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Fallbrook elementary school honors Native American history with reading room

It's almost the end of the school year, but for La Paloma Elementary School students, it's the start of something new.

On Friday, local Native American tribal members celebrated the opening of a new reading center at the school's library.

"Its an honor for me. It's an honor because of our culture... our tribe, the N’de Apache tribe, the people that I represent, and most importantly I was called to do this," said Angel Sanchez Reyes, the chief of the N’de Apache tribe.


He says he enjoys sharing his stories and history and hopes it's something that doesn't get lost. "If you ask any Native American about their history, they'll be more than glad to tell you. We're just not asked often enough. And we would love to share that," he said. 

"And what better way than a library to teach the kids growing up their culture? They need to know everything that's involved in their background so when they grow up they can be as proud as we are," said Virginia Camacho, an N'De Apache tribal member.

Regan Pedo, the school’s librarian, wanted to create a space that would keep history alive.

She discovered the school was built on an ancient burial ground and wanted to give a little piece back.

"There's a lot of history underneath here, La Paloma, this ground," Pedo said. "We have several tribes surrounding us. So I knew once I made those connections... It was gonna be a powerful thing to open a beautiful room to remind children this is where we are and remind us of how we can be better."


A dark and plain corner got filled with colorful murals and books.

And Pedo hopes its a space where students not only learn about Native American history, but all histories.

"This is really what its about. Everyone of those elders talked about the portals, the books, how can we find ourselves in the books. What can we find about each other in the past," she said.  

A grant from former HUD secretary Dr. Ben Carson funded the new space and provided students with brand new books in English and Spanish.

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