TEF, in partnership with Cargill, provided enough funds for all students at Ibapah Elementary School to attend the Natural History Museum of Utah for Indigenous Day on November 12. If you unfamiliar with the town or location of Ibapah, you can read more about it here.
Indigenous Day was a full day of traveling and activities for the students and their teachers, who live in a remote location of TCSD. Marilyn Linares, the lead teacher at Ibapah Elementary, summarized the day’s activities in the letter below:
Dear Tooele Education Foundation:
Thank you so much for providing Ibapah Elementary School with funding and opportunity to visit the Utah Museum of Natural History on Indigenous Day. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the day, touring the galleries and learning about rock art. When we first arrived a tribal elder, Mr. Johnson, taught a hands-on lesson to the audience. They painted with bleach on construction paper to represent pictographs. Then they drew with a stylus on sand paper to create a petroglyph. Did you know that pictographs are painting on rocks left by ancient ones and petroglyphs are carvings in rocks left by ancient ones?
Students then broke into small groups with their chaperones and toured the various galleries. They were amazed by the dinosaurs of the Past Worls. First Peoples gallery housed various tools and implements that showed the ingenuity of the ancient ones. Land and Climate brought to students’ attention the vast and different characteristics of Utah and surrounding area in present and past. The earthquake simulator was a student favorite. To culminate the visit, Native Voices on the 5th floor connected students with their ancestors through living traditions and oral language. Several of the students’ faces lit up as they recognized a grandparent or n auntie or a cousin pictured in one of another of the exhibits. Two little girls stood smiling in front of their great grandmother’s display. (They currently reside with her.)
Often times, students in our small remote community have a feeling that they are alone or lost in the world. Seeing the natural history, their heritage, and often their relatives on public display and in a place of honor will do wonders to validate their self-image and help them connect with their past.Often times, students
Thank you again for your generous contribution to our students’ education.
Lead Teacher–Ibapah Elementary School