*The last two days spent at the Idaho Indian Education Summit was time well spent. Today was focused more on actual curriculum educators teach to their students, and how it is incorporated into lessons. One session I attended was some teachers in Hayden who created a musical play for fourth graders to perform incorporating some of the Native American history of the area. And the Coeur d’Alene Tribe is also creating lessons they are beginning to share with their students, using the tribal language and the tribal philosophy of the four pillars of the tribe, which are membership, scholarship, stewardship and guardianship. Here is a little it about each of these pillars:
The four pillars represent the heart of Coeur d’ Alene people. It is our hope that these pillars are so deeply rooted in our children’s heart that we will see them carried out in a relational, reciprocal, respectful and responsible way for generations immemorial.
Capable, decent, moral, ‘a good person’, a good citizen in your family, tribal, local and world community. A responsible, accountable and informed citizen in all spheres of relationship
Life-long, holistic learning with ideas rooted in tribal values, self-determination, self-government and sovereignty that produces deep knowledge to understand the world and meaningful application within the community
‘ats’ qhnt’ wesh: Stewardship
To care for all things with integrity, responsibility, accountability and social awareness in all spheres of life, human, animals, natural resources, and the cosmos, looking at each other from the heart
hngwa’yqn; hnshat’ qn: Guardianship
To protect our tribal ways of knowing and being through the protection, care and responsibility for our people, natural resources, culture, history, traditions, language and spirituality
*After lunch we spent time in a group being facilitated by two representatives of the Wellpinit School District, where the Spokane Tribe is located. This afternoon session was about having conversations to help create a lesson plan. We started off the conversation having a Nez Perce community member with our group to answer questions about creating a lesson plan about Chief Joseph. As I sat and listened to her talk, it became clear to me that the story of the Nez Perce Tribe is much more than about one historical figure. The tribe does not think individually. They think collectively. And it is a collective “we” story of all the tribe involved. Tribal members even today are feeling the effects of the Nez Perce War of 1877.
*Each group that was being facilitated was asked to have one person get up and share a lesson plan with the whole group. Paul was chosen from our group, and he shared a lesson he would do in his Speech class, where students would identify Native American speeches and study and research these people and share about what they said, and how their words show us that we are more alike than we are different.
*If you are an educator, and want to spend a worthwhile two days, I encourage you to attend one of these summits throughout the state. The next one will be in Pocatello, and then in Boise. And don’t feel like it is only for educators who have Native American students. It is for all educators. I believe this is an opportunity they will provide each summer.
*After the summit we met up with Molly and went and had dinner at the Fisherman’s Market. She came home with us for the weekend. We watched Black Panther, which is another Marvel movie to check off the list to help us prepare to watch Avenger: Infinity War. I think the only one left is for me to watch Dr. Strange, (Paul has already seen it), then we will be ready to watch and understand better Avengers:Infinity War.