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18junAll DayBOE Regular Monthly Meeting - 06/18/2024

Pathmakers is a 4-year demonstration grant-funded program developed by the Center for Tribal Innovation and Entrepreneurship (C-TIE), a consortium of the Blue Lake Rancheria, the Northern Humboldt Union High School District, the Humboldt County Office of Education, College of the Redwoods and Eureka City Schools. The program provides multi-tiered curricular and financial resources to Native students, families, and educators. As a part of that support, Pathmakers provides Culturally and Linguistically Responsive (CLR) MakerSpace programming for Native and non-Native youth in grades K-12 in Humboldt County.

Culturally & Linguistically Responsive

CLR uses the “cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performance styles of diverse students to make learning more appropriate and effective for them” (Geneva Gay). CLR:
  • Acknowledges the cultures of different ethnic groups, both as legacies that affect students’ dispositions and approaches to learning—and as content worthy of being taught.
  • Builds bridges between home and school experiences, and between academics and lived realities.
  • Uses different instructional strategies for different learning styles.
  • It teaches students to know and praise their own and each other’s cultures.
  • It incorporates multicultural information, resources, and materials in all subjects and skills.

What is a Makerspace?

A makerspace is a place where people can explore their own interests, learn how to use tools and materials, and learn to develop creative projects.

Through makerspaces and making, Pathmakers will strive to integrate Native American tribal knowledge, cultures, and languages with Western science, technologies, and tools.

Developing the cultural component of the program will involve students, college-age mentors, parents, teachers, tribal members, and native culture and education experts.

Traditional Learning

Traditionally, indigenous people tended to be taught by going with elders and learning through demonstration, observation, practice, and reflection.

Youth learned by doing, failing, trying again, and ultimately succeeding. This is the same type of learning that can and does happen in makerspaces.

In Pathmakers, lessons will be taught:

  • by reflection on the knowledge and cultures of tribal communities,
  • by expert demonstration and student practice—including student-to-student teaching,
  • by working on student-identified projects with teachers, mentors, experts, parents, elders, and other tribal members.

Goal-setting and Voice

Students in Pathmakers will set individualized learning goals and incorporate learning about their identities into their goals and into what they make.

The idea is to give students voice to express their identities, to let them take greater ownership over the curriculum, and to allow them to bring their diverse individual experiences and interests to the makerspaces.

Guiding Principles

Pathmakers is guided by the belief that students do better when:
  • Teachers, mentors, and students work together,
  • lessons are connected to students’ lives, families, tribes, and communities,
  • students have more autonomy and are engaged in their work, and
  • dialogue and collaboration with peers is emphasized over lectures.

Trusting Relationships

Makerspace teachers and guest maker experts will make a big difference if they can create trusting relationships with students so they feel more comfortable sharing themselves and their creative ideas.

The project-based, real-world learning provides promising avenues to engage and motivate native youth for whom conventional education may not be working as well as desired.

For more information contact: Alison Robbins, Blue Lake Rancheria, 707-497-8638,


TEL: 707.668.5101 x.1057
FAX: 707.668.4272

(for U.S. Postal Service):

Blue Lake Rancheria
PO BOX 428
Blue Lake, CA 95525

(for FedEx, UPS):

Blue Lake Rancheria
1 Aiyekwee Loop
Blue Lake, CA 95525