Story Corps (opportunity)

StoryCorps, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, is accepting applications from public libraries and library systems interested in hosting StoryCorps @ your library programs.

Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), StoryCorps @ your library will bring StoryCorps’ popular interview methods to libraries while developing a replicable model of oral history programming.

Program guidelines and the online application are available at apply.ala.org/storycorps. The application deadline is Feb. 6.

Ten selected sites will receive:       

  • a $2,500 stipend for project-related expenses;
  • portable recording equipment;
  • a two-day, in-person training on interview collection, digital recording techniques and archiving on April 8-9, 2014, led byStoryCorps staff in Brooklyn, New York (Note: Travel and lodging costs will be covered by StoryCorps.);
  • two two-hour planning meetings to develop a program and outreach strategy with StoryCorps staff in March 2015;
  • promotional materials and technical and outreach support;
  • access to and use of StoryCorps’ proprietary interview database.

Each library will be expected to record at least 40 interviews during the six-month interview collection period (May-October 2015). In addition, each library must plan at least one public program inspired by the interviews they collect. Local libraries will retain copies of all interviews and preservation copies will also be deposited with the Library of Congress.

This StoryCorps @ your library grant offering represents the second phase of the StoryCorps @ your library project, following a pilot program in 2013-14. Read more about the pilot libraries at http://www.ala.org/programming/storycorps and http://www.storycorps.org/your-library.

About ALA’s Public Programs Office

ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives.

About StoryCorps

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve and share their stories. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps has published three books: Listening Is an Act of Love and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, and All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps — all of which are New York Times bestsellers. For more information, or to listen to stories online, visit storycorps.org.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Punished At Boarding School (language)

Native Americans Work to Save Language


Aru Pande | VOA News Nov 28, 2014.

FORT YATES, NORTH DAKOTA—One evening a week, young and old gather in Michael Moore’s classroom in Fort Yates, North Dakota, to learn Lakota — the language of their Sioux tribal ancestors.

For many of the students here at Sitting Bull College, it’s a tongue their great grandparents spoke fluently at home.

But that changed in the early 1900’s, when thousands of Native American children were sent to boarding schools where they were told to assimilate, learn English and forget all aspects of their native culture.

Gabe Black Moon, who co-teaches Lakota with Moore, remembered his time at one such school.

“The government punished [us for speaking] our language, and I’ve seen that happen. It happened to me,” he said. “Day one, I went to school, I couldn’t speak English. I got punished pretty bad.”

More Than Food (holidaze)

For Americans Fighting to Reclaim Their Culture, Thanksgiving Means More Than Food


November 25, 2014 
by Colleen Fitzgerald

Every fourth Thursday in November, Americans find time for family, sharing food, traditions and language. Stories of that iconic first Thanksgiving evoke images of Pilgrims and Indians, but as is so often the case with history and popular culture, some details are missing. Two of the biggest ― those Indians were the Wampanoag, and within two centuries, their language ceased to be spoken.

Today, the Wampanoag and other Native American tribes give thanks for those who fight to bring their languages home again.

Food is not the only thing humans crave. Losing your language creates a hunger for that piece to make you whole again. This hunger is seen in so many U.S. indigenous communities. It is a hunger to reconnect with heritage, to regenerate culture and traditions, and to revitalize heritage languages.

Language is a powerful badge of identity. The Wampanoag know this. The restoration of their language, powered by Jessie Little Doe Baird and the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project, includes summer language camps where children experience their tribal language ‘set within a cultural context,’ for example, learning how to plant, harvest and cook traditional foods. These foods, plants and animals are familiar to those of us who are not Native Americans. Words like squash, persimmon, hickory, chipmunk, skunk and possummade their way into English in a route that originated in different Algonquian languages, writes linguist Ives Goddard.

​Access full article below: 

From Trail of Tears to texting (language)

Cherokee language: From Trail of Tears to texting in the native tongue


As elders worry about whether their culture will survive, children continue learning to speak as their ancestors did

November 22, 2014 5:00AM ET
by Juliana Keeping   @julianakeeping

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The children stand in a circle, just beyond a poster of a U.S. map that highlights the swath of the Southeastern United States that the Cherokees once controlled.

The fourth-grade students are in a classroom at the Cherokee Nation Immersion School in eastern Oklahoma, where they speak, learn and write in nothing but the tongue of their ancestors.

The conversation among the animated pupils bounces around the circle. They are preparing for a Cherokee language competition and in doing so, talking about a scenario in which they are looking to meet up with their teacher, Glenda Beitz, in a Walmart parking lot — if they could only remember where she lived.

The exercise aims to emphasize Oklahoma town names because “those are disappearing in our language,” said Beitz, 49, who has taught the class of eight 9-year-olds since they entered kindergarten.

Access full article below: 

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/11/22/cherokee-languageoklahoma.html

NB3 and Native American Heritage Month

NB3 and Native American Heritage Month
November Is Native American and National Diabetes Prevention Month
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NB3 Foundation & Native American Heritage Month
Also National Diabetes Prevention Month

You probably know that November is both Native American Heritage Month and National Diabetes Prevention Month. As you spend time celebrating Native American culture and tradition this month, NB3F asks that you take a moment to think about the health epidemics affecting Native children in our country.
Data suggests that half of all Native children will develop type 2 diabetes, which is more than 9 times the risk their non-Native peers face
NB3F is committed supporting and assisting grassroots, homegrown community responses to the health crisis affecting Native Americans. Please consider making a gift in honor of Native American Heritage Month!
Your donation of $20, $50 or even $100 will assist NB3F in our efforts to help Native children know the importance of a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. No gift is too small to help the next generation of Native children Live Healthy, Live Strong and Live Native.
Make a gift today to support NB3F in addressing the current health crisis Native American children are facing
 
 You can find more information on our focus on Native health by:
 
Thank you,


Crystal Echo Hawk
Executive Director
Notah Begay III Foundation

 

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2014 Elders Dinner and Inter-Triba Gathering

2014 Elders Dinner and Inter-Triba Gathering

Northern California Indian Development Council's 2014 Inter-Tribal Gathering & Elders Dinner

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Copyright © 2014 NCIDC, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because your have requested to be part of the list or your job is related to American Indian education.

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washington slurskin (mascot)

National Congress of American Indians

Watch the ‪#‎BigGame commercial the NFL would never air.

Get involved by contacting the Washington Professional Football Team, the NFL and the Washington Post:

DC Team

@redskins

Facebook.com/redskins

http://www.redskins.com/footer/contact-us.html 

Roger Goodell & NFL

@NFL

@NFLcommish

http://www.nfl.com/contact-us

https://www.facebook.com/NFL 

Washington Post

DC's hometown paper is still using the R-word in its coverage of the team.

@WashingtonPost

@PostSports

https://www.facebook.com/washingtonpost

Contact the Washington Post:

202-334-6100

http://help.washingtonpost.com/ics/support/ticketnewwizard.asp?style=classic&deptID=15080

Thank you to all of the filmmakers who donated their footage.

 

 

Preventing Flu

Preventing Flu
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Information for Schools & Childcare Providers

Language:
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The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year.Educators and staff can help slow the spread of colds and flu. On this page, you will find information on preventing the flu as well as materials and tools for schools.

Each year, an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications. Influenza causes more hospitalizations among young children than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is recommended for all children aged 6 months and older. Making healthy choices at school and at home can help prevent the flu and spreading flu to others.

Encourage children, parents, and staff to take the following everyday preventive actions[2 MB, 2 pages]:

  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

School-Located Vaccination

Guidance and Resources

 

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First Tday (holidaze

First Tday (holidaze
Holidaze
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Native News Network

First thanksgiving Info

from the November 27, 2002 edition –
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1127/p13s02-lign.html
 
The first Thanksgiving
 
In the fall of 1621, 90 Wampanoag Indians and 52 English colonists gathered for a three-day harvest feast. How did Americans get from that celebration to the Thanksgiving 'traditions' we observe today?
 
By Elizabeth Armstrong | Special to The Christian Science Monitor
 
PLYMOUTH, MASS. - Everyone knows about the Pilgrims and the Indians, right? How the two groups gathered peacefully in Plymouth, Mass., to feast on juicy turkeys and colorful pumpkin pies.
 
The trouble is, almost everything we've been taught about the first Thanksgiving in 1621 is a myth. The holiday has two distinct histories - the actual one and a romanticized portrayal.
 
Today, Americans celebrate a holiday based largely on the latter, whose details of turkey and cranberry sauce decorating one long table stem from the creative musings of a magazine editor in the mid-1800s.
 
The true history has been a difficult one to uncover. Staff at Plimoth Plantation, which occupies several acres on the outskirts of the city of Plymouth, just north of Cape Cod, have been in the vanguard of researching the event. But a big obstacle remains: Everything historians know today is based on two passages written by colonists.
 
Participants' accounts
 
In a letter to a friend, dated December 1621, Edward Winslow wrote: "Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time, among other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others."
 
Twenty years later, William Bradford wrote a book that provides a few more hints as to what might have been on that first Thanksgiving table. But his book was stolen by British looters during the Revolutionary War and therefore didn't have much influence on how Thanksgiving was celebrated until it turned up many years later.
 
No one is certain whether the Wampanoag and the colonists regularly sat together and shared their food, or if the three-day "thanksgiving" feast Mr. Winslow recorded for posterity was a one-time event.
 
In the culture of the Wampanoag Indians, who inhabited the area around Cape Cod, "thanksgiving" was an everyday activity.
 
"We as native people [traditionally] have thanksgivings as a daily, ongoing thing," says Linda Coombs, associate director of the Wampanoag program at Plimoth Plantation. "Every time anybody went hunting or fishing or picked a plant, they would offer a prayer or acknowledgment."
 
But for the 52 colonists - who had experienced a year of disease, hunger, and diminishing hopes - their bountiful harvest was cause for a special celebration to give thanks.
 
"Neither the English people nor the native people in 1621 knew they were having the first Thanksgiving," Ms. Coombs says. No one knew that the details would interest coming generations.
 
"We're not sure why Massasoit and the 90 men ended up coming to Plimoth," Coombs says. "There's an assumption that they were invited, but nowhere in the passage does it say they were. And the idea that they sat down and lived happily ever after is, well, untrue. The relationship between the English and the Wampanoag was very complex."
 
Since they did not speak the same language, the extent to which the colonists and Indians intermingled remains a mystery. But a few details of that first Thanksgiving are certain, says Kathleen Curtin, food historian at the Plimoth Plantation.
 
What was on the menu?
 
First, wild turkey was never mentioned in Winslow's account. It is probable that the large amounts of "fowl" brought back by four hunters were seasonal waterfowl such as duck or geese.
 
And if cranberries were served, they would have been used for their tartness or color, not the sweet sauce or relish so common today. In fact, it would be 50 more years before berries were boiled with sugar and used as an accompaniment to meat.
 
Potatoes weren't part of the feast, either. Neither the sweet potato nor the white potato was yet available to colonists.
 
The presence of pumpkin pie appears to be a myth, too. The group may have eaten pumpkins and other squashes native to New England, but it is unlikely that they had the ingredients for pie crust - butter and wheat flour. Even if they had possessed butter and flour, the colonists hadn't yet built an oven for baking.
 
"While we have been able to work out which modern dishes were not available in 1621, just what was served is a tougher nut to crack," Ms. Curtin says.
 
A couple of guesses can be made from other passages in Winslow's correspondence about the general diet at the time: lobsters, mussels, "sallet herbs," white and red grapes, black and red plums, and flint corn.
 
"We have only one documented harvest feast that occurred between the cultures," Curtin points out. "You don't hear about [any other] harvests occurring between them. I assume that they did on some level, but it's fascinating that it is just that one source, one sentence in one letter. I wonder what else is there that someone just didn't jot down, and we now know nothing about."
 
Until the early 1800s, Thanksgiving was considered to be a regional holiday celebrated solemnly through fasting and quiet reflection.
 
But the 19th century had its own Martha Stewart, and it didn't take her long to turn New England fasting into national feasting. Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the popular Godey's Lady's Book, stumbled upon Winslow's passage and refused to let the historic day fade from the minds - or tables - of Americans. This established trendsetter filled her magazine with recipes and editorials about Thanksgiving.
 
It was also about this time - in 1854, to be exact - that Bradford's history book of Plymouth Plantation resurfaced. The book increased interest in the Pilgrims, and Mrs. Hale and others latched onto the fact he mentioned that the colonists had killed wild turkeys during the autumn.
 
In her magazine Hale wrote appealing articles about roasted turkeys, savory stuffing, and pumpkin pies - all the foods that today's holiday meals are likely to contain.
 
In the process, she created holiday "traditions" that share few similarities with the original feast in 1621.
 
In 1858, Hale petitioned the president of the United States to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote: "Let this day, from this time forth, as long as our Banner of Stars floats on the breeze, be the grand Thanksgiving holiday of our nation, when the noise and tumult of worldliness may be exchanged for the length of the laugh of happy children, the glad greetings of family reunion, and the humble gratitude of the Christian heart."
 
Five years later, Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."
 
"[Hale's] depiction is wrong much more often than it's right," says Nancy Brennan, president of Plimoth Plantation. "When this idea [of the first Thanksgiving] caught on, it became a big, popular subject for prints and books and paintings, all of which used whatever people could gather about what the environment might have been like in 1621."
 
A native view
 
With little mention of the native population, the Wampanoag presence was virtually relegated to the background, and the Pilgrim presence promoted to the fore.
 
"The Wampanoag, we sometimes forget, were the majority population," Ms. Brennan says. "In the 19th and 20th centuries, Thanksgiving was really a tool for Americanization amid the great influx of immigration. It was supposed to bind this diverse population into one union."
 
And so, over the centuries, that first Thanksgiving took on a shape of mythological proportions. But how Americans celebrate today has little to do with the convergence of two different populations across an enormous cultural divide.
 
One man who would like people to know more about the actual Thanksgiving is descended from the Wampanoag Indians who were such an essential part of the first Thanksgiving celebration.
 
He steps out onto the porch in front of the Flume restaurant in Plymouth and looks south. He lifts his face - marked by deep lines and dark, heavy eyes - toward the open sky.
 
"I'm looking down the river here now, and the sun is bright, and the tide is high, and the wind is blowing," he says. "My people would say that is the spirit coming from the southwest, where the corn and beans and squash come from. So we thank the spirit world - the fire, the moon, the sky, the sun, the earth."
 
This man's name is Earl Mills Sr., and he is a retired high school teacher and athletic director, the author of two books, and the owner of the restaurant.
 
But Mr. Mills has another name and another job. As Flying Eagle, he is the chief of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.
 
Still, he doesn't see himself as caught between two cultures. Instead, he embraces both.
 
With equal relish, Mills will spend an afternoon walking in peaceful silence, as his ancestors did, or an evening listening to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
 
He has always spent a lot of time thinking about the history of his people, however, and the confusion about what really happened back in 1621.
 
"Things have changed so much," he says, choosing his words carefully. "Even Thanksgiving has changed. Young people today don't remember what it was like 50 or 100 years ago.
 
"Then, we picked our own cranberries from our own cranberry bogs, and we caught rabbits and hung them outside our garage doors."
 
More recently, Coombs remembers that as she was growing up, her family celebrated the holiday as most other Americans did. She went to her grandfather's house, ate a turkey dinner, and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television. It wasn't until she was in college that she learned her ancestors had observed Thanksgiving in a different manner.
 
It is not just the eating, but the gathering together, preparing, and thanking that matters, Mills says. "The role of food is important, but it's gotten to the point where we become gluttons.... We could spend a lot more time really thinking about what's going on in our world and giving more thanks."
 
Whose history is it?
 
Mills points to the Plymouth Rock on the town's waterfront as an example of differing views. The rock, first placed in 1774, is a monument to the landing of the Mayflower, the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts 382 years ago.
 
"They're saying this is 'America's hometown,' that this is the rock [the colonists] stepped on," Mills says. "I'm not against that, and it's nice to have the rock, but don't try to make it true when it's really a symbol, a mythology."
 
He's also disturbed by the fact that many people still don't know or seem quick to dismiss the native side of the story.
 
"When I talk about Thanksgiving, [some people think] it happened too long ago to matter," Mills says. "But when they talk about it, well, it's history."
 
Still, the Wampanoag now have many more opportunities to contribute to historical accounts of the region, offering insight into the traditions of their people that have been passed down orally through the generations.
 
"The two groups are working very well together in recent years," Mills says. "And those connections turn into a circle. No matter how small, how minor, they all contribute to the human beings that we are."
 
In late 1621, remembering the first Thanksgiving gathering, Edward Winslow expressed a sentiment similar to Mills's call for sharing and giving thanks:"And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
 
What historians do know about Thanksgiving
 
There are many myths surrounding Thanksgiving. Here are nine things we do know are true about the holiday.
 
1. The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration in 1621 that lasted for three days.
 
2. The feast most likely occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11.
 
3. Approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians and 52 colonists - the latter mostly women and children - participated.
 
4. The Wampanoag, led by Chief Massasoit, contributed at least five deer to the feast.
 
5. Cranberry sauce, potatoes - white or sweet - and pies were not on the menu.
 
6. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag communicated through Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, who knew English because he had associated with earlier explorers.
 
7. Besides meals, the event included recreation and entertainment.
 
8. There are only two surviving descriptions of the first Thanksgiving. One is in a letter by colonist Edward Winslow. He mentions some of the food and activities. The second description was in a book written by William Bradford 20 years afterward. His account was lost for almost 100 years.
 
9. Abraham Lincoln named Thanksgiving an annual holiday in 1863.
 
Full HTML version of this story which may include photos, graphics, and related links
 
 
www.csmonitor.com | Copyright © 2002 The Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved. 
 
The first feast was held in 1621 to which Massasoit and 90 Indians came with food (see first two links below), however the last link is about the proclamation of 1676 which includes: "The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, ... It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed..."
 
http://members.aol.com/calebj/thanksgiving.html
http://www.plimoth.org/Library/Thanksgiving/firstT.htm
http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/thanksgiv.html
 
Are You Teaching the Real Story of the "First Thanksgiving"?
Are you teaching the true Thanksgiving story or is the version you're passing on to your students a blend of fact and myth? Ready to set the record straight?
http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr040.shtml
 
"I propose that there may be a good deal that many of us do not know about our Thanksgiving holiday and also about the 'First Thanksgiving' story," says Chuck Larsen in the introduction to Teaching About Thanksgiving. "I also propose that what most of us have learned about the Pilgrims and the Indians who were at the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation is only part of the truth."
"When you build a lesson on only half of the information, then you are not teaching the whole truth," Larsen adds.
Larsen seems to know of what he speaks. As a public school teacher, a historian, and an American of Indian heritage, Larsen has always had a difficult time teaching about the Thanksgiving holiday.
"Every year I have been faced with the professional and moral dilemma of just how to be honest and informative with my children at Thanksgiving without passing on historical distortions, and racial and cultural stereotypes," Larsen says in his introduction.
"The problem is that part of what you and I learned in our childhood about the 'Pilgrims' and 'Squanto' and the 'First Thanksgiving' is a mixture of both history and myth," Larsen continues. "But the theme of Thanksgiving has truth and integrity far above and beyond what we and our forebearers have made of it. Thanksgiving is a bigger concept than just the story of the founding of Plymouth Plantation."
Larsen goes on to try to sort out the myth from the true history in his introduction to "Teaching About Thanksgiving," a project of The Fourth World Documentation Project of The Center for World Indigenous Studies. The project includes an accurate telling of "The Plymouth Thanksgiving Story" along with study and discussion questions, ideas for enrichment, art projects, and authentic recipes -- all intended to enable teachers to accurately portray the events surrounding the first Thanksgiving.
In closing his introduction, Larsen provokes with a question: "What started as an inspirational bit of New England folklore soon grew into the full-fledged American Thanksgiving we now know... But was [that 'First Thanksgiving'] really our first Thanksgiving?"
"There really was a true Thanksgiving story of Plymouth Plantation," Larsen says. "But I strongly suggest that there has always been a Thanksgiving story of some kind or other for as long as there have been human beings. There was also a 'First' Thanksgiving in America, but it was celebrated thirty thousand years ago…Every last Thursday in November we now partake in one of the oldest and most universal of human celebrations, and there are many Thanksgiving stories to tell."
STEREOTYPES, FOR EXAMPLE
"Teaching About Thanksgiving" offers a handful of the "old stereotypes" that are often reinforced in classrooms across the United States. According to the article, "If you enact the story of the first thanksgiving as a pageant or drama in your classroom, here are some things to consider:
"Indians should wear appropriate clothing. NO WARBONNETS! A blanket draped over one shoulder is accurate for a simple outfit.
"Squanto and Samoset spoke excellent English. Other Indians would have said things in the Algonkian language.
"These people were noted for their formal speaking style.
"Indians in the Woodlands area did not have tipis or horses, so these should not be part of any scenery or backdrop.
"Any food served should be authentic. The following would be appropriate: corn soup, succotash, white fish, red meat, various fowl (turkey, partridge, duck), berries (including whole cranberries), maple sugar candies, corn starch candy (believe it or not, candy corn is almost authentic except for the colored dyes), watercress, any kind of bean (red, black, green, pinto), squash…."
 
Larsen has detractors...
Caleb Johnson, creator of the MayflowerHistory.com Web pages, claims that Larsen's "Teaching About Thanksgiving" contains many factual errors. (See A Factual Rebuttal to a Popular Thanksgiving Lesson Plan.) Among the facts above disputed by Johnson is the idea that "Squanto and Samoset spoke excellent English." They spoke broken English at best, Johnson writes.
In Thanksgiving on the Net: Roast Bull with Cranberry Sauce, Jeremy Bangs makes an effort to sift through the "more than two hundred websites that 'correct' our assumptions about Thanksgiving" and set the record straight. "Setting people straight about Thanksgiving myths has become as much a part of the annual holiday as turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie," he writes.
THE NATIVE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE
"Young children's conceptions of Native Americans often develop out of media portrayals and classroom role playing of the events of the First Thanksgiving. That conception of Native Americans gained from such early exposure is both inaccurate and potentially damaging to others," says Debbie Reese in "Teaching Young Children About Native Americans," an ERIC Digest (May 1996).
For example, a visitor to a child care center heard a four-year-old saying, "Indians aren't people. They're all dead." "This child," Reese says, "had already acquired an inaccurate view of Native Americans, even though her classmates were children of many cultures, including a Native American child."
"By failing to challenge existing biases we allow children to adopt attitudes based on inaccuracies," Reese continues.
"Most of the commercially prepared teaching materials available present a generalized image of Native American people with little or no regard for differences that exist from tribe to tribe," Reese adds. "Many popular children's authors unwittingly perpetuate stereotypes. Richard Scarry's books frequently contain illustrations of animals dressed in buckskin and feathers, while Mercer Mayer's alphabet book includes an alligator dressed as an Indian."
TEACHING SUGGESTIONS: POSITIVE STRATEGIES
A number of positive strategies can be used in classrooms, writes Reese.
  • "Provide knowledge about contemporary Native Americans to balance historical information. Teaching about Native Americans exclusively from a historical perspective may perpetuate the idea that they exist only in the past.
  • "Prepare units about specific tribes rather than units about "Native Americans." For example, develop a unit about the people of Nambe Pueblo, the Turtle Mountain Chippewa, the Potawotami. Ideally, choose a tribe with a historical or contemporary role in the local community. Such a unit will provide children with culturally specific knowledge (pertaining to a single group) rather than overgeneralized stereotypes.
  • "Locate and use books that show contemporary children of all colors engaged in their usual, daily activities (for example, playing basketball or riding bicycles) as well as traditional activities. Make the books easily accessible to children throughout the school year. Three excellent titles on the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico are Pueblo Storyteller by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith; Pueblo Boy: Growing Up In Two Worlds by Marcia Keegan; and Children of Clay by Rina Swentzell.
  • "Cook ethnic foods but be careful not to imply that all members of a particular group eat a specific food.
  • "Be specific about which tribes use particular items, when discussing cultural artifacts (such as clothing or housing) and traditional foods. The Plains tribes use feathered headdresses, for example, but not all other tribes use them.
  • "Critique a Thanksgiving poster depicting the tradtitional, stereotyped Pilgrim and Indian figures, especially when teaching older elementary school children. Take care to select a picture that most children are familiar with, such as those shown on grocery bags or holiday greeting cards. Critically analyze the poster, noting the many tribes the artist has combined into one general image that fails to provide accurate information about any single tribe.
  • "At Thanksgiving, shift the focus away from reenacting the 'First Thanksgiving.' Instead, focus on items children can be thankful for in their own lives, and on their families' celebrations of Thanksgiving at home."
"Besides using these strategies in their classrooms, teachers need to educate themselves," Reese continues. "Stereotyping is not always obvious to people surrounded by mainstream culture. Numerous guidelines have been prepared to aid in the selection of materials that work against stereotypes."
"Much remains to be done to counter stereotypes of Native Americans learned by young children in our society," writes Reese in the conclusion to her ERIC Digest. "Teachers must provide accurate instruction not only about history but also about the contemporary lives of Native Americans."
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For activities and a long list of Web sites related to the Pilgrims, Native Americans, and the "First Thanksgiving" be sure to see this week's Education World LESSON PLANNING articles:
Classroom Activities for Exploring Native Americans
Blast stereotypes with across the curriculum activities for students of all ages.
The "First Thanksgiving" -- A Feast of Activities
Looking to cook up a feast of across-the-curriculum fun? The table is set with a plentiful selection of ideas. Dig in!
It's Turkey Time! "Gobble, gobble, gobble...."
Increase your students' knowledge and skills when you use TURKEYS as a teaching theme.
Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World ® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 2006 Education World
Originally published 11/24/1997
Last updated 10/04/2006

Day of the Feast
So As To Honor Carnage
by Nokwisa Yona, NAV Contributing Editor
 
http://www.imdiversity.com/article_detail.asp?Article_ID=1275
 
"Whenever, in the course of the daily hunt, the hunter comes upon a scene that is strikingly beautiful, or sublime - a black thundercloud with the rainbow's glowing arch above the mountain, a white waterfall in the heart of a green gorge, a vast prairie tinged with the blood-red of the sunset - he pauses for an instant in the attitude of worship.
 
"He sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, because to him all days are God's days." - Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa)/Santee Sioux
 
Beware. The season is upon us... It is coming...
 
Thanksgiving is closing in quickly with all its inaccurate historic and palatable falsities, steeped in supposed commemoration of a celebration between Pilgrims and Natives.
 
Once again small children will don paper hats and headdresses while mothers stock freezers and shelves with turkey, cranberries, dressing mix and potatoes. Dads prepare by reviewing football game line-ups.
 
Though many hold out for the associated glut and entertainment, some Americans do keep with a spirit of thanks and, in spite of the truth, words escape - "in keeping with the Pilgrim's thanks." But, for what were the Pilgrims giving thanks?
 
Massasoit's good faith... "Massasoit, therefore, had good reason to hope the English could benefit his people and help them end Narragansett domination. In March (1621) Massasoit, accompanied by Samoset, visited Plymouth and signed a treaty of friendship with the English giving them permission of occupy the approximately 12,000 acres of what was to become the Plymouth plantation. However, it is very doubtful Massasoit fully understood the distinction between the European concept of owning land versus the native idea of sharing it. For the moment, this was unimportant since so many of his people had died during the epidemics that New England was half-deserted. Besides, it must have been difficult for the Wampanoag to imagine how any people so inept could ever be a danger to them. The friendship and cooperation continued, and the Pilgrims were grateful enough that fall to invite Massasoit to celebrate their first harvest with them (The First Thanksgiving).
 
Massasoit and 90 of his men brought five deer, and the feasting lasted for three days. The celebration was a little premature. During the winter of 1622, a second ship arrived unexpectedly from England, and with 40 new mouths to feed, the Pilgrims were once again starving. Forgiving the unfortunate incident in the graveyard the previous year, the Nauset sachem Aspinet brought food to Plymouth." [See Wampanoag Compact History]
 
Stage set for more "thanks to the Lord"
 
"The [1636] massacre at Mystic broke the Pequot. Despite the obvious loss of life, the Pequot still had most of their warriors, but the attack demonstrated their fortified villages were vulnerable and deprived the Pequot of the support they needed from their allies. Starving and unable to plant their crops, the Pequot abandoned their villages, separated into small bands, and fled for their lives. As small groups, they were easy prey, and few escaped. After an abortive attempt to find refuge among the Metoac on Long Island, Sassacus in June led 400 of his people west paralleling the coast and its seafood because they were short of food. Slowed by their women and children, the Pequot crossed the Connecticut but killed three Englishmen they encountered near Saybrook. Unfortunate, because it told the English exactly where they were. Hartford declared June 15th as a day of prayer and thanksgiving for the "victory" at Mystic. The English, however, were not satisfied with merely winning the war and had decided to destroy the Pequot." [See Pequot Compact History]
 
"And indeed such a dreadful Terror did the Almighty let fall upon their Spirits, that they would fly from us and run into the very Flames, where many of them perished...God was above them, who laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven: Thus were the Stout Hearted people spoiled, having slept their last sleep, and none of their Men could find their Hands: Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the place with dead bodies!" American Holocaust, David E. Stannard, pg. 113
 
Pillage honored
 
Then we have the proclamation shared among the thankful on June 20, 1676, when the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, unanimously voted to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving:
 
"The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgments he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:
 
The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being persuaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and souls as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ." [See http://www.night.net/thanksgiving/First-proc.htm]
 
There is also the thankful declaration of 1704 by Governor Dudley calling for a General Thanksgiving to celebrate: "[God's] infinite Goodness to extend His Favors... In defeating and disappointing.... the expeditions of the Enemy [Indians] against us, And the good Success given us against them, by delivering so many of them into our hands."
 
In truth, America's Thanksgiving is wrought with false and misleading history. It is not and has never been meant in Honor of the Indian People. We have our own Harvest feasts, Ceremonies and manner of Thanks and if you are serious about this "holiday," I (and, all members of the First Nations) ask you to do your homework.
 
Below are several sites that address the "other" side of this day:
 
Thanksgiving: A National Day of Mourning for Indians, by Moonanum James and Mahtowin Munro
 
Open a Can of Worms for Thanksgiving, by Patricia Ross
 
Teaching Young Children about Native Americans (ERIC Digest), by Debbie Reese
 
Wampanaog Compact History, by Lee Sultzman Pequot Compact History, by Lee Sultzman
 
A First Proclamation, Prepared by Gerald Murphy (The Cleveland Free-Net - aa300). Distributed by the Cybercasting Services Division of the National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN)
 
 
Andre Cramblit, Operations Director
Northern California Indian Development Council
andrekaruk@ncidc.org
241F Street Eureka California 95501
http://ncidc.org
(707) 445-8451

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