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Celebrating Traditions and Cultures at Salt River Elementary School

Students at Salt River Elementary School participate in Native American Recognition Days by dressing up in their tradtional outfits and playing toka on the school lawn.

November is National Native American Heritage Month. From November 14 to 16, Salt River Elementary School provided an opportunity for students, teachers and staff to participate in Native American Recognition Days (NARD) and learn about the various traditions and cultures represented within their own school.

NARD within SRES kicked off with an assembly on November 14. Students, teachers and staff were reminded to be proud of their heritage and rich cultures. Students who dressed in their traditional clothing were featured in a parade, allowing them to show off their beautiful outfits.

“A lot of kids don’t know where their teachers are from and what tribe(s) they [represent]. It’s good that they now know when they present their different cultures in the classrooms this week. They got to see other cultures without having to go anywhere,” said Dorgene Lewis, SRES culture and language specialist.

On November 14 and 15, SRES classrooms hosted activity rotations for students to participate in different lessons: reading, coloring, jewelry making, gourd designing, dancing and more.

On November 16, a non-competitive fun run was held. Students and teachers ran approximately 1 mile around the vicinity of Salt River Community Schools. Students wore bright orange T-shirts printed with Si has elid ves humackam and Piipaash matchamk ‘shaxyak, meaning “respect all people.” Students, teachers and staff encouraged each other to make it past the finish line. Family members also brought their lawn chairs to cheer on the SRES students and teachers. Students were rewarded with frozen treats after the fun run.

Throughout the two-day event, students were exposed to various cultures and learned about other Native American tribes from across the nation. “We had a great time this week! Everything turned out great,” Lewis said.

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