On June 23, 2008, I became part of a class to learn how to interpret indigenous peoples attitudes toward their real history in my teaching at McNary NWR Environmental Education Center, Burbank, Washington. We were introduced to the content of the workshop with several hours of DVDs depicting abuses of Indians in schools when children were taken from their homes and families and put into government schools which were built expressly to “civilize” the heathens.
Religious entities, protestant, catholic, and jesuit, started schools to educate the natives into extinction. Children were not allowed to speak their own tribal language, harshly abused if they did, even sexually abused at the disgression of the teachers.
A map of the route taken by Lewis & Clark was shown accompanied by narrative of natives of the tribal areas in which they passed. From my own research I was aware that those captains had little respect for the indians with which they traded, or delivered speeches about the great white father under which they now must recognize as the leader. With two such diverse cultures it is a wonder that the unprepared crew of the expedition survived. Without the good will and curiosity of the people who lived in the “wilderness” the expedition would never had made it through the first winter of 1804 nor anywhere beyond.
Today we learned about teaching people about using the internet and particularly pbwiki, peanut butter wiki, to give students specific opportunities to learn to make decisions, choices and do research. Almost sll the participants are teachers in public schools and are finding the exercise useful to the point of creating websites from a template offered by a graduate student of WSU.
My ulcer is acting up, probably from the can of classic coke I indulged in yesterday while assisting others in making animal tracks in newly poured cement around the new education center at McNary. Spent last night at wildhorse hotel, looking through the conglomeration of colorful devices to lure folks to part with their change, pennies, nickels, and hugh bills beyond. I am really past the desire to throw money away. Hope that holds true when I go into the bookstore of this cultural center, Tamastaslik, at Pendleton Oregon.