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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