BISMARCK — November is National Native American Heritage Month.
One middle school is taking this month to teach their students about Indigenous Americans.
Wachter Middle School planned a full day of activities that will help students understand aspects of contemporary Native American cultures.
It began with a lesson about bats led by students from United Tribes Technical College, teaching kids the importance that animals have within ecosystems.
There were also lessons on the many different art forms as well as how the oral tradition helped to transfer history and life lessons for tribal people that didn’t have a written language.
Overall, each activity aimed to educate students not just about contemporary tribal cultures in the region, but also their Indigenous classmates and friends.
“They deserve the chance to see themselves reflected in the classroom. Also, the non-native students deserve the chance to be able to understand their friends and their coworkers. And their peers. And we aren’t going to be able to do that unless we talk about American Indian culture and peoples. And where we come and our values,” said Sashay Schettler, BPS cultural responsive coordinator.
November was established as Native American Heritage Month back in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.
Indigenous Americans are the largest minority population here in the Peace Garden State.