The excitement was apparent as students and their family members rumbled up the ramp into the cafeteria Thursday night at Weddle Elementary School. Before the cultural literacy and science lessons began the families enjoyed a catered dinner while staff members meandered the room prefacing what was in store for the night.

Many students who had attended the week before or even the sessions during the summer had some background knowledge on the Indian education that was going to be discussed. Shelby Maerz, the Program Assistant for Indian Education led the cultural literacy class while Keizer Elementary School Fourth Grade Teacher Terry Tucker led science lessons.

Maerz noted that in the previous week the students in attendance learned about the Kalapuya tribe located in Oregon in addition to the Wampanoag tribe found in Massachusetts. The Wampanoag tribe is famous for hosting their Green Corn Festival where corn husk dolls are made. After learning about the festival, students got to take part in this tradition creating their own dolls.

On the other side of the hallway Tucker, led enthusiastic students, and parents, in programming their robots to drive through Oregon. Making a complete rectangle, Tucker noted the five regions: Coastal, Willamette, Cascade, Eastern, and the Klamath.

From the looks on the students faces, Maerz and Tucker will be sure to have full classrooms as they continue the Indian Education nights into the new year!

Indian Education at Weddle Elementary Oct. 2019

Teacher Terry Tucker assists a mother and her son in programing a robot.

Indian Education at Weddle Elementary Oct. 2019

Program Assistant Shelby Maerz presents information on the Green Corn Festival.

Indian Education at Weddle Elementary Oct. 2019

Handmade corn husk dolls.