GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Over the past week, Great Falls public schools celebrated Native American Heritage Day by educating young students about Native American culture.
According to Dugan Coburn, director of the Indian education department at GFPS, one in six students in the district is Native American.
“It’s such an important part of our history. Everything from learning buffalo hides to the teepee, you know this is a part that needs to be celebrated and kids need to be educated about it. This shouldn’t be a missing piece of Montana culture and history, ”said Loy Elementary School counselor Montana Johnson.
From September 20 until next week, students from different schools in the Electric City gather around one of the 22 different tipis set up in the neighborhood to learn about the history of the tipi, how it is built and how it is built. has evolved.
“We’re not just the people who were in the books from olden times. We’re still here. I love talking to them, they ask me and I’ll say we start on hot days to haul our teepees. With dogs. , then we have horses, and now I use my truck and we’re still here and doing this, ”Coburn said.
Montana Right Now was able to speak with a 4th grade student in Loy who says she’s thrilled her friends are learning about her culture.
“I love that they learn how the Native Americans lived, what they lived and how they used the bison,” Braeleigh said.
She even taught us a bit of history when we asked her how they use bison.
“Well, we used it in different ways. We used it like we use blankets, we used it to hold stuff, we used it for clothes, and we used it for. our tipis, ”Braeleigh said.
Coburn encourages the public to come experience the tipis and learn more about Native American culture.