Museum assembles Indian education trunks

By MELINDA PEIRCE/Montana State News

Yellowstone Gateway Museum officials recently unveiled four teaching trunks to assist with the Indian Education for All program. The purpose is to engage in functional learning of Native American Indian life and culture.

Native American leggings, doll, ledger book and post cards
Artifacts that are included in several Indian education teaching “trunks” assembled by the Yellowstone Gateway Museum staff.

What initially started out as one teaching trunk quickly became four, after students and teachers of Park County suggested that too much material was being covered in a short period of time in the classroom.

Last summer, museum staff along with volunteers created the four Native American teaching trunks which allow the material to be covered more in-depth. Each trunk includes; “Tools of the Trade”, “Pack Your Bags and Travel Through Montana,” “Step in a Native American Closet” and “Local Food and Medicine Cabinet.”

Museum staff and volunteers hope to keep creating more of these teaching trunks to bring museum history and education to the classroom. Upcoming trunks will include topics such as; “Transportation and Early Expeditions,” “The History of Water Use in Montana,” “Women in the West” and other subjects that mirror existing museum exhibits.

Education does not have to be confined to the classroom. Park County hopes to enhance self-esteem and education of the students through field trips, hands-on learning projects and collaboration with community businesses. The goal will be to promote local, state and national history, and expose the students to art and culture.

For more information on the Yellowstone Gateway Museum or Indian Education for All, go to the following websites; http://www.yellowstonegatewaymuseum.org or http://www.opi.mt.gov/programs/indianed/.

Edited by Kevin Knapek

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