Harvesting Hope is a short film centered around an innovative outdoor classroom implemented by Umóⁿhoⁿ (Omaha) Nation Public Schools in Macy, Nebraska. Educators teach students about the natural sciences through the lens of Native culture, history, and traditional ceremonies.
Director of the Umónhon Language and Culture Center
Umónhon Nation Public Schools
From planting to harvesting and everything in between, Umóⁿhoⁿ Nation Public School students connect with their community and receive hands-on experience in agriculture, economics, and cultural traditions.
Wherever we go, there’s always going to be something exciting that we don’t know anything about… When you are outside, there’s so much to learn.”
— Brenda Murphy
One of the main goals of this outdoor classroom is for students to connect to their Native culture in new ways. Educators work to ‘retraditionalize’ students by introducing them to crops historically indigenous to the Umóⁿhoⁿ people.
Students are discovering the important history of these crops and how they can enjoy them in their daily lives.
Students are benefiting from this program in countless ways. Some of the vegetables harvested are used to prepare school lunches while many more get sold back to the community at a fair price.
They’re learning valuable lessons in economics by helping to price and sell the crops. Over the summer, high schoolers can be hired for a paid part-time job preparing the gardens for the next harvest.
These are just some of the many skills students are gaining to set them up for success beyond school.
People are so excited and happy to see that we’re doing something like this, fulfilling a need that we have in our community. This food was grown on Omaha land by Omaha people. And now it’s going back to them. It’s a dream come true for me, you know.”