Randy Pench/The Sacramento Bee
Corinne Trumbell, a fourth-grade teacher from Saratoga, New York checks out the Indian grinding rock at Indian Grinding Rock State Park on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in Pine Grove, California. The Center of Sacramento History and Sacramento State received a grant to bring teachers from across the country to the Sacramento area to learn about the California gold rush and bring it back to their students.

Teachers From Across Turtle Island Flock to Gold Rush Sites


Typically it’s the students who take field trips, but last week it was the teachers’ turn.

Teachers from across Turtle Island spent six days visiting 15 historic sites in the Sacramento, California area, reported The Sacramento Bee.

In an effort to educate teachers and students about the effects of the Gold Rush, the Center for Sacramento History and California State University, Sacramento, received a $178,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to bring 72 teachers to the area, says The Bee.

This isn’t the only grant the NEH offers like this, but it’s the first one offered that focuses on the California Gold Rush.

RELATED: Native History: California Gold Rush Begins, Devastates Native Population

“Learning about the Gold Rush is essential to understanding the Native peoples, the industrialization of the United States and also very much that story of immigration and migration,” Marcia Eymann, a Sacramento city historian who helped to secure the grant, told The Bee.

As Al Hurtado, a Sacramento native and retired professor of Native American history at the University of Oklahoma, points out, most people have no clue how much the Gold Rush affected the Native population.

“When you ask people what they know about the Gold Rush, they say, ‘Didn’t people build a sawmill somewhere?’ and ‘A lot of people went to California.’”

“But the Gold Rush was such a fundamental event in the 19th century, not only in California but in the world,” said Hurtado, who wrote two books on the topic. “The Gold Rush was a worldwide event, and people came from every corner of the globe. The gold that was discovered and mined in California tripled the world’s gold at the time.”

Read more about the teacher’s reactions and the Gold Rush in Sacramento at SacBee.com.

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Wanbli Koyake's picture
Wanbli Koyake
Submitted by Wanbli Koyake on
Hau mitakuyepi, Greetings my Relatives, Pilamayaya pelo, I thank you all regarding “Teachers From Across Turtle Island Flock to Gold Rush Sites.” I followed the Sacramento Bee’s link (hoping to to read of participants shocked reaction to CA’ genocidal history) to find this summation…”Hurtado gave an in-depth lecture on the effect the Gold Rush had on American Indians in the area…American Indians were instrumental in building Sutter’s Fort, and while many lives were disrupted by white settlers, native peoples also benefited from the gold rush, he said. “The cooperative relations are often masked by the conflicts,”…” No doubt the Original Peoples of western Turtle Island were welcoming and generous upon first contact with immigrants! But 178K of NEA funding for whitewashed intellectualized Greedism! What a waste! Apparently, nobody thought to ask the Cali Skins what they thought of the benefits their ancestors received from the “Gold Rush”! Frankly, the NEA’s program is an exercise in Denial and Deceit; such a minimization of the Original Peoples of California’ –ongoing– Genocidal Victimization to “conflict” is a conspiratorial crime against humanity and Life! Wicoiye na Wowapi Hohecetu welo, Mitakuye Owasin! My words and written words are true! All my Relations!

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
These teachers should be taught the DETRIMENTAL effects of the Gold Rush on the Native population. I'm pretty sure there were few (if any) positive sides as far as Native Americans went. What continues to distress me is idiotic shows like Discovery Channel's "Gold Rush." which glamorizes gold and the idiots who hunt it.