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.
“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.