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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Utah dignitaries work to help Native Americans

Poverty has long been a problem on the Navajo Indian Reservation, on the Utah/Arizona boarder, and on other reservations. Many programs work to improve educational opportunities and provide opportunities for the people there.

Utah dignitaries joined the effort at a special event yesterday, raising money to support American Indian Services. That organization gives 100 percent of the money it raises to fund half ride scholarships for deserving students.

ABC4 has this news report about the event. Below are excerpts.

Retired Philadelphia Eagles tight-end Chad Lewis is one of the notable people in Utah using his star power to help. "The need is so great. People have no idea. When you go to the reservation it's massive (the need) almost like a third world country. It's in our own boarders. It's pretty incredible. The need is bigger than I could share in words," he said.

The program has hundreds of success stories. Victoria Comesoutbird is just one. She recently earned her masters degree in Counseling. She says she has come a long way the reservation she grew up on in North Dakota. "For my children it means they will not be able to have to live in conditions and experience (she pauses with emotion)...it just means a whole different world for them. Education really is empowering," said Comesoutbird.

Dignitaries at a celebrity banquet and auction include Pro golfer Johnny Miller, Lewis, retired NBA player Shawn Bradley, Cafe Rio President and Co-owner Bob Nilsen, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert, Second Counselor for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Dieter F. Uchtdorf and LDS Apostle Robert D. Hales.

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