On Monday, April 24, Native American students gathered at the Susanville Indian Rancheria Resource Center to celebrate Earth Day. Photo by Ashley Arey

Native students celebrate Earth Day

On Monday, April 24, students ages 5 through 18 gathered at the Susanville Indian Rancheria Resource Center to celebrate Earth Day and to learn about protecting the environment around them.

The event was put on by the Susanville Indian Rancheria Natural Resource Department and the Education Department and featured different games and activities that allowed students to learn about protecting and preserving the environment. Dr. Roselynn Lwenya, natural resource director, said it’s important for the tribe to embrace the idea of protecting and preserving the environment. “Earth Day is something we should celebrate everyday,” said Lwenya.

Lwenya said at this event they really wanted to emphasize the idea of reduce, reuse and recycle.

At one station Melany Johnson, tribal historic presentation officer, showed students some of the resources nature has to offer that can be used to make other things such as baskets and even food.

She showed the students that willow can be used to create baskets and fish traps, but it has to be healthy.

“It’s important to keep the water and land clean so the willow is good,” said Johnson.

At another station students were able to decorate reusable bags to bring home for their families to use. The students played beanbag toss. Each beanbag had a label on it, and students had to decide if it would go to recycling, compost or trash. The students also were able to win raffle prizes at the event.

Lwenya said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the community.

Lwenya said she hopes to have an event like this every month during the spring and summer to keep youth aware.

She said the department also plans on having a booth at the county fair to educate the community about protecting the environment.