Mohawk to add instruction on Native American history, issues

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Article Author: Grace Bird
Publication Name: Greenfield Recorder
Article Date: 4/11/2019
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BUCKLAND — Mohawk Trail Regional School District is planning to incorporate more Native American instruction in its history and social studies courses.

There are two main reasons for this renewed push: a new state social studies framework was released last June and the school recently proposed to remove final images of its Native American mascot.

“I think this conversation in terms of our imagery or our mascot and this mural, leads us back to, who are we are and where we are sitting, and wanting to kind of recommit ourselves to ensure that all of our groups are represented,” Co-Principal Marisa Mendonsa said at an Education Subcommittee meeting Tuesday. “If the name of our school is Mohawk Trail, whether the history is accurate or not speaks volumes to why you should teach it and for kids to be connected to it.”

Mendonsa said she is especially interested in adding more instruction on Native American issues before the country was settled by the English as well as contemporary indigenous matters. She also plans to expand the schools’ Native American instruction as it currently focused on cultural traditions.

“This is historically a group who has been left out of our history,” Mendonsa said. “When they’ve been in it, they haven’t always been portrayed accurately.”

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