Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


August 23, 2003 - Issue 94


pictograph divider


Young Musician First Navajo to attend Prestigious Music Camp


COTTONWOOD, Ariz. - Krystal Dawn Toadlena, 14, of Cottonwood, is the first Navajo student ever selected to attend the Camp Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. She is also the first Native American to attend.

Since 1928, Interlochen has been a famous camp for young music students, dancers, actors, writers, artists, and musicians, and is the world's oldest and most successful fine arts camp for students ages 8 to 18.

Toadlena, whose instrument of study was the clarinet, attended the camp for four weeks.

Toadlena was born to the Bitterwater clan and born for the Towering House clan. She is the daughter of Judy Toadlena of Cottonwood and Mark Toadlena of Albuquerque, N.M. Her grandparents are Stella Mitchell of Cottonwood and Kee and Kathey Toadlena of Chinle.

By working very hard at Pinon Middle School, Krystal Toadlena earned her way to camp with excellent grades and good citizenship, requirements for acceptance into the music camp. She won awards for best attendance, outstanding academic achievement, and most valuable clarinet player in the school band.

Theresa Williams, Toadlena's band teacher at Pinon, said to Krystal's mother that as a youngster she had tried to get into Interlochen but was never selected and she is very proud of Krystal.

Her mother said that Krystal's biggest problem was getting used to the uniforms all the students were required to wear. They were kind of "dorky" but she became used to them.

Krystal also told her mom that she learned a lot, but she also became a teacher, answering many questions about the Dine, the Dine language, and the Navajo Nation. She proved to be a great example of the promise of our Dine youth as well as a fine ambassador for the nation.

Krystal Toadlena and her family feel blessed by the financial help they received from the Pinon School District, Cottonwood Chapter, Alvin Gee of the Chinle Office of Dine Youth, and Cellular One, as well as all the family members who "pitched in" to make sure Krystal was able to attend Interlochen.

It was a good opportunity for everyone to show a young Dine musician that she has the support of her family and the community in which she lives and attends school. She knows that her focus on her education is appreciated.

And, yes, she is ready to go back next year.

Duck Lake at Interlochen

Cottonwood, AZ Map

Maps by Travel

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!