Texas school counselor looking for information on American Indians

Bobbie Whitehead, Today correspondent
3/29/09

MIDLAND, Texas – An elementary school counselor in Midland, Texas, wants to bring American Indian awareness to students there.

To do so, Caline Baggett is looking for American Indian speakers as well as information on Indians, particularly those native to Texas.

“After Black history month, I thought there should be more awareness in our school,” Baggett said. “I’m trying to have kids do projects for their teachers.”

Along with information on historical American Indian figures, Baggett wants stories and information about modern Indians for the De Zavala Elementary School students.

“I’m not focusing on any particular tribe right now, and I don’t know of any tribes in our area,” she said. “I just want the students to find a person and do research on that person to tell what life was like for the person if he or she was from another
time period.”

Baggett, who said she descended from Powhatan Nation Indians, searched through various Internet sites to find American Indians and American Indian history to pass on to teachers to let the children choose a subject or person to research.

Since Native American History Month is in November, Baggett wants to get an early start on preparing to educate students about American Indians, their history and culture.

“I’m looking for any and all information from anyone on American Indians, past and present,” she said.

Another reason Baggett took on the project was because she didn’t feel the history books provided an accurate representation of American Indians.

A native of Texas, Baggett said she grew up in the Houston area and has had an interest in American Indian culture all her life. A few years ago she said she learned about her Indian ancestors and has wanted to learn more about American Indians ever since.

“When I was four years old, I started having this crazy obsession with the culture,” she said. “I’ve just been fascinated with the culture my whole life.”

Anyone interested in speaking at the school or providing information or books can contact Baggett at De Zavala Elementary School at (432) 689-1440 or send information to her attention at De Zavala Elementary School, 705 N. Lee, Midland, TX 79701.

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