Lobo Elementary and local Native Americans celebrated the opening of a new museum – one that teaches school children about scientific and cultural aspects of water from a Native American perspective – on campus Monday.
That brings the total number of Native American museums at Lobo to two, and that’s two more than any other elementary school in the entire United States, said Jacque Nunez of the San Juan Capistrano-based Juaneño Band of Mission Indians.
“Capistrano Unified has given so much support for Native American education,” Nunez said.
The new Water Museum, or Earth Lodge, is an example of the cross-curricula the district will offer under the new, national standards the district is implementing, said school board Trustee Amy Hanacek.
“What a gift this project is to Lobo,” said new Principal Cheryl Sampson.
“It’s been a labor of love, and commitment and to the greatest extent of the word, community,” said Dina Gilio-Whitaker, coordinator for the Earth Lodge.
She said the museum is part of a “global-intellectual paradigm shift” by teaching children that they are not separate from the ecosystem and encouraging them to find sustainable solutions for environmental problems.