Program focused on North Coast tribes designed to add more Native American culture and curriculum into classrooms


BLUE LAKE, Calif. (KIEM)-A 4-year demonstration grant-funded program focused on North Coast Tribes was created to bring more Native American curriculum into classrooms.

The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe, Humboldt County Office of Education, And Northern Humboldt Union High School District developed the educational program called Pathmakers.

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The lesson plans focus on native STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), as well as traditional ecological knowledge for native and non-native students to learn about the history, culture, and technologies of local tribes.

Pathmakers has partnered up with local tribal members who specialize in traditional customs and practices in hopes of passing down knowledge to younger generations.

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Native maker workshops are offered at Northern Humboldt Union High School District and through other local partnerships with California State Parks North Coast Redwoods and Humboldt County Office of Education and can range from how to make hunting tools to how to cook traditional foods.

Native maker Leo Canez, who is a Humboldt University Counselor and Native recruiter, is teaching students how to make traditional gill nets.

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“So, they are bringing these resources out that aren’t necessarily part of the curriculum or the campus community to connect with our culture and connect with who they are to help them be successful not only on the academic side but as they are, who they are as Native American students on campus,” he said.

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