If you teach at an off-reservation school, there's a good chance that most of the encounters your students have had with kids from reservation schools are at sporting events--when fans and players are geared up to root for the home team. In general, such competitions are NOT particularly conducive to developing cross-cultural understanding. Wish there were way to foster positive peer-to-peer interactions between on and off-reservation students? Now there is.
Arlee teacher Anna Baldwin (author of many of the Mining Childhood lesson plans I talked about last post) is also the advisor to Arlee High School’s Reservation Ambassadors Club. The club’s goal is to develop understandings, build relationships, and dispel misconceptions about reservations and reservation schools in Montana. Members of the Reservation Ambassadors are looking to partner with classes and clubs at off-reservation schools to engage in text-based discussions and other group activities.
As I understand from Anna, the Ambassadors are interested in collaboration with middle and high school classes. For example, together the club and classroom teacher might select a film for students to watch or an essay for them to read—and then both your class and members of the Reservation Ambassadors could come together (live or via skype) for a discussion. The idea is to create opportunities for interaction and cross cultural communication. The Ambassadors are not interested in giving large, assembly-style presentations.
If you're interested in partnering with the club in your off-reservation school in person or via skype, please email club adviser Anna Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.