Grant will help GFPS support Indigenous education programs

Great Falls – Although Montana is rooted in Indian history, there is still a push to provide indigenous culture education, and Great Falls public schools will do just that after receiving a $ 20,000 grant to support Indigenous education programs.

As in many areas of public education, innovative ideas often outpace affordable funding, but Great Falls public schools are working to close this gap as they seek new ways to teach their students Indigenous culture. Projects will include planting sweet grass, a plant considered sacred by many Native American tribes, and planting garden beds at every public school in Great Falls.

Director of Great Falls Public Schools, Director of Indigenous Education Dugan Coburn, said: “There are 51 different tribes in our community in Great Falls, and we want to start having artifacts that cover a wide range of children and then start making a background with them. We “are going to get our kids to do the research and then we will be able to share that in all of our schools”.

Donations came from Sisters United, a non-profit organization founded by Candice English, a member of the board of the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation. She says it’s best to start with kids.

English said: “I think there is still a lot to know, and I also think that the most important thing is that the more we can just integrate our culture into the main culture.”

Coburn says he is committed to making this project benefit not only Indian students but all students who hope to learn more about indigenous culture.

He explained: “This donation helps us to influence the whole community of the Great Falls Indigenous people by doing what we do with their children and offering these cultural opportunities. Bison hunting and getting this we haven’t had before, so we can pay behind the bus to take the kids away so they can participate, listen to stories and meet the elders when we do these things and process the bison … It’s such a big thing ”.

Coburn says he is committed to making this project benefit not only Indian students but all students who hope to learn more about indigenous culture.

Coburn explained, “This donation is made in such a way that we can influence the whole community of the Great Falls Indigenous people by doing what we do with their children and offering these cultural opportunities. Bison hunting and getting this we haven’t had before , so we can pay for the bus to take the kids to participate, listen to stories and meet the elders when we do these things and handle the bison … It’s such a big thing ”.

Click here to learn more about the program, or if you want to donate.


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