Friday, August 12, 2022
The First Nations Studies Program of the MPS Bilingual Multicultural Education Department welcomed Milwaukee Bucks basketball player MarJon Beauchamp for a meet and greet with First Nations students at Hayes Bilingual School. Beauchamp is of Indigenous descent from the southern California Luiseño Nation. He connected with Native children about the importance of their heritage. “I'm happy to be here. I appreciate you. You have a new friend in me. I'm always here—I'm willing to connect.” Beauchamp answered questions from students in a talking circle and shared the importance of respect for culture along with confidence, discipline, and humility.
Talking circles are an important part of native culture and are places where participants learn respect and patience while each person has an opportunity to voice their thoughts. Wedgewood Park IB School and First Nations Studies student Michael Svec III enjoyed passing the talking piece to others as they spoke. “It’s cool that I get to meet MarJon. I’m a Milwaukee Bucks fan and from the Menominee Nation. It will be really cool to see a Native player.”
MarJon Beauchamp, who was a first-round draft pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in June 2022, played college basketball for the Yakima Valley Yaks in Washington. His grandfather, Henry Beauchamp, was the first African American mayor of Yakima. First Nations Studies values the many partnerships within Milwaukee and Wisconsin. MPS is grateful to the Milwaukee Bucks for partnering with First Nations Studies, setting an example for our students, and supporting the Native community.
Richanda Kaquatosh, supervisor of the First Nations Studies program, was delighted with the visit. “Using a talking circle format with MarJon and our students just felt right. The simple lessons learned in the circle are so valuable and respectful. This meet and greet just set the tone for a great Bucks season and a great school year.” Students in First Nations Studies receive services and resources at schools across the district.
Mark your calendar as MPS celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, October 10, 2022. For more information, visit mpmske.com/firstnations.