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PACE Students Learn From Yakama Nation Elder

  PACE High School students studying Yakama Nation legends in Jan Whitefoot’s English class recently got a lesson from an expert. Mrs. Whitefoot invited her longtime friend and Yakama elder, Marlene Simla, to speak to her students. Mrs. Whitefoot describes her friend as one of the most knowledgeable people she knows when it comes to Yakama legends. Marlene engaged the class in helping tell a story called “The Visitor”. The story involved audience participation where some students played the part of howling winds while various other students were called on to draw and illustrate parts of the story.
  Marlene has used her extensive knowledge of the legends to write, illustrate and publish a series of books. She says she used her life experiences as the foundation to create her publications. She read from one of those books during her presentation at PACE. She also left a number of copies of another book that students can access.
  Marlene spoke about the importance of reading and encouraged the students to access the library. Before the lesson was over students had the opportunity to ask Marlene questions. They learned about what her life was like growing up and the influence it had on her and the work she has done as an adult.