BLM praises Paiute teen’s photography with exhibit at university

Caitlynne Spute, Kanab High School student and member of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, Utah, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of BLM-Utah, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH — Kanab High School student and member of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians Caitlynne Spute will have her portraits displayed at Utah Valley University in Spring 2015.

BLM-Utah posted on its Facebook page that it is proud to recognize Caitlynne Spute, an award-winning photographer. She attended Camp Kwiyamuntsi in 2013, assisting the BLM media team as a photographer, according to a BLM press release. After camp, she pursued her passion for photography.

“This talented young lady will join S. Paiute youth camps in 2015 (and hopefully in the years to come) as Camp Photographer,” the BLM-Utah Facebook post said.

Caitlynne Spute’s mother, Jacqueline Spute said:

When I see the beautiful smile on Caitlynne’s face and the excitement in her voice I am very humbled at the opportunities that have been offered to my daughter. I’ve always known of her talents and I’m ecstatic that she has chosen to express who she is through photography. She’s an amazing young girl with talent beyond what she realizes. I’m excited to see her work as she accepts the BLM photography internship and the photographer for Camp K. I know she will proudly represent herself, our family, the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, all Native Nations and the BLM in a positive way.  She has set high goals for herself and this door of opportunity is just the beginning for her.  Opportunities like this are once in a lifetime and are going to be a great impact on her future as she goes into higher education.

Caitlynne Spute said she is happy for the exposure, but most of all she hopes other Native American youth will see her progress and won’t be afraid to go and make their dreams or their passions happen for themselves.

She initially joined the BLM’s Camp K as a venue to help her understand and learn about her Native American heritage. Soon the campers and camp leaders turned into good friends, including Jeanette Shackleford, youth program coordinator. Caitlynne Spute told Shackleford how she thought taking pictures was fun.

“(Jeanette Shackleford) allowed me to take some pictures and that’s when I got the feel of what it was really like to be a photographer,” Caitlynne Spute said.

After camp, Jacqueline Spute said, the positive impact on her daughter from the leaders and camp was overwhelming. She said:

My hope is that my daughter takes the time to realize that by being outgoing and willing to participate in endeavors outside of her comfort zone, she will see the positive outcomes and results of her participation. I also hope that youth, along with their parents/guardians, will see the importance and this yearly camp and appreciate the hard work that it takes to produce an event that benefits us as Southern Paiutes.  As her mother, I’d like to thank all those who have continuously encouraged Caitlynne, who have recommended her for these opportunities and who continuously impact her life in a positive way.

Caitlynne Spute has many dreams, including a future in criminal justice. She will be starting a course in criminal justice at Snow College in January 2014. After graduation from high school, she hopes to enter Arizona State or North Carolina State to pursue her degree in criminal investigation and after, attend the Law Enforcement Academy.


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