Since 2021, with President Biden’s acknowledgement of the national holiday Indigenous People’s Day, school teachers across the U.S. have been quickly looking for new resources to celebrate this important day with their students. This year, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies teamed up with the Middle American Research Institute to give presentations and demonstrations to students throughout the state. On October 7th, Ixnal Cuma Chávez (Maya Language Scholar), Diego Matadamas Gomora (MARI Outreach Coordinator and PhD candidate), Emily Hale-Davis (PhD candidate), Denise Woltering Vargas (SCLAS Outreach Program Manager) and Jessica Melancon (MARI, Operations Manager) representatives from MARI and SCLAS shared a presentation to over 140 elementary students on the Kaqchikel Maya language and culture at Larose Elementary in Cutoff, LA.
On October 10th, New Orleans area seventh graders stopped by campus to learn more about the language and sport of the Tunica-Biloxi community with presentations by Ixnal Cuma Chávez and Judith Maxwell. Students left campus with a basic introduction to the colors in Tunica and some introductory stickball skills.