Placing native culture and language at the heart of school curriculum is helping children live in two cultures.
In New York state, the Tuscarora Indian School is one of the few serving an entirely native population on Native American land. Students learn the Tuscarora language and English, as well as the rich history of their culture.
Principal Elizabeth Corieri and the staff are also focused on preparing students for the future.
According to teacher Joanne Weinholtz, the native language and culture is the heart of education for Tuscarora students. “We’re helping to plant our students’ roots,” said Weinholtz, a teacher for 30 years. “Their families are the first to do this but we also contribute, so that no matter where they are, they know who they are.”
Weinholtz’s perspective is unique, as she attended Tuscarora as a student. She has taught native culture classes for the past 25 years on a daily basis.