The Nez Perce
We each danced a tribal dance and then sang two songs that we had learned with our music teachers. One actually has verses in a native tongue.
One of the PE teachers, dressed at Chief Chets Creek, danced between the tribes. Our Principal and Assistant Principal host the event and Chief Jumping Frog (Susan Phillips) tells the children of a day long ago when the very land the children stand on was trampled by Timucan children. The performance ended with the children lined up in front their flags (held by their fifth grade patrols) so that parents could snap pictures to their heart's content.
But that was just the beginning of the day. Our tribe started with tribal games outside. The children divided into teams and went on a scavenger hunt to find berries and beans and bark and even black bear fur around the grounds! Parents helped each group count the things they had found from their list.
We ate bag lunches from home together, inviting parents to join in the fun.
The music teachers had an engaging center and taught us a new song. The children had a chance to experience beating drums! What child does not love to beat the drums!
The art teachers prepared individual pieces of clay for the children to mold into medallions and then stamp with a Native symbol. These will be fired. Many of these will be dated and hung on Christmas trees as a reminder of this great experience.
Another art teacher prepared a center of native dyes. The children painted with blueberries, cranberries, beets and spices. They were so interested in how the Natives made colors when they couldn't go to the store and just buy them.
The day ended with our tribe gathered in the great tepee with Peaceful Waters. We heard calming legends and then she passed the talking stick, asking each child what he or she was thankful for. The children were thoughtful and gave heartfelt answers, but it's when she passed the stick to the parents, that tears welled up in their eyes. They realized that they have just experienced something so very special.
When I think of all that has happened in this unit and all the people in our school that go over and above to make it happen, I am so very thankful... so VERY thankful...