Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

December 2, 2000 - Issue 24


Lessons Given in Culture

Powwow helps rip stereotypes

by Eileen Solar special to the Miami Herald

 Artwork Jerome Tiger Everglades

"From kindergarteners to high school seniors, Broward children honored Native American cultures this month with learning experiences that broke stereotypes.

At Pembroke Pines Elementary School,during the third week of the Broward School District's Native American Heritage Month, first-graders/pupils were surprised by what they learned during the Broward School District's Native American Heritage Month.

"I thought Indians lived in tepees,'' said Tatiana Lisowsky, 7. "But they live in houses just like us.''

The first-graders were among nearly 150 students at the school participating in an educational powwow and cultural day presented by the Davie-based Science Eye education program.

Teacher Diana Mingle said students read books and talked for days before the event about the place Native Americans hold in American history and where they are today.

"Some of them never even knew about the Seminole Indian Reservation (in Hollywood), which is practically right down the street,'' Mingle said. "For them, Native Americana was a world away.''

Science Eye facilitator Maggie "Good Talker'' Marigold said the children learned how to say hello, goodbye, powwow and grandmother in native languages. But more meaningful, Marigold added, is that the children also
learned about Native American history, art and culture participating in the powwow.

The children wore items that identified their significance in a tribe. Marigold told stories about each item, what earthly materials made up the items and how each member helped sustain the tribal lifestyle.

"Near the end of the presentation, children returned to classrooms to make beaded feather decorations for their clothing or hair and sang songs to honor "mother earth, father sky and the great universe.''

"The most important thing is the children can learn is to respect others, despite our differences,'' Marigold said."

Copyright 2000 Miami Herald

Seminole Tribe of Florida



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