November 16 — Penelope Antoine and Talliyah Timentwa shared their stories as young women for Native American Heritage Month Speaker Series hosted by the CCT Youth Development Program.
Penelope Antoine is the daughter of Gretchen Whitelaw and Donovan Antoine. Penelope is a Senior at Lake Roosevelt High School. She hopes to attend the University of Washington next Fall 2023. She has been learning Salish since her freshman year. Her introduction to Nxamcin began because her friends were in the class and she signed up to be with them. Micki BearCub was her first teacher with the language.
She soon learned that the language was dying and it needed to be saved. She learned to introduce herself in Nxamcin and that solidified her interest to learn more. She would reach out to family and friends to learn more.
Penelope is one of the top students in the LRHS Class of 2023. She works hard and also encourages her classmates and younger Raiders to learn to their full potential. She would like to major in Art and History for post-secondary studies.
Talliyah Timentwa is the daughter of Trisha and Rocky Timentwa. She is a Junior at Lake Roosevelt High School. Talliyah has a strong upbringing around horses. Her mom and dad had her on the back of a horse as a baby when they would go to the Okanogan County Fairgrounds to train their horses for Indian Relay, having learned to ride a horse before she learned to walk.
She is an active member of the Washington State High School Rodeo Association, the Eastern Washington Junior Rodeo Association, and the Indian Relay Council. Talliyah is the 2022-23 Miss Colorama Pro-Rodeo Queen.
Both of her parents have been her inspiration for her interest in Indian Relay Racing. Her heart feels full, not only racing, but winning. She won her first race against a Men’s field, where she summed up her victory, “Make dust, or eat it!”. She followed that win with a big race in Pendleton that qualified her for the Champions of Champions Race all at the age of 13 when the first women’s championship race was held in Walla Walla in 2019.
She had a lot to learn from her parents. They piled on the responsibilities she had to complete before they would allow her to go further into her chosen sports of rodeo and Indian Relay. Her dad Rocky told her, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” She had all of the responsibility to train her horses herself, which took up her whole summer. Her mom told her she had a lot to prove that she wanted to seriously pursue her goals.
Her mom joined her through an emotional passage of the story she shared. She chose to paint a red handprint on her face at the Champions of Champions Race for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, a topic that holds a lot of weight. From her experience, she wants young girls, like herself, to see that they can be as strong as the boys.
She is thankful to both of her parents for guiding her and making her do the work for herself to reach her goals. She loves the lifestyle and uses it as a release from the stress of life. She feels she is a better person in every aspect due to her work with horses. She hopes to get back to the Champions of Champions Race for another go. Her biggest goal in front of her is to be the King of the Hill, referring to the World Famous Omak Suicide Race.