Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Walk to urge mandatory teaching of Indian history

A group of veterans who want American Indian history taught in all Minnesota schools plans to walk from Cass Lake to the state Capitol to deliver a petition to the governor's office.

A group of veterans who want American Indian history taught in all Minnesota schools plans to walk from Cass Lake to the state Capitol to deliver a petition to the governor's office.

The Native American Veteran's Walk of Honor will start this morning at the Leech Lake Veteran's Memorial Grounds with a pipe and drum ceremony. Then the group will begin the 236-mile trek to St. Paul, said Feather Rock, co-director of the North Central Minnesota Native American Veterans Outreach and Resource Center.

A core group of six people plan to make the entire walk, and others will join for a portion of the trip, Rock said.

When they reach the Capitol, walkers plan to deliver a 2,000 signature petition asking the state to make educating students about American Indian history and treaties mandatory in all schools.

The change would help eliminate prejudice in Minnesota schools, Rock said.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We see our kids face some real hurdles when it comes to understanding that Indians aren't getting a free ride, that the American dream was built on territory that was our territory," she said.

This is the second year the group has held the walk. Last year, a group of disabled veterans made the trip to raise money for a national memorial, Rock said. Last year's walk took one week and one hour, but because many of those walkers were disabled, the walk may take a different amount of time this year, she said.

Once the group arrives at the Capitol, the state may not be able to help, said Yvonne Novack, state supervisor of Indian education for the Department of Education and a White Earth enrollee.

Education department officials would be glad to meet with the walkers, but the state has never told Minnesota school teachers they had to teach anything, Novack said.

"There's no precedent for it at all -- school districts in Minnesota are really independent organizations, and they set their own curriculum," Novack said.

Already, the state has several programs that encourage schools to teach American Indian history, Novack said. The education department holds teacher training sessions throughout the state, and some schools have received a state grant to fund culturally based teaching for American Indian students.

But Rock said that won't deter the group. She's already planning next year's walk.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Joy Anderson at (701) 241-5556

What To Read Next
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack lists the various reason why some older adults may begin to shuffle as they age.
The Buffalo Bills safety who suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football in January is urging people to learn how to save lives the way his was saved.
Josh Sipes was watching an in-flight movie when he became aware the flight crew were asking for help assisting a woman who was experiencing a medical problem.