FOUR DIRECTIONS INSTITUTE

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    Four Directions Institute is currently constructing its new campus at Hesperia Lake, Hesperia, California.  Phase I of the project is approximately 75% complete and 86% funded.  Completing this phase will necessitate the securing of an additional $100,000 in capital grant funding.

 

Need:
     Hesperia Recreation and Parks District (HRPD) has urgent needs to meet the demands of its growing community and special circumstances:
1. Safe year-round group camping facilities with ancillary facilities for recreation and education.
2. Adequate improved space for the growing pow wow.
3. An outdoor amphitheater for thespian groups, concerts, and large group meetings.
4. Educational facilities relative to the adjacent ancient Vanyume village archeological sites of Atongaibit and nearby Maka’taveat.
5. Safe facilities to host childrens’ immersion field trips and camps to teach subjects including nature, science, and Native American culture.
6. Craft facilities.
7. An arboretum of indigenous plants and their uses.
8. A multimedia lecture / classroom
     Hesperia Lake Park rests adjacent to an ancient Vanyume village site. The Vanyume are a near extinct branch of the Serrano people with only a handful of surviving descendants. Most of he remaining Serrano reside on two reservations, San Manuel in Highland, California and Morongo in Banning, California. The Serrano, and therefore the Vanyume, are Uto-Aztecan relatives of the Hopi, Pima, Shoshoni, Paiute, Ute, Comanche, and others including the great Aztecan culture of Mexico and therefore a great deal of the Mexican-American population of California. The rich Native American prehistory and culture of Hesperia, and the high desert in general, is known only to a few and, most certainly, not at all to the community in general.
     California State Assembly Bill AB 1953 provides "that the 4th Friday in September shall be a holiday in this state to be referred to as "Native American Day." The bill would authorize public school and community college governing boards pursuant to memoranda of understanding to provide that the 4th Friday in September shall be a holiday known as "Native American Day," and would authorize exercises, funded through existing resources, to be conducted in all schools respecting that day. This bill would authorize the State Board of Education to adopt a model curriculum guide related to "Native American Day."
     Pursuant to this, Four Directions Institute, a California non-profit public benefit corporation created curricula, provides teacher training classes and institutes accredited by California State University, San Bernardino and University of California, Riverside, and has published a third and fourth grade workbook, The First Californians, and its teacher manual, and will publish The First Americans, a fifth grade work book along with its teacher manual.
     FDI will collaborate with HRPD in the development and operation of this facility thus enabling FDI and HRPD to capitalize on the unique opportunity of tying the Native American theme and architecture to a multi-purpose facility that would:
1. Assist local area schools, colleges, and universities in their education endeavors relative to the State of California mandate and to teach Native American related subjects in general as well as science and nature.
2. Increase community historical knowledge and pride.
3. Eliminate Native American and Latino stereotypes and bring the community together with its more than 20,000 Latino and Native American inhabitants who represent one third of Hesperia’s population.
4. Offer teacher continuing education training and masters and doctorate graduate degrees in subjects relative to Native American studies.
5. Display museum collections of artifacts from the John Swisher, Four Directions Institute, and other collections.