Day 4, Wednesday, was a busy and productive day for the TAH cohort. We began with a tour of the Library of Congress.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is, in my opinion, the most beautiful building in Washington D.C. Within the main lobby and reading room, every inch was covered in murals, art, and statuary with depictions of the humanities and social sciences. Of course, the importance of the library as a repository of published materials cannot be overlooked, particularly for researchers. I am now the proud owner of a Library of Congress reader’s card (and if I go back, I’m going to use it!).
Following the tour, we met a representative of the Library’s education staff, who first gave us an overview of resources for teachers and then gave us the behind-the-scenes tour. The digital collections may be very useful for students and teachers seeking primary sources.
You can access the collections here: http://www.loc.gov/library/libarch-digital.html.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Education
Cohort members had the unique opportunity to meet with the director of of Office of Indian Education. The director provided an overview of the challenges his office, and Indian education, in general, face. A highlight of this visit was the opportunity to engage in discussion with the director and his staff regarding current and historical trends with the Bureau-funded and Bureau-supported schools, difficulties integrating services with public schools and state education systems, and the unique opportunities that Indian schools provide.
Indian Education Policy Presentation
Before dinner, we had a presentation on legislative issues, current and past, facing Indian education. My “take-aways”: Indian education has, and continues to have, an uphill battle for importance and support among our nation’s highest branches.