November marks Native American Heritage Month and our students delved into the rich history of Native Americans through their school work to learn more about their customs and traditions.
Students in Ms. Auslander and Ms. Sibille's Class embarked on their studies to discover the rich tapestry of native tribes in New York state. The focus was on understanding the cultural and historical significance of wampum belts, a ceremonial form of communication among Native American communities to mark agreements between peoples. In a hands-on lesson, students took what they learned to create and design their own wampum belts! This class activity built a stronger understanding of the intricate artistry and symbolism embedded into these historical artifacts.
Ms. McGowan's Class gained new cultural insights by listening to digital creator Theland Kicknosway, whose ancestry descends from the Cree and Potowatomi tribes. Watching videos from Theland, our students spent time learning about the profound significance of hair braiding. This cultural practice helps start the day by connecting mind, body, and spirit and became the focal point for this class’ Social Studies lesson - they even practiced braiding of their own! To further extend their exploration, they then read Carole Lindstrom's captivating book, My Powerful Hair, which provided additional perspectives on the cultural importance of hair in indigenous communities.
These engaging activities not only educated our students about the diverse Native American cultures, but also fostered a deeper appreciation for the traditions that shape their collective heritage. As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, WEDS remains committed to providing enriching experiences that celebrate and respect the histories woven into all fabrics of our community!