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About Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current | View Entire Issue (March 15, 2017)
S moke S ignals
MARCH 15, 2017
Tribal Youth Council biographies
Hi, my name is Dominik Briant. I’m in the eighth
grade at Willamina Middle School and I am 13 years
old. I am an enrolled member of the Confederated
Tribes of Grand Ronde and I have lived in Grand Ronde
for most of my life. My parents are Shannon Simi and
Mark Briant. I have one sister, Kaleigha Simi, and one
brother, Drew Briant.
I have been playing sports since I was a little boy. I’m
the quarterback of my football team and the point guard
for my basketball team. I have also played lacrosse,
baseball and soccer, and I have wrestled. I enjoy most all sports, but football
and basketball are my favorites. Being involved with sports has taught me
leadership skills, to be a team player, to trust my other teammates and I have
gained friendships and adult mentors. Playing sports keeps me healthy and
active and helps me keep my grades up. Sports are what motivate me every
day. I live and breathe sports and my love for every game I play is strong.
I am also involved with the Future Farmers of America at my school and
I am a member of the National Junior Honor Society.
I attend a lot of cultural events and powwows as well as community events
and activities with my mom and my sister. I’m thankful for the opportunities
that the Tribe has provided for me, I enjoy attending Youth Education events
and trips. This past year I got to travel to New York City and participate
in the meteorite ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History.
As a member of Youth Council, I attended the Native Wellness Leadership
Academy Conference in San Diego.
My future plans are to attend the University of Oregon, to play on their
football or basketball team and to get a degree in Arts & Science. I would
also like to play in the NFL or NBA.
I’m thankful for this opportunity to be a role model and serve as a leader
to all youth in the community.
Hello, I am Isabelle Grout. I am 13 years old and I’m in
the eighth grade at Willamina Junior High. I have been
honored to serve my Tribe on the CTGR Royalty since
2009 and am currently Junior Miss Grand Ronde for
2016-17. Serving on Royalty has provided me with some
amazing opportunities and adventures; my favorite has
to be traveling to New York City and participating in
a ceremony with the meteorite Tomanowos on display
in the American Museum of Natural History. This past
year my family and I have gotten involved with our Ca-
noe Family. We even went on journey. It was such hard work, but it felt so
good to work as a team, sharing our songs with other Tribes and meeting
some great new friends. I already can’t wait for next year.
At school I participate in the SMILE program. SMILE stands for Science
& Math Investigative Learning Experiences and is a pre-college program
put on by Oregon State University.
I also help teach powwow dance classes to the kids in our community. It
is important to me to not only help preserve our culture for future genera-
tions, but also show our Elders that the future of the Tribe is in good hands.
I am so honored to join the Youth Council to further my leadership skills
and to be a voice for the youth in our Tribe.
I would like to thank the Tribe for continuing to offer these great experi-
ences and opportunities, and let you all know how lucky I feel to represent
you and my family in this capacity. Thank you for all your continued sup-
port and love.
Izaiah Fisher is Shasta and Tututni and enrolled in
the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. He is also of
Grand Ronde and Salish descent.
Izaiah is 15 years old and a freshman at Willamina
High School. He is a member of the Future Farmers of
America and the basketball team. Izaiah enjoys singing
with the Grand Ronde Canoe Family and dancing with
the Siletz Feather Dancers.
Aside from his extracurricular activities, he maintains
his grades and is on the honor roll. Izaiah served on the
Siletz Youth Council and is a member of the Grand Ronde Youth Council.
Izaiah plans to serve as a collective voice for the youth while planning
positive service projects within the community. Izaiah strives to be a posi-
tive role model for all youth. Also his mission is to bring the youth and the
community closer than it already is.
Hi, my name is Raven. I’m 16 years old and I’m a
junior at the Sheridan Japanese School. I am Alas-
kan-Native. I am fluent in Chinook and I’m currently
learning Japanese to prepare for my Japan trip in June
2017. I am a Native ambassador for WERNATIVE. I like
to play softball and I also volunteer at Yamhill Head
Start because when I’m older I plan to be a pediatrician.
I’m a Grand Ronde Canoe Family member and I like to
participate at cultural events.
My name is Jason Page and I just turned 14 years old.
I am in the eighth grade at Christ the King Catholic
School in Milwaukie.
My goal is to go to La Salle Preparatory School and
then Stanford University. I currently maintain a 4.0
GPA and my favorite subjects in school are language
arts and math.
I enjoy playing track and field and basketball for my
school and we were the Catholic Youth Organization
basketball champs last year in our division. In addition,
I have a group of friends who play in the 3-on-3 tournament in Salem every
I also like to play video games online with friends.
I’m in the Big Buddy program at my school, which gives younger kids and
older kids help figuring out how to get along in their grade and help with
other school projects.
I’m also in the Christian Leadership program at my school. It’s where
you learn about God and help to teach that to other kids. We do essays and
service projects in the community.
Payton L. Smith
I am 15 years old and I currently attend Rainier Sr./Jr.
High School in Rainier, Ore. I have a younger brother
Donovan who is 11. We are the great-great-grandchil-
dren of Esther M. LaBonte, and the great-grandchil-
dren of Rosetta LaBonte Manangan. My grandmother,
Marcia Stake, currently was elected to hold a position
on the Elders Committee.
My parents have been telling me to be a leader every
morning when I go to school since I was little. I have
definitely taken this to heart. I have been playing sports
since I was in kindergarten, and some before that. I tend to gravitate to the
leader’s position naturally. Currently, I play football and I hold different
positions on the offense and defensive teams. I have wrestled since I was in
kindergarten; it’s one of my favorite sports. However, I had a season-ending
concussion last year and so I recently joined the swim team. I am looking
for a district placement for 100-meter butterfly. I also run many events in
track and field, but my favorite event is the javelin throw.
We moved to Rainier about 10 years ago and I have been with the same
friends and students since then. My town and school are so small that the
school campus holds all students K-12. When I was younger I remember
these big wrestlers coming in to help me and the others. I’m very fortunate
that I can now return the favor and help coach and referee youth wrestlers.
I like the feeling of giving back, the same sense of leadership when I see
young students and athletes around school. I also teach swim lessons and
I love science and math and am currently in advanced classes for both.
Something that you might find interesting is that I used to hate reading. I
was never good at it and had to be in special reading classes. I am now in
honors English and have found my groove when it comes to reading things
that I like. School has not always come easy for me, but I have always worked
hard and had the support of my mom and dad. While only being 15 years
old, I am finding that adult decisions are coming fast. I have most recently
inquired about information on the Air Force and Naval academies. While
these are not the only options that I wish to pursue, they are the frontrun-
ners in my search for future schooling. I would love to fly in the service, but
I also like the thought of working with my hands. Engineering planes/ships,
medicines or bioengineering are some of the other things I think about.
In closing, I would like to tell you that I am a man of my word. I work
hard and play hard. I am serious, but fun loving and a little crazy, too. I
once told my mom that I would one day have my own private island. I am a
big dreamer and goal setter. I love being with my friends and family. These
are the people most important to me. I am just starting to see myself in
this big world that I will one day be a part of as an adult. I look forward to
discovering what I can do and who I will become.
Madalyn (Maddie) Volz
Hi, my name is Madalyn Volz, I’m 12 years old and I
go to Patton Middle School in McMinnville, and I’m in
the seventh grade. I like to do gymnastics and I cheer
for McMinnville youth cheer.
See YOUTH BIOS
continued on page 13