CENTENNIAL—High school is full of traditions. Pep rallies. Friday night football games. The loud and crazy school assembly.
“Everyone’s screaming and cheering and you can’t hear a single thing,” said Tia Decolati, a junior at Arapahoe High School in Centennial.
But today’s assembly in the school’s gym was a little different.
“This assembly makes you think a little more and reflect about what this all means,” Decolati said.
Since 1993, members of the Arapaho Nation from the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming have been visiting the school to share their culture, with the school that shares their name.
“We have a very strong bond with all of the staff, we have a strong bond with the students--they’re like family to us,” said Shayni Soldier Wolf, a Northern Arapaho from the Wind River Reservation.
Tribe visits Araphoe High School
Every other year the tribe visits the school in Centennial, and performs dances while wearing traditional clothing. They also teach the students about their culture.
“I think it’s important for us to know that our Arapahoe name comes from somewhere, and it’s not just our school, it’s not just our logo--it’s a whole people, it’s a whole legacy that they’ve left behind,” Decolati said.
On the years the tribe doesn’t visit, Arapahoe High School students go visit them on the reservation in Wyoming. About 30 students went last year. They tour their schools and learn more about the Arapaho culture and daily lives.
“We just get to know them on a more relatable level,” Decolati said.
The Arapahoe High School mascot, the Araphoe Warrior, has been approved by the tribe. A Northern Arapaho artist designed the logo. Students say they feel the bond between the school and their Arapho visitors is strong.
“It’s just awesome we have the warrior spirit everywhere in our school,” said Lauren Koehler, senior at Arapahoe High School.