STAR Charter School
Students at STAR Charter School near Flagstaff, Arizona, work together on a puzzle.

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

Vincent Schilling
August 21, 2013


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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?

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.

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.