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  • What would you want non-Native kids to know about you?

    I'm going to be one of the speakers/presenters at the upcoming Educational Fair the Friday preceding the Great Salt Water Powwow.

    There will be over 2,000 school kids there-- the vast majority of which are non-Native.

    We already have a great lineup of speakers... including, but not limited to:

    - John Crazy Bear (Oglala Lakota) - Veteran, ran away from boarding school at 15 and used forged papers to join up with WWII

    - Dean James (Dine) - School teacher on Navajo Reservation. Also cultural and linguistic preservationist and in general a real leader when it comes to Native education.

    - Roger Willie (Dine) - Veteran, Artist & Actor (He was Charlie Whitehorse in Windtalkers)

    - The powwow MC and head dancers will also speak to the kids about where they come from, their tribes & what exactly is a powwow.

    - There will be other speakers/presenters... really too many to mention here.

    A lot of you might not think something like this is worthwhile. You might say to yourself, "Why bother trying to get these non-Indians to know anything about us?"

    Frankly, I think that is a sad position to take. I'll do whatever I can to educate anyone about who we are and what our history and culture is all about.

    How else will they know that we are NOT the stereotypes they see on TV or in movies... that we are still here... we don't all live in tipis (nor have we EVER all lived in tipis)... and that we don't all walk around in buckskin and feathers.

    It's amazing, because we've already received Educational Fair contest entries from the various schools participating and the children's views of who and what we are is so diverse.

    You can tell that some really come from progressive, educated families who've taken the time to teach their children MORE than what they're getting from their textbooks... but a large number, the majority of these kids, really have a warped view of who we are.

    It's up to US to change that perception... so... that being said, what would YOU want a non-Native child to understand about who you are?

  • #2
    Originally posted by skaroreh
    It's up to US to change that perception... so... that being said, what would YOU want a non-Native child to understand about who you are?
    ummm ... we still live with a lot of traditions, and that we enjoy sharing them with the rest of the world and that we eskimo's, can still build igloos, but we don't live in them as our "main" home and we have all the things like, running water, electricity and yes, high speed internet :Thumbs
    Inuk*



    "A person who works with their hands is a laborer,
    A person who works with their hands & their brain is a craftsman,
    A person who works with their brain & their heart ... is an Artist".
    Join my on my face book fan page:

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    • #3
      well i think kids these days really need to get past the stereotypes of our people, but then again it doesnt start with them. I agree that it is very important to educate others of our traditions and cultures. I wish they could see and be more open minded to the fact that our people are not lazy dependant people that we have always been hard werking and have much to offer the world if we are only given the chance that we are not forever trying to blame them for the demise of our people that we just want what is fair and to be recognized for our positive accomplishments and contributions to society. there was a thread regarding thanksgiving and how it needs to be challenges that wrong history is being taught regarding the Natives of this land, i agree and we as educators, role models in positions to make that stand need to do so. In the end we are ALL human beings and we have all adopted different things from each other and we all have something to contribute to this world and if we just became more accepting rather than judgemental than future generations will have it much easier.

      ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


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      • #4
        Good answers so far!



        Good answers so far... I'd love to see responses to this one from all around the country. If I get a few more good responses, I'll make sure and incorporate what y'all say into my presentation. I'll say, "So-and-so from this nation says they'd like you to know xyz about them."

        I think that would be cool... and effective.

        I would like non-Native kids to try to grasp the fact that this country-- the "United States of America"-- is only a little more than 225 years old.

        This land, though, is thousands of years old... and upon it have lived peoples of different languages, cultures & stories... for thousands of years.

        I'd like them to realize that despite all of the modernization... despite all of the changes and difficulties and tragedies that colonization brought about... that we survived it and we're still here. (Yah kwen heh!) And we've been adapting-- a little more, generation after generation... and all the while bringing with us and to our children what our great grandparents and great great grandparents were given by those who went before them.

        Even though I sometimes eat at McDonald's or Taco Bell, I still -- unlike the kriru:re-- know how to cook up a delicious deer roast and three sisters stew with corn meal dumplings.

        I learned to make baskets from one grandmother and to sew without scissors or a pattern from another... and I'm proud that my ancestors have lived within a 100 mile radius here in eastern North Carolina long before it WAS North Carolina and long before a white man ever set foot on shore here.

        I'm also thankful that despite the fact that my grandparents didn't learn to speak in Skarure as children, that I'm resourceful and dedicated enough to try to learn it myself and teach it to my child... and I'll share what I can of it with anyone interested enough to ask.

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        • #5
          I like what you have to say and I wish the best as you give your speech and how wonderful it would be if you did use some of our words for that is what needs to be heard, the words of all native people; common and those with position. I thank you in helping your peoples voices be heard

          ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AngelFeather
            I like what you have to say and I wish the best as you give your speech and how wonderful it would be if you did use some of our words for that is what needs to be heard, the words of all native people; common and those with position. I thank you in helping your peoples voices be heard
            Nya:weh (Thank you) AngelFeather. I appreciate your words of encouragement!

            Comment


            • #7
              Frankly, I think that is a sad position to take. I'll do whatever I can to educate anyone about who we are and what our history and culture is all about.
              Just wondering what you are doing or have done to educate the natives.

              It seems to me that the non-native is the only ones that people seem to worry about knowing about the history and culture, while there are many natives that don't even know this. And that is sad.

              There needs to be more concern for teaching the dying languages and history, rich of traditions, ceremonies and great native leaders.
              "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mato Winyan
                Just wondering what you are doing or have done to educate the natives.

                It seems to me that the non-native is the only ones that people seem to worry about knowing about the history and culture, while there are many natives that don't even know this. And that is sad.

                There needs to be more concern for teaching the dying languages and history, rich of traditions, ceremonies and great native leaders.
                Mato Winyan... that is a *very* good question.

                At present, I am doing my best to study the Tuscarora language so that I might teach it to whoever is interested in my community... of course first and foremost my own child. I can count on one hand the number of individuals at last count who spoke Tuscarora fluently-- and *that's* sad.

                In my area, I'm not really finding it to be the case that the native kids aren't being taught. For the most part, their parents and grandparents or aunties and uncles are teaching them what they know. The big problem is with the non-natives who continuously market tourism and teach grade schoolers based on the false notion that the Skarure were just brutal savages who woke up in the middle of the night and decided to slaughter any colonists they could find without regard to gender, age, what have you.

                You ask most NON natives in this state about the Tuscarora, and that's what they'll tell you. Either that, or they'll say they don't know anything about us.

                I have to hand it to the elders in the various Tuscarora communities around this state... they are working their BUTTS off to make sure that the kids today learn more than they grew up with themselves.

                We don't have a situation here in NC where all or most Tuscarora are living on a reservation or in just one community. We don't take our history or our culture or our language for granted. We're all working very hard to preserve what we know and get answers in the areas that we're not fully knowlegeable about. I'm not saying all kids know everything there is to know, but I do know the adults are doing our part to try to teach them what we can.

                You make such a good point, though, because I know people from other nations-- particularly in other states and especially from reservation settings-- where the kids grow up taking for granted that they have access to knowledge about their history, culture, language... pretty much all the time. They assume that access is going to be there and don't think about the fact that the carriers of the knowledge are mortal and they will pass on one day. The point is, will those youth take the time to learn before it's too late?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by skaroreh


                  Good answers so far... I'd love to see responses to this one from all around the country. I would like non-Native kids to try to grasp the fact that this country-- the "United States of America"-- is only a little more than 225 years old.
                  Skaroreh, I'm Seneca, one of the tribes within the Iroquois Confederacy..(a/k/a The Six Nations) east coast (New York State & Canada)...whom the 'founding fathers' of this 'Country' modeled their U.S. Constitution after. I believe that somekind of bill/declaration in D.C. was made within the last few years recognizing that our democratic/traditional form of tribal goverence was their model and paying homage to the Iroquois Confederacy. I know there is a beautiful poster with a traditional wampum belt with "The First Constitution" on it... out there. Also, differentiating how the Iroquois are unique and different from other tribes within the U.S. based upon their treaties with the federal gov't. I noted that you said 'nya weh' to another post, so... you probably already know this stuff. So this my response from my part of the country...and what I would like non-native children to know about us!!!
                  Last edited by La + * Mom; 10-19-2004, 11:53 AM.
                  "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mato Winyan
                    Just wondering what you are doing or have done to educate the natives.

                    It seems to me that the non-native is the only ones that people seem to worry about knowing about the history and culture, while there are many natives that don't even know this. And that is sad.

                    There needs to be more concern for teaching the dying languages and history, rich of traditions, ceremonies and great native leaders.
                    So very true...I totally agree there also. That should be another thread... What do you feel is...??? (!)
                    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LAXstarMom
                      Skaroreh, I'm Seneca, one of the tribes within the Iroquois Confederacy..(a/k/a The Six Nations) east coast (New York State & Canada)...whom the 'founding fathers' of this 'Country' modeled their U.S. Constitution after. I believe that somekind of bill/declaration in D.C. was made within the last few years recognizing that our democratic/traditional form of tribal goverence was their model and paying homage to the Iroquois Confederacy. I know there is a beautiful poster with a traditional wampum belt with "The First Constitution" on it... out there. Also, differentiating how the Iroquois are unique and different from other tribes within the U.S. based upon their treaties with the federal gov't. I noted that you said 'nya weh' to another post, so... you probably already know this stuff. So this my response from my part of the country...and what I would like non-native children to know about us!!!
                      Skeno' LAXstarMom!

                      Yes... I know about all that... as a matter of fact, since about 1997 I have done speaking on and off in a few 4th grade classes (that's when they learn N.C. history) and I ALWAYS, ALWAYS mention that. I also always get the kids to pull out a dollar bill and notice the eagle holding the thirteen arrows and tell them that THAT is also rooted in Haudenosanee history in that the Peace Maker showed that one arrow broke easily, but five bundled together (as in the original five nations of the Haudenosaunee) were strong and didn't break so easily. Ben Franklin copied that concept and translated in terms of the 13 "original colonies" of the United States.

                      I tell you... so much of this country's government philosophy is based on Haudenosaunee ways... it sickens me how school children can just glide through school and not know any of it!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LAXstarMom
                        So very true...I totally agree there also. That should be another thread... What do you feel is...??? (!)
                        Yes that is a very good point. I find it in My area that less and less young folk are speaking our languge and when they are asked to learn the get all emabarassed to speak it. Unfortunately I did speak the language of our people that was my first language but i lost it all when i was removed from my homeland and placed into white culture. I cannot say that i was totally deprived because i think it saved my life But what IS sad is that i do not know alot about my Native ways and as the years go by i try to learn all that i can so that i can try to keep my daughters informed about our people, but i find myself being very careful as to what i do teach them becasue I am not always sure I have the correct information.
                        I find myself alot of times trying to learn on my own and it does get frustrating Im not sure where to turn or who to speak to. I sumtimes feel that the boarding schools really had an affect on our people , took that pride out of us and now many are ashamed or due to the hurt and pain it is hard to get anyone to speak of it, of course it is understandable but i know what you are saying when it comes to our own people knowing our own traditions and values. Im not gonna give up tho I want so much for my daughters to know our native history and to be very proud of it. All i can do at the moment is share with them what i do know and involve them as much as I can.

                        ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by skaroreh
                          Mato Winyan... that is a *very* good question.

                          In my area, I'm not really finding it to be the case that the native kids aren't being taught. For the most part, their parents and grandparents or aunties and uncles are teaching them what they know. The big problem is with the non-natives who continuously market tourism and teach grade schoolers based on the false notion that the Skarure were just brutal savages who woke up in the middle of the night and decided to slaughter any colonists they could find without regard to gender, age, what have you.

                          You ask most NON natives in this state about the Tuscarora, and that's what they'll tell you. Either that, or they'll say they don't know anything about us.

                          I have to hand it to the elders in the various Tuscarora communities around this state... they are working their BUTTS off to make sure that the kids today learn more than they grew up with themselves.

                          We don't have a situation here in NC where all or most Tuscarora are living on a reservation or in just one community. We don't take our history or our culture or our language for granted. We're all working very hard to preserve what we know and get answers in the areas that we're not fully knowlegeable about. I'm not saying all kids know everything there is to know, but I do know the adults are doing our part to try to teach them what we can.

                          You make such a good point, though, because I know people from other nations-- particularly in other states and especially from reservation settings-- where the kids grow up taking for granted that they have access to knowledge about their history, culture, language... pretty much all the time. They assume that access is going to be there and don't think about the fact that the carriers of the knowledge are mortal and they will pass on one day. The point is, will those youth take the time to learn before it's too late?
                          I've been marinating on this for awhile because while it sounds great on the surface, but something just did not rest well with me. I've realized that what you say are generalizations and are vague at best. Such as....... "in my area"...."most non-natives of the state" . I do not speak for anyone other than myself because that is what I am responsible ....my accountability, for me to do otherwise is foolish and arrogant.

                          And when you speak of the Tuscarora's in NC it sounds like a slam against the federally recognized Tuscarora's in NY and that they take "our history or our culture or our language for granted", and they are doing nothing to preserve any of this. Maybe I have read it wrong, but that is how it sounds to me and I'm not even going to get into the debate of why that idea so wrong.

                          It also sounds like every tribe EXCEPT the Tuskarora's in NC have kids that grow up taking all of this for granted and again you say " will those youth take the time to learn before it's too late?" I am sure there is at least one NC Tuskarora youth that does this, if not, you truly are a unique and blessed people and I humbly apologize.
                          "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mato Winyan
                            I've been marinating on this for awhile because while it sounds great on the surface, but something just did not rest well with me. I've realized that what you say are generalizations and are vague at best. Such as....... "in my area"...."most non-natives of the state" . I do not speak for anyone other than myself because that is what I am responsible ....my accountability, for me to do otherwise is foolish and arrogant.

                            And when you speak of the Tuscarora's in NC it sounds like a slam against the federally recognized Tuscarora's in NY and that they take "our history or our culture or our language for granted", and they are doing nothing to preserve any of this. Maybe I have read it wrong, but that is how it sounds to me and I'm not even going to get into the debate of why that idea so wrong.

                            It also sounds like every tribe EXCEPT the Tuskarora's in NC have kids that grow up taking all of this for granted and again you say " will those youth take the time to learn before it's too late?" I am sure there is at least one NC Tuskarora youth that does this, if not, you truly are a unique and blessed people and I humbly apologize.
                            Yeah what she said.

                            Plus, I have to add. Alot of children grow up not knowing about culture b/c their parents and grandparents didn't learn about it. I don't think it rests on kids not being interested, totally. Most reservations have so many problems that need to be dealt with first and foremost. Tradition is important, and most people I've met from the rez DO know their tradition. They're just not going to go out and tell everyone and their dog about it.



                            Mussy by birth.....Native by the Grace of God.......


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                            • #15
                              Huh?!

                              And when you speak of the Tuscarora's in NC it sounds like a slam against the federally recognized Tuscarora's in NY and that they take "our history or our culture or our language for granted", and they are doing nothing to preserve any of this. Maybe I have read it wrong, but that is how it sounds to me and I'm not even going to get into the debate of why that idea so wrong.
                              I have absolutely nothing to say about the Skarure in NY & Canada. I'm wondering why you would make that assumption.

                              As a matter of fact, I was thinking of people I know from completely different parts of the country (ie: Montana, SD & NM/AZ).

                              I don't even know but a handful of people up there (NY/Canada) and I have nothing negative to say about them.

                              I'm not at all involved with things up there so I wouldn't dare speak on what they are doing to preserve language or culture up there.

                              We are just different people. Primary difference... my ancestors never left NC and have been here all along. The folks up there, on the other hand, had ancestors who chose to leave NC and move up and join the Haudenosaunee.

                              Those of us Skarure here in NC have ancestors who made a different choice. Their choice was-- they didn't want to leave their home. And that is ok.

                              Since the migration north took place over a period of more than a century... and in reality, the migrations started more than 2 centuries ago... both groups-- those of us here in NC and then those up north have inevitably grown apart culturally... and even liguistically speaking. Sure... there have been Tuscarora here in NC and up north who have forged friendships in recent years.

                              I know a number of Skarure here in NC who make frequent trips up north and vice versa.

                              I'm just not one of them. I really don't travel much.

                              I also know there are a lot of northern Tuscarora who are mad as fire that anyone in NC would dare call themselves Tuscarora... because there is a faction up north that strongly believes that any Tuscarora who chose to stay behind in NC gave up their rights to Tuscarora citizenship. It's ok that they feel that way. They're entitled to their opinions.

                              It doesn't change the fact that I am still Tuscarora.

                              Anyways... I've not heard any Oklahoma Cherokee speaking in such a way about their long distance relations on the Cherokee rez here in NC.

                              The circumstances surrounding the migration made during the mid 1800s during the Indian Removal Act period... and the circumstances surrounding some Tuscarora in North Carolina choosing to leave and go up north are similar.

                              Anyways... this is all getting way off topic so if you'd like to discuss this further, either start another thread on it, or else discuss it with me via e-mail or PM. I'll be happy to talk to you about this as much as you'd like.

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