- Students at Potomac School were handed three arrows on Friday
afternoon, and asked to use them with care. These weren't arrows
with tips, feathers or shafts - but they could be just as sharp
and hurtful, warned Robert TallTree.
arrows of power can make the world a better place, or they can hurt
people,” said TallTree, a speaker and musician who came to the school
with his wife, Terri Lynn, to present their program, “Walking in
thoughts that you think are the first arrow,” explained TallTree.
“Second is the words that you speak. We all know how that one works
because we know how it feels when someone uses that arrow against
us. Third is the actions that you take. With those three arrows
you can change the world where every human being matters.”
and Terri Lynn TallTree, co-authors of the children's book “The
Legend of Spinoza,” have traveled the world with their program,
which blends Native American spirituality and cultural lessons with
a message of celebrating individuality. Their presentation in Potomac
was organized as a step toward the school's compliance with the
state-mandated Indian Education for All program, which requires
that schools integrate Native American history and culture into
their curricula by 2010.
the TallTrees come and teach about their beliefs and culture is
a great way to segue in that direction and begin to get our curriculum
in line with the state's expectations,” said Kim Kingston, principal
of Potomac School. “I had heard such great things about the TallTrees,
and the presentation was just awe-inspiring.”
TallTrees played traditional Native American flutes and drums for
the assembly of students, and spoke to them about the importance
of respect for others and following your own dreams.
believe in yourself long enough and strong enough and don't let
anyone take you off your own path, and you can be what you want
to be,” said Robert TallTree, a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe
of Mount Pleasant, Mich. “If you want a better world, be a better
Lynn, wearing a deerskin dress adorned with colorful beads, explained
that the couple came to Potomac with the blessing of their tribal
elders, to spread a message of self-confidence and goodness.
are no two people exactly the same in this whole wide world,” she
said. “You are an original, and an original is always more valuable
than a copy, because it's irreplaceable.”
closing, the TallTrees encouraged the teachers and parents in attendance
to purchase their products, which included soaps, books and CDs,
and then asked the students to leave the assembly in silence.
eighth-grader Anica Preston said she enjoyed the program's message.
a good message, especially for little kids who aren't tainted by
current events,” she said.
McDaniel, another eighth-grader, added that the mood of the presentation
was the most striking part.
whole thing was very peaceful and serene,” she said. “That was really
neat and different.”