WCE Learns About The Acjachemen Nation
William Collier Elementary was treated to a special presentation on Wednesday May 4th entitled: Journeys of the Past.
It was presented by a wise and talented woman named Jacque Nunez, and it was about the local indigenous peoples.
To accommodate the school, there were two presentations. One for the younger students and another for the older students.
Though much of the information was repeated for both groups, a surprisingly large amount of material was different for each one. Lucky for me... I saw both.☺
It was very interactive where she would say a word in the Acjachemen language and the kids would repeat it back.
|Jacque Nunez talking about the yucca plant to the assembled students of William Collier Elementary.|
Though the presentations did give some insights to the Acjachemen Nation, AKA the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, it was much more.
Jacque encouraged all the kids to learn more about their own families and heritages and to be tolerant of others from other cultures.
Instead of saying "ewww" when presented with something new to them, she suggested that they say "ahhh" then "awesome" instead.
You see her use that technique in the video below as she has the kids learn about some Native American musical instruments.
During the presentation the kids had a chance to learn how the Acjachemen people would gather acorns, hunt, make baskets, make rope and their music.
She was able to keep both groups' attention for 45 mins. You can tell that she had been a teacher before by the way she interacted with the kids and got them to stay focused.
In addition to the many factoids about the Acjachemen people that I learned. I also learned a technique she used to quiet students when they'd get fidgety: Quiet Coyote.
In the video below, the students are reminded that every person deserves respect and that no one should be treated differently because of the color of their skin.
They were also motivated to learn five things about their own families.
I noticed that as much as the presentation was about the Acjachemen people, it was also about having respect for others.
I found it to be a very wholesome message presented in an irresistible and engaging manner. If only such things existed back when I was an elementary schooler.
After the assembly was over I had a chance to ask Jacque a couple of questions.
WR: How did this presentation come about?
JN: I created this program while I was in college and decided that the story of my ancestors needed to be told.
WR: Can you tell me a bit about your background/schooling?
JN: I went to school, got my first degree at USC in speech communications. I went back after I was married and I got a degree in business. So then I took everything about my history and created a business.
WR: What would you like the kids to take away from your presentation?
JN: There are lots of little seeds of learning, but I think number one that the Acjachemen people were the indigenous people, for your school particularly.
I think the greatest seed is that they realize that they come from a family that is worthy of being celebrated just like I am. In essence, I'm teaching the seed of respect, understanding and a celebration of who they are.
How lucky for the students at William Collier Elementary to have had such a presentation. If any of the other school administrators in Wildomar would like to have her at their schools, Jacque is easy to get a hold of at her website. Where you'll also find a ton of other info, including a more detailed biography and mission statement.