Fallon library celebrates Native American Heritage Month
FALLON, Nev. — Children and students gathered at the Churchill County Library in Fallon on Nov. 15 to learn about the remarkable culture in Nevada — considering at least 20 Native American tribes call the Silver State home — as part of recognizing National Native American Heritage Month.
This hour-long event made its first debut at the library, thanks to the Strength of Nations Club of both Churchill County middle and high schools.
CCHS Indian Education Liaison Carlene Pacheco said the goal of the event was to raise awareness about the culture through education.
“I want to do more with kids in the community,” she said. “It’s important for them to be proud of who they are and their culture, and express it, or share the history of it.”
Two CCMS students and one CCHS student volunteered to read aloud Native American children’s books to the group.
In honor of National Native American Heritage Month, the students also read aloud at Lahontan Elementary School, and they did the same at E.C. Best Elementary School students on Nov. 17.
“Kids need to learn about it now so they understand it more as they grow,” said Jayden Wassmuth, a ninth-grader who also read stories aloud at the library.
The mini seminars included pictorial details about local tribes, and Native American language and vocabulary, such as counting to 10 in Northern Paiute.
The event also featured Joe Allen, a member of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, exhibiting his duck decoy as a traditional local artist. Kids also got the opportunity to craft their own beaded medallions.
Pacheco said she hopes to promote educational events regarding Native American history on a regular basis at schools and community locations.
“We want to keep this going,” she said. “The younger generation should learn from older students about cultures and feel comfortable.”
Molly Moser is a reporter for the Lahontan Valley News, a newspaper within the Sierra Nevada Media Group, which publishes First Nation’s Focus.
The phrase “Indian Education” itself invokes generations of federal legislation aimed to assimilate via education. Modern day, the Title VI Indian Education Program administered by the Bureau of Indian Education provides federal funds to various educational institutions of students enrolled in federally recognized tribes.