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Abbey Lane Fourth-Graders Immersed in Native American Culture

Uaian Bruno (left) and Maddi Cheers sing a traditional Native American song to students at Abbey Lane Elementary. Credit: Emily Wood
Uaian Bruno (left) and Maddi Cheers sing a traditional Native American song to students at Abbey Lane Elementary. Credit: Emily Wood
Story by Elizabeth Sobel. 

Students from five fourth-grade classes at Abbey Lane Elementary School in Levittown were immersed in traditional Native American culture during a two-day program on Oct. 25 and 26.

“Journeys into American Indian Territory,” a traveling museum, featured Native American educators Uaian Bruno and Maddi Cheers, who discussed the culture and customs of the Eastern Woodland native people.  

“It is important for the students to learn about their history, the fact that native people are still around,” said Bruno, who is a storyteller and member of the Arawak/Taino people.

 Bruno and Cheers spoke about traditional culture, survival, customs and government during the first portion of the program, in addition to showing students artifacts such as a mini-longhouse, a lacrosse stick, clothing and musical instruments.

Bruno also told a customary story to the students that honed in on character-building themes. The students were divided into workshop groups focused on Native American games, stories and clay pot making.  

Tying into the fourth-grade curriculum in New York studies, students have been learning about the Native Americans of the local area. The program centered on the Iroquois Confederacy to provide students with enriching knowledge they can apply in the classroom.


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