Brave Girls is a leadership program for young women who attend the Santa Fe Indian School. In March, the Brave Girls made a trip to the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center to learn more about their ancestral homeland.
They spent a day at Mesa Verde National Park, where they toured Spruce Tree House in the morning and then, after lunch, were escorted by a National Park Service ranger into portions of Cliff Palace that are not open to the public.
"The special trip to Mesa Verde was the highlight of our entire trip―to experience our ancestors’ dwellings in the most intimate way possible," said one Brave Girl. "It is something I’ll appreciate forever."
"Mesa Verde was part of their culture, part of their past, and there was an amazing connection," said Crow Canyon educator Rebecca Hammond. "We didn’t have to explain it to the girls; they already knew what they were seeing."
Back on campus, they engaged in hands-on ancient lifestyle activities and met with female staff members who described their education and work. The visit was financed through Crow Canyon by a foundation grant and arranged by Hammond. The students were accompanied by their advisor, Dalene Coriz.
According to the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute website, the Brave Girls gather weekly throughout the school year to build a solid foundation, find a connection, purpose, and meaning so they may inspire others. The program incorporates an interactive curriculum, mentor guest speakers, workshops, and community service to inspire self-knowledge, a positive self-identity, critical thinking, initiative, responsibility, self-respect, and healthy lifestyles. The girls are provided with the tools to make positive decisions, avoid risky adolescent behaviors, and promote overall well-being as it relates to their development including physical, emotional, mental and social well-being, and other issues affecting them.