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Subject: Judy Trejo, Paiute storyteller

New York
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Date Posted: November 13, 2002 7:28:36 EDT

Judy Sam Trejo, a northern Nevada Paiute who worked to preserve her tribe's language through education, storytelling and song, died Saturday of natural causes. She was 62.

"Judy was indeed an important figure in both song and language," said Catherine Fowler, an anthropology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"She introduced curriculum in the Paiute language--was one of the first to try to teach the language in a public school setting in Nevada," Fowler said.

Born in Alturas, California, Trejo grew up on the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Reservation north of Winnemucca. She earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in counseling from the College of Idaho.

Trejo returned to Nevada, where she taught first and second grade at the Walker River Indian Reservation in Schurz for 20 years.

Trejo also recorded of Native American music, including the award-winning albums "Circle Dance Songs of the Paiute and Shoshone" and "Stick Game Songs of the Paiute."

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