We want to thank Genevieve Oaks of the Social Science Department, John Kessler, American History teacher and all the staffers involved at University High in Irvine, Calif for inviting us to the annual Make a Difference day 2023. The Orange County Museum Coalition was among many worthy organizations that were invited to speak to the students at University High about our organizations and and how students could participate in 'making a difference' outside the classrooms.
We are grateful to have presented our initiative for a Museum of Indigenous Culture and Natural History to the attentive and engaged students of Mr. Kessler's history class. As the students found out, from the past to the present, from tribal culture and history to the natural sciences of this region, there is a whole lot to be discovered in Orange County. The relevance of the research, discovery, education and history as it relates to our society at large in Southern California and beyond is certainly a worthy aspect of our proposed institution which could easily be termed a world class institution with a world class collection.
From the identification of the many tribes who were here well before European contact, to the amazing flora and fauna of the past and present, the students were treated to pictures and discussion of sacred sites, current anthropological and archeological theories, petroglyphs and the stories they might reveal, as well as the relevance of fossil specimens found and the records of the biology of this region then, and now.
Our experience at the 2023 Make a Difference Day dovetailed nicely with the Western Museum Association's Annual Conference which was held in Pasadena, California. We were also quite pleased to discuss potential career paths in Museum Studies and in the related fields. And, if the quality of the discussions and the level of interest experienced at these two events this month are any indication, then it is obvious that a Museum of Indigenous Culture and Natural History will serve as an invaluable institution of native culture, learning, research and discovery, as well an amazing destination, a place to visit again and again.
So thank you to the students and staff of University High for making us feel so welcome, and participating in our interactive presentations with such enthusiasm. At the end of the day, YOU made a difference! We look forward to seeing you in the near future as our project continues to progress~
Cheers, Mel Schantz, Chair, The Orange County Museum Coalition