On Saturday, July 27th, the teacher workshop, A Window on our world: Bringing Cheyenne and Arapaho Perspectives into the Classroom welcomed over 60 participants to Washita Battlefield National Historic Site on a beautiful summer day with temperatures hovering in the mid-80s, and not in the triple digits as has been the norm for past workshops.
Beginning in 2009, the workshop has seen the growth of a strong partnership between the park, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Department of Education (CADOE), and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College (CATC) for the benefit of Oklahoma teachers and students.
This year a lively Challenge Bowl was held between the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Youth Program and the Cheyenne and Arapaho State and Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program. The questions ranged from C &A tribal history past and present, and covered aspects of the tribal constitution. It was a very competitive affair.
In the Focus on the Classroom segment, Cheyenne Chief Gordon Yellowman discussed strategies of using the Cheyenne and Arapaho language for elementary classrooms and presented each teacher with a set of three books plus a CD, Na-tsehestahe (I am Cheyenne) to help teach language basics. Janiece Felton, STEP specialist, had a fun moccasin sewing activity which the teachers enjoyed and which they could introduce into their classrooms this year. Dr. Henrietta Mann, President of the CATC, and an expert on Indian education, spoke eloquently and frankly about the Native child and their culture and learning styles.
It was a great day!