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American Indian Parents want their children to learn their native culture.

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In a report approved Monday, members of the Farmington School District’s American Indian Education Parent Committee asked the school board for greater representation of American Indian culture in schools and for more opportunities for students to explore their native heritage.

The committee met regularly prior to this year, but its efforts have changed some since the district added Numen Smith as an American Indian education liaison. It has not typically asked the school board for action.

Smith had his first official meeting with the parent committee earlier this month and has worked with them to identify opportunities.

Among the concerns the committee presented in its current recommendation is the fact signs in the district that present information in multiple languages do not include native languages.

Smith wrote in the committee’s resolution that it is important to let students know there is a growing population of American Indian students in Farmington schools.

“We … need to educate the student body and let them and all parents and teachers know that we are not just mascots or pages in a history book,” Smith wrote. “There are American Indian students roaming the hallways now as we speak, next to your student. Everyone needs to know we are not a race that has just disappeared and now only see in the movies or what Hollywood portrays us to be.”

Barb Duffrin, the district’s director of educational programs, said Monday that the district has seen an increase since Smith was hired in the number of families that identify as American Indian.

Among other things, the committee is advocating field trips to significant sites, a mentorship program for older students to work with younger students and a summer program to keep the district’s native population connected when school is not in session.

The parent committee has also extended an invitation to the district’s art teachers to talk about enhancing the curriculum to include American Indian art.

“Our art teachers are very excited about this,” Duffrin said.

Bids awarded

Also on Monday, school board members awarded bids for several of the projects funded by the bond referendum voters approved last November.

School board members approved a $1,479,600 bid from Pioneer Power to replace boilers at Farmington Elementary School and Boeckman Middle School.

Pioneer Power had the lowest of four bids submitted for the project.

The district also approved bids to replace roofs at Dodge Middle School; Riverview, North Trail and Farmington elementary schools; and the District Service Center and Instructional Service Center. The bids went to different contractors. The total cost will be $4.2 million.

Credits:farmington independent.com

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  • Annesha Das Gupta

    It will be interesting to see such programs get implemented. The study of the Indian culture can make the children take a turn towards their home country again. Also, it can further aid in strengthening the international relations.

  • Shriya Katoch

    It’s nice to see that culture is still preserved .

  • Annesha Das Gupta

    It will be interesting to see such programs get implemented. The study of the Indian culture can make the children take a turn towards their home country again. Also, it can further aid in strengthening the international relations.

  • Shriya Katoch

    It’s nice to see that culture is still preserved .

Next Story

Child Rights Summit: Nations Should Spend More on Education Over Weapons

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Displaced Syrian children look out from their tents at Kelbit refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, in Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 17, 2018. VOA

Countries should spend more on schooling and less on weapons to ensure that children affected by war get an education, a child rights summit heard Monday.

The gathering in Jordan was told that a common thread of war was its devastating impact in keeping children out of school.

Indian Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who founded the summit, said ensuring all children around the world received a primary and secondary education would cost another $40 billion annually — about a week’s worth of global military expenditure.

ALSO READ: Politics and Education: A Relationship that contributes a lot in shaping our Future

child rights summit
Nobel Peace Prize laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai listen to speeches during the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo, Dec. 10, 2014. VOA

“We have to choose whether we have to produce guns and bullets, or we have to produce books and pencils to our children,” he told the second Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit that gathers world leaders and Nobel laureates.

Global military expenditure reached almost $1.7 trillion in 2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said last year 27 million children were out of school in conflict zones.

ALSO READ: Exclusive: How is One Woman Army changing the notions of Education in society?

“We want safe schools, we want safe homes, we want safe countries, we want a safe world,” said Satyarthi, who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai for his work with children.

Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein told the summit, which focused on child refugees and migrants affected by war and natural disasters, that education was “key,” especially for “children on the move.”

“Education can be expensive, but never remotely as close to what is being spent on weapons. … They [children] are today’s hope for a better future,” he told the two-day summit.

Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit group, described the number of Syrian refugees not in school in the Middle East as “shocking” as the war enters its eighth year.

Kennedy cited a report being released Tuesday by the KidsRights Foundation, an international children’s rights group, which found 40 percent of school-aged Syrian children living in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq cannot access education. VOA