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Duct Tape and a Stick? 8 Things for Your Rez Back to School List

What do your students need for back to school on the reservation? How about duct tape, matches, tinfoil and a menacing stick to keep the cows at bay.

As the sweet, quiet bliss of September rears its head to hopeful parents after the warm months of summer, undoubtedly we are making out our annual back to school lists. In this light, ICTMN decided to look at the lighter side and ask what our readers think should go on a Rez Back to School List.

Here are some of the responses we received:

Flour for Fry Bread

Derek DeVerney (@masterscorpio77) on Twitter gave us a great way to start the season off right, for fry bread of course. Don’t forget to add healthy items like corn flour, beans, corn and squash to make a complete meal when your students are in class.

Add healthy items to your fry bread to make it a healthy lunch.

Duct Tape

Derek also added duct tape to his list. Though he didn’t give a reason why, we are inclined to agree. Duct tape is good for almost anything.

Duct tape a plethora of uses.

A Threatening Walking Stick

Jazzy Boo on Google+ thinks having a walking stick is critical as a #BackToRezSchool item. “Hmm...maybe a walking stick to keep by the bus stop, to chase off the cows when walking back to your house,” she says. Sounds great Jazzy Boo, But we also say keep an eye out for all the half-wolf unleashed Rez puppies. Don’t hit them, of course, just look ominous.

Watch out for those Rez dogs, but don't hurt them... maybe just run if they get your walking stick.


Orval Elliot on Google+ made it perfectly clear that on the Rez he doesn’t use a lunch box for his lunch—so tinfoil is critical. Sounds great to us, and after three days of class you’ll be able to juggle with the balls of tinfoil.

Bring your lunch in tinfoil, then make a game out of it!

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Red Horse (@RedHorse4949) said matches could be a necessary item in the absence of cell phone coverage—in the event we needed to yes, send a smoke signal. Thanks Red Horse.

Matches for sending... smoke signals, very funny guys.

A Pencil (nothing else)

According to Ruth Hopkins (@_RuthHopkins) on Twitter this is most likely the only item on the list for students. “In high school most Rezzers showed up with maybe a pencil. That's it,” she says. Thanks Ruth, who are we to argue?

Sometimes all students can bring is a pencil, and that's all right.

An Amazing Athletic Coach Who Cares

Ruth told us also that “Coaches often paid 4 Rez kids athletic wear out their own pockets. All Native Relay broke records thanx 2 a coach (that) bought cleats.” This is definitely something all kids should have. It’s always great to have a hero like these coaches.

A group of campers receive instruction June 14 from Day of Champions coaching staff, including University of Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, right. (Cherokee Nation)t

Native Teachers, Traditional Clothing and Culturally Influenced Curriculum

As much as we like to have a bit of fun, Jarrid Smith (@JarridSmith) on Twitter got real and brought it home with genuine items that should be on anyone’s back to school list in Indian country.

What could be better than experiencing the guidance of Native teachers, the cultural meaning of traditional clothing and the beauty of a culturally based curriculum? Thanks Jarrid, this is a concept that many would definitely embrace.

Wisconsin Media Lab

Arlene Blackdeer, a language apprentice for the Hoocak Waaziija Haci Language Division of the Ho-Chunk Nation, teaches a student.