- West Handley Elementary School
FWISD Board Observes American Indian Heritage Day
The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education observed American Indian Heritage Day at its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 24.
The state of Texas recognizes the last Friday in September as American Indian Heritage Day. The observance recognizes “the historic, cultural, and social contributions American Indian community leaders have made to this state,” and celebrates “the rich traditional and contemporary American Indian culture” with ceremonies, activities and programs in public school and other locations, according to Texas Government Code.
The nation observes Native American Heritage Month in November.
The Board recognized several District parents and employees of the American Indian community and their tribes at Tuesday’s board meeting. Of those recognized were:
- Regina Blakeley, parent, Narragansett Nation from Rhode Island
- Andres Rogers, FWISD teacher and parent, Cherokee Nation
- Rachel Ferrera, parent, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
- Terry Hunter, parent, Kiowa Tribe
- Cristal Bloomer, FWISD employee, Apache Tribe
- Hailey Sides, former student, Jicarilla Apache Nation
- Ida Paz, grandparent, Tiqua Tribe
- Karka Navarro, parent, Tiqua Tribe
In 2018, the Board approved a resolution honoring American Indian heritage. Under the resolution, the second Monday in October, the District will annually observe a day of service honoring and recognizing American Indian Heritage for Fort Worth ISD students. The resolution was brought to the board at the recommendation of committee made up of District students, teachers and parents and local residents of Native American descent, according to board trustees.
“A day to honor American Indian heritage is an opportune time to educate the public about tribes and to raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically, and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizen have worked to conquer these challenges,” the resolution reads. “A day to honor American Indian Heritage is also a time to celebrate the rich and diverse culture of … Native Americans residing in the United States keeping in mind all of the historical sacrifices they have made in the country, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of native people.”
Hundreds of students of American Indian/ Alaska Native descent represent multiple federal- and state-recognized tribes in the Fort Worth ISD.
The District’s American Indian Education Program offers academic support and cultural education to FWISD students who identify or who are of Native American descent. For more details, call 817-814-2879.