Year 4 Dreamstarter Lourdes teaches the cultural uses of her community’s natural resources

On November 30, 2018, Lourdes Pedroza-Downey held her first community event at Round Valley Elementary School.  Lourdes created a presentation on T’oh-telh (bear grass) and how it is used by the Wailaki people and neighboring tribes.  During the Dreamstarter Academy, in April, Lourdes found Wailaki baskets at the National Museum for American Indian Archive Center that were made with t’oh-telh.  She took photos and when she got home she began to study and learn about t’oh-telh and it’s uses.

Here is a picture of the cover of Lourdes’ T’oh-Telh book, given to each class who attended the presentation.

Lourdes also created cards, with pictures and cultural information about t’oh-telh.  These cards were given to each of the 230 children and adults  who came to listen to the presentation.  Earlier in the year, students learned about kos-choh, soap root, so Lourdes created cultural cards and poster both t’oh-telh and kos-choh.

Here is a picture of the cards Lourdes made and gave to the children.

Here is a picture of Lourdes giving her presentation.

This year, in Lourdes’ Introduction to Natural Resources class, Lourdes researched “cultural burning” because t’oh-telh needs to be burned before it is harvested.  At Lourdes’ presentation, she shared her findings with the students and talked about the need for cultural burning to keep forests healthy, along cultural burnings function in harvesting plants for cultural use.

A group of 5th graders listening to Lourdes’ presentation.

A poster Lourdes made to teach about Cultural Burning.

Lourdes had dried beargrass for students to touch, feel, hear, and smell.  Taking turns, students passed around the beargrass.

Here are the posters Lourdes created for each classroom, including a picture of the plant and how the plants are used, culturally.

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