Marco Ovando


Marco Ovando

Marco, Shoshone-Paiute, has seen what mountains have been moved by youth associated with We R Native.

I want to aspire to be like that. I want to push our youth, which are very, very unique in today’s modern, globalized world, to become something beyond their wildest dream all while staying true to their cultural roots. I wanted to be an Ambassador because through this network, I can have leverage to reach to the adults to help our youth along the way. One thing I am very passionate about is the use of our indigenous languages in the school, social, and professional settings. Being raised by my grandmother, who is fluent in both Shoshone and Paiute, taught me that language is what ties down an entire culture and a strong symbol of resilience. This passion for the use of our languages in all settings in everyday life because I can feel the loss of identity of who we are as Native people as a result of not knowing our languages. I feel we need it in our school system to connect that identity back into the students to help realize their potential. I feel we need language back in the social and professional setting because it what separates us from the rest of the region. It shows as a testament to our resilience and strong tie to our culture. One attribute I will bring to the table is sheer dedication. I will not take no for an answer. Many people have told me I am a very dedicated person to whatever I want to do and be involved in. Once I’m involved, I love to stay continuously involved until it is finished. If there is a problem, I will work at the problem until it is resolved. My family calls it stubbornness, but if it wasn’t for my dedication to be a better person for not only myself, but my community, I wouldn’t be here today typing this very sentence.

My family wants to get together for Thanksgiving, but I’m worried about COVID. There’s a lot of us. Also, should Natives even be celebrating?

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