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Students, Staff Recognize Native American Heritage Month

Issaquah Middle students work on bookmarks in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, which is observed in November.

Students, teachers and staff have spent time learning about, discussing and recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month at buildings throughout the district, including Issaquah Middle School, Creekside Elementary, Issaquah High School and others.

The Panthers and their teachers at Issaquah Middle talked about the recognition in homeroom classes and decorated bookmarks to celebrate and honor Native American culture. Students were encouraged to use their bookmarks to remind them of Native American heritage throughout November.

At Creekside, Native American Heritage Month was included in a schoolwide morning announcements video, and librarians selected books for teachers and staff to share with students throughout the month. Teacher-librarians Carmen Hart and Julie Siefkes also posted pictures of notable Native American people outside the library; the collection is from a librarian in Georgia called “The Book Wrangler.” You can peruse the collection here:

At Issaquah High, teacher-librarian Kate Murray created a special display in the library, and teacher Kate Kelly shared a list of resources for teachers and staff to use in incorporating Native American traditions, history and culture into lessons. A few of the sources include:

The month of recognition is designed to honor the invaluable contributions of native peoples who have helped shape our country, and the hundreds of tribal nations that continue to exercise their inherent sovereignty as vital members of the overlapping system of governments in the United States, according to a proclamation from the White House.

“Since time immemorial, Native communities have passed down rich cultures, knowledge, traditions, and ways of life,” the proclamation states. “Despite centuries of violence and oppression, Native peoples remain resilient and proud. Today, Native Americans are essential to the fabric of the United States. They serve in the United States Armed Forces at higher rates than any other ethnic group. They continue to steward so many of our great lands. Their contributions to science, humanities, arts, public service, and more have brought prosperity for all of us.”

For additional information and resources, visit the Native American Heritage Month website, which is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

In the photos above and below, students at I.M.S. work on their bookmarks about Native American Heritage Month.