Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Preserving Our Histories for Those Yet to Be Born

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Preserving Our Histories for Those Yet to Be Born

Article excerpt

SO MANY of our children cannot relate to the histories and lessons they are taught in school today. They are presented stories that do not fit within our cultural teachings. For example, our children cannot relate to the story about George Washington chopping down a cherry tree. Such stories may be told to teach certain values--in this case, not to tell a lie. But they are not teaching our most important values. To us, young George's parents should have told him that cherry trees, like all living things, should be treated with respect. The bigger lesson that children learn from young George's story is that it is okay to be destructive, wasteful, and disrespectful of living things as long as they tell the truth about it. That's not a lesson we want our children to learn.

Indian Education for All is one of the good things happening in our schools today. Because of it, there is much new interest in learning about Indian people. Every tribe in Montana and throughout the United States has a colorful, interesting history, strong stories and legends, knowledge about plants and healing, and survival skills. …

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