In a small, rural school reside big hopes for Nevada’s Native students

Before class on a warm and sunny December morning, eight kindergarten students at Schurz Elementary School listened quietly as the Shoshone Indian Flag song played over their computer screens. 

The lyrics, translated to English from the Shoshone language, mean, “Across the big water, the red, white and blue is fluttering in the wind. War spear thrown in the ground by a foreign water.”

This is how students begin their virtual school day on the Walker River reservation, which spans 325,000 acres across the Nevada desert, east of Yerington and north of Hawthorne. Surrounded by mountains, the river valley is home to a little more than 1,000 people. And 69 of the 72 students who attend Schurz Elementary School, which sits on the reservation, are American Indian. More.