Involve elders, parents, and local leaders in all aspects of instructional planning.
The lesson I wanted to talk about with the students through their community of elders, culture bearers, and families is how language empowers us. A mentor at BHS told me a story that resonated with me. She told me that when she learned that one of her cousins passed away that that information was relayed in English. She said she could not feel anything and she was surprised about the lack of feeling. She went on to tell me that the word for cousin in Inupiaq loosely translates to “a part of you is in a part of me”. When she went home and thought about losing her cousin in her native language, she felt a rush of emotions. My vision for this lesson is to invite elders, culture bearers, family members into the class to talk about boarding schools so that the students can hear first-hand how the times were back then, provide them with a balanced view, and build community. I am by no means the person to teach this portion of the lesson. I would like the students to find the issues that speak to them and reflect so that they are able to answer the question: what can we do today? In doing so, I feel that their editorial articles will be authentic and written for a greater audience than our class.