Scottville 3rd graders learn about native culture.

March 3, 2015
Marty Wabindato teaches the students about Indian dance.

Marty Wabindato teaches the students about Indian dance.

See video here.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

MANISTEE TWP. (Manistee Co.) — Students from Vicki Dahringer’s Scottville Elementary third grade class explored Native American culture up close last week when they visited the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ government complex.

The Mason County Central students were invited by the tribal council to each receive a series of four fiction books about Indian culture written by author Louise Erdrich.

Teacher Vicki Dahringer, left, and principal Kevin Kimes, right, accept the tribe's history book from Virgil Johnson.

Teacher Vicki Dahringer, left, and principal Kevin Kimes, right, accept the tribe’s history book from Virgil Johnson.

Dahringer said she had been using books by the author over the past 10 years. The limited supply she had were getting worn out and students had to share them throughout the term. She said the books are good for learning because the state of Michigan curriculum calls for Michigan history to be taught in third grade and the books teach about Indian culture.

She needed to find a way to fund the books so she made contact with the tribal education department in Manistee County. She was then re-directed to another department which offered to help her out.

“We were honored when she asked,” said Virgil Johnson, tribal council spokesman. “The council unanimously voted that we would do this. We purchased a set of four books for each student so they could enjoy reading about our culture.”

_RSA5059The students took a tour of the government complex and then watched a demonstration about Indian culture presented by Marty Wabindato of Manistee. Wabindato taught the children about Indian dance, hunting and dress, among other topics. He answered the third graders’ curious questions.

The students were also treated lunch.

“This is the gold standard of student of student engagement,” Kevin Kimes, Scottville Upper Elementary principal said. “Anytime in education when you get a chance to bridge cultural diversity, it’s a great thing. This is just really humbling. I hope and dream that every one of the students at Mason County Central get exposed to this.”

Kimes said he was appreciative of the tribe’s hospitality. The council also presented Kimes and Dahringer with copies of its historical book, “Our People’s Journey.”

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