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Washoe grant writer named women’s role model

by Joyce Hollister

Wanda Batchelor, a grant writer for the Washoe Tribe and tribal council vice chair, will be honored Thursday with a Nevada Women’s Role Model Award by Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa.

“I’m thrilled,” Batchelor said Monday. “I was tickled.”

One of Batchelor’s goals, she said, is to give Native American youth the skills to succeed and to mentor their extended families.

“We are challenged daily to walk in balance in both the red and white worlds and must educate our youth, our future leaders of tomorrow ,” she said. ” Knowledge is power.”

Her long-range goal is to train Native Americans to become knowledgeable grant writers, enabling the tribe to become self-sufficient.

“As an elected representative to the Washoe Tribal Council, it is my pledge to always honor my people and serve them to the best of my capabilities,” she said.

Batchelor is of Maidu and Washoe descent and held the title of Miss Indian California in 1977. She and her family are the Maidu Indian Dancers and Traditionalists and learned their dancing as well as basketweaving skills from tribal elders and family members.

She started her working career as a customer service liaison in Yosemite National Park.

She has an associate degree in the administration of criminal justice and is near her goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in business justice.

She was the first Native American to graduate as a police cadet with the Auburn (Calif.) Police Department. She was a dispatcher for the Placer County Sheriff’s Department and was a peace officer for the California parks and recreation and Placer County probation departments.

She is a graduate of the Washoe Tribe’s heavy equipment training program and a member of the Operating Engineers Local Union #3.

The Nevada Women’s Role Model awards presentation will take place at the Girl Scout Headquarters in Reno. Among the six honorees from Northern Nevada, Batchelor is the only one from the Douglas County-Carson City area. Some 65 women were nominated for the 2001 awards.

The awards were created to recognize some of Nevada’s outstanding women, their achievements and their impact on society.

Batchelor was nominated by the Washoe Tribe’s finance officer Keith Kircher, and Lou Lane, personnel officer.

Her two sons speak Washoe, having attended the tribe’s immersion language school. Erik, whose native name is Ta-ba, or Grizzly Bear, attends Carson High school, and Evan, Ct-Tk, or Spider, is in the 8th grade at the immersion school.

Batchelor and her partner Rocky Jim, also a fluent speaker of Washoe, and sons live in Stewart Colony.