LAHS Native American Seniors Presented With Handwoven Sashes During Ceremony Wednesday

Ten LAHS Native American seniors were honored Wednesday evening during the 4th Sash Ceremony. Students receiving hand-woven sashes created by Cris Velarde include, from left, Cameron Medina-Torres, Míxalh Katigwa Adams, Sarah Bowman, Amera Shije, Michelle Bowman, Santiago Duran, Jack Fisher, Marcellus Ferrell, Gabrielle Mowrer and Jeremiah Martinez Herrera. Photo Courtesy LAPS


Ten Los Alamos High School Native American seniors were presented hand-woven sashes Wednesday during the Sash Ceremony hosted by Los Alamos Public Schools. This is the fifth year for this event which was attended by more than 85 family members and friends supporting their students. 

Native American Parent Advisory Council (NAPAC) Chair Darren Harvey and Vice Chair Jovita Mowrer were Masters of Ceremony. LAPS Superintendent Jennifer Guy and LAHS Principal Renee Dunwoody welcomed guests and shared their pride in the seniors’ accomplishments and future paths.

Tribal Council Representative Thomas Gonzales, Pueblo de San Ildefonso opened the program with a prayer. Tribal Council Representative Nichole Summer Martinez, Pueblo de San Ildefonso, shared remarks with the students. Séskwi Michael Adams performed the Lil’wat Honor Song. 

LAPS School Board President Antonio Jaurigue, LAPS School Board Member Melanie Colgan, Assistant Superintendent Carter Payne, and Julie Dare, the LAPS Liaison for Native American Students and Families, were also in attendance.

Cris Velarde, Santa Clara Pueblo/Jicarilla Apache, is a traditional belt and rain sash weaver who teaches weaving classes at the Poeh Cultural Center in Pojoaque. He has been designing the sashes to be worn for graduation since 2013. Each year he creates a unique design to celebrate the graduates.

Members of the class of 2023 who were honored with sashes are Míxalh Katigwa Adams, Michelle Bowman, Sarah Bowman, Santiago Duran, Marcellus Ferrell, Jack Fisher, Jeremiah Martinez Herrera, Cameron Medina-Torres, Gabrielle Mowrer and Amera Shije.