Golden Apple: Schoolcraft Students Learn About Native American History
Minnesota’s Indigenous People’s Day may not be until Oct. 9, but Schoolcraft Learning Community in Bemidji is observing the holiday early. Students recently spent their day learning about Native American history.
“What we’re trying to do is just empower Native American students to share more about their traditions and their culture,” said Schoolcraft Learning Community Director Adrienne Eickman. “Also, to educate our non-Native students about the people, their neighbors that live around them.”
“I liked it because I am Native American, and also it’s pretty cool,” said fourth grader Evan Treuer. “I also know the guest speaker, it’s pretty fun.”
This was the first year Schoolcraft has marked the occasion, and students from all grade levels participated. Events included a wide variety of activities ranging from smudging to important conversations.
“You always start with your heart, you keep your feet planted on the ground and you start with your heart because that’s where your spirit lives,” said Parent Mindie Bird.
The full experience wouldn’t be complete without students feasting on a traditional meal that consisted of walleye, berries and squash.
What did you think about the food?
When asked what she thought about the food, fifth grader Haven Hanson replied, “I liked it, it was really tasty.”
And her favorite part of the meal? “The fish,” said Hanson.
Everett LaFromboise is with Fond Du Lac Behavioral Health and came to speak to students because he says the Native American rich history and culture is something that everyone should know about.
“Youth understand these concepts, these teachings, and it will carry into the future in a better way than it seems like it has thus far,” said LaFromboise.
“It’d be fun if my teacher, Chris, came up and said, ‘Hey, there’s some people here and they want to know about stuff,’ and I got to teach them, so they can know, too,” said fourth grader Anika Harnsen.
The curriculum is also centered around topics such as language, trade and issues like racism.
“What I’m hoping that all the students get out of this, is people that live in their communities that are their neighbors that have this rich history, tradition and culture, and it’s just really interesting and good for us to know about,” said Eickman.
Parents were instrumental by planning and helping put the day’s event together. It’s a new tradition that Schoolcraft hopes to continue.