4th grade students get hands-on learning experience about Native American culture

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Students tour Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Dozens of students from schools in Macon-Bibb County are learning more about Native American culture. They’re taking tours around Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.

“A lot of them think Native Americans don’t exist anymore today because they wear blue jeans and t-shirts just like we do. They don’t understand that in the past they wore deer skins. It’s good for them to understand the present and the past,” Park Ranger Supervisor Angela Bates said.

Students get to learn about how Native Americans lived from hunting for food, making shelter, their language, and marriage customs.

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park got a $10,000 grant through the National Park Foundation. $5,000 of the grant went towards transportation to bring students to the park. The other $5,000 is paying for registered Native Americans to come and teach students their culture.

Bates said part of the reason for the grant is to get students outside the classroom.

“Because kids just don’t get outside like they use to. So it’s to expose them to the outdoors as well as nature,” Bates said.

It also gives students like Rihanna Little a different outlook at life.

“We basically should be lucky for all the things we have now,” Little said.

Students will tour Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park all week.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.