students have found a new home at the Kaibab-Huachuca Residence Hall after last year’s stabbing death at Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall.

    Both the victim, freshman Mia Henderson, and the accused, freshman Galareka Harrison, were part of the now-relocated American Indian First-Year Scholars program aimed at helping American Indian students through their first year of college.

    “”The Native American program has been relocated to Kaibab-Huachuca primarily because the program had outgrown its space in Graham-Greenlee,”” said Jim Van Arsdel, assistant vice president of Residence Life University Housing.

    “”The program has been growing over the last few years, and in order to allow it to grow, they moved it to a location with bigger wings,”” he said.

    Amanda Tachine, the interim director of Native American Students Affairs, agreed and said, “”Our move was because of the growth of the program, and it was planned prior.””

    When asked if the program would have been moved to Kaibab-Huachuca after the stabbing at Graham-Greenlee even if there had been no prior plans of moving, she declined to comment.

    “”They told us (we were moving) out of respect for our culture, because that’s a huge part or who we are,”” said American Indian student Brittany Gene, a nutritional sciences sophomore and former resident of Graham-Greenlee.

    “”Any time there is a death, (that place) becomes a grave,”” said Henry Bennally, a Navajo medicine man. “”That dwelling becomes off limits to us Native Americans.””

    Former residents of Graham-Greenlee said the day after the stabbing, there were ceremonies done in the dorm room.

    “”We lived there for the rest of the semester, and that was kind of difficult, just walking back and forth (in front of that room),”” Gene said. “”But I think eventually people would have gotten over it, as far as people in the program. But I’m not too sure about the incoming freshmen.””

    Tachine declined to comment on whether the move was culturally sensitive to American Indian traditions.

    “”(The move) would have happened regardless,”” Van Arsdel said.

    “”(The move to Kaibab-Huachuaca) is nice. Everyone is really welcoming there,”” Gene said. “”The community is aware of it, and they understand what happened. “”They know about the issues we have,”” Gene added. “”We haven’t really talked about it; it’s still kind of sensitive.””

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