CONNECTICUT, USA — The Mohegan Tribe has been invested in educational programming supporting local schools, educators, and communities for decades, even before getting federally recognized in 1994.
To expand upon that programming effort, Beth Regan, the Vice Chairwoman of the Mohegan Tribe Council of Elders, said they created the Mohegan Tribe's Educators Project.
The Mohegan Tribe's Educators Project is a free program that offers tools and resources to teachers and homeschoolers in Connecticut.
It combines new in-depth resources and interactive tools focused on Native American studies.
"So now we can bring curriculum our stories to everyone in Connecticut," explained Regan.
As Native American Studies become required in Connecticut schools in the 2023-2024 school year, Regan said they hope it provides educators with valuable tools and resources.
"We want people to know that we are still here, have a thriving culture, and have a history and a story that people want to know," passionately explained Regan.
Tribal member Samantha Cholewa plays a vital role in the Educators Project. She is the director of Mohegan Curriculum & Instruction, Oversees the administration and strategic planning, and refines and implements the curriculum.
"Our goal of the educator's project is to engage as many students across the state of Connecticut as possible and to provide free resources for all learners to learn about Native American studies," explained Cholewa.
Allison Gallis is a 4th-grade teacher at Oswegatchie Elementary in Waterford, CT. She said they've taught Native American studies for years in her classroom and haven't had our hands on the resources they need to go in-depth. However, this program helps gives students real-life and tangible experiences.
"The primary sources have been incredible, and just getting an authentic perspective has impacted students," said Gallis."The students need to understand other cultures, understand the importance of the storytelling, and all the things that are so important to the different cultures."
Regan said keeping the language, stories, and history of her tribe alive is essential, so continuing the tribe's legacy through educational outreach and resources has been vital.
"Because it's all a part of not only our past but a part of the day are present, but it also brings us into the future as well," said Regan.
How does Educators Project work?:
According to the Educators Project news release, the program's customized lesson plans will be made available by grade level and are written to meet required educational standards. In addition, a secured website will supply educators with lesson plans, printable study and film guides, worksheets, and video assets to help aid in their efforts to bring Native American studies to the classroom. Units and lessons are designed to be tailored to meet the needs and educational standards of the respective classroom and are geared for grades K -12.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Mohegan Tribe.
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