Category Archives: Education

Native High School Veterinary Program Empowers Students

“It’s 8 a.m. in the vast, chilly agricultural-science building, and Clyde McBride is reaching deep into the back end of a cow to deposit prize-winning bull semen. Sixteen teenagers, bunched into a tight semicircle, watch silently, necks craning. Not one of them asks that most pervasive of high school questions: ‘Why do I have to learn this?’ … The students in Monument Valley High School’s ‘ag-science’ program know exactly why they are learning to perform artificial insemination. It empowers them to provide veterinary services that are scarce and crucial to their families and neighbors here in Navajo Nation.” Education Week

Clyde McBride

 

Excerpt: Clyde McBride Recognized for Leadership in Technical Education, Education Week

“It boosts their employability, confidence, and future wage earnings. And it opens doorways to college. Here in the northeastern corner of Arizona, on an arid plain edged with sandy orange spires and pine-dotted mesas, teenagers have a rare opportunity to practice what policy wonks preach: to study academics through a lens that matters to them. A keen sense of relevance, and of community service, runs deep in students’ work here, where many Navajo families depend on livestock for their livelihood.

Clyde McBride, who is the director of career and technical education in the 2,000-student Kayenta Unified school district, started this program in 1990 and has built it into a powerhouse that catapults students past the odds they’d face without it. In a Native American community of high poverty and unemployment, his 200 students outscore their peers statewide on math and English tests, and 100 percent graduate from high school, outstripping the statewide average by 22 percentage points. Three-quarters of McBride’s graduates enroll in college or training programs. The rest go straight into the workforce.

Responding to Community Need

McBride didn’t focus his agricultural-science program on veterinary skills at random. He saw that it was what the community wanted and needed. People kept asking: Can you come out and treat my colicky horse? Can you help birth our lambs? And there were emergencies, like the time a family’s sheep herd was attacked by wild dogs. McBride summoned a group of students, grabbed his bag of supplies, and raced out to the homestead. Suturing and bandaging like mad, they saved the family’s herd—and their livelihood.

Now, the ag-science building functions as both classroom and community clinic. Dogs, cats, goats, cows, sheep, and horses flow through its big doors all day—more than 12,000 animal patients in the past five years. For a modest fee, community members can get a range of services that are either impossible to find nearby or are too costly.

Photo PBS

Trevon Neztsosie, a senior in the program, says he likes the hands-on approach to learning better than sitting in a classroom. With his skills, he can far out-earn the burger flippers down the street and he can help his family, by taking over vaccinations of their sheep, goats, and cattle.‘I like it when I can do something useful.'”

Category: Education

Cornell University Hosts Graduate Workshop for Native Students

“The 2014 Graduate Horizons summer workshop, held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York focused on preparing Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and First Nations students for the competitive admissions process.” ICTMN

Discussion Questions for this post

Dr. Jolene Rickard educates Graduate Horizon attendees about the Haudenosaunee notion of sovereignty.  Photo Credit- Twitter:Cornell Graduate Horizons

Dr. Jolene Rickard educates Graduate Horizon attendees about the Haudenosaunee notion of sovereignty. Photo Credit- Twitter:Cornell Graduate Horizons

Excerpt: Making the Grad…ICTMN

“Students in attendance were able to learn from the experience of Cornell’s current graduate students and to participate in information sessions about Cornell’s programs, internships and funding resources.

Graduate Horizons is a fantastic grad school prep program for Native American students to help them explore different opportunities as it relates to grad school and refine the application process, demystify what it means to be a graduate student and really provide support around different types of opportunities for graduate study, said Cornell’s Dr. Tremayne Waller, director of the McNair Scholars Program.

During her welcome address, Dr. Jolene Rickard, Tuscarora, director of Cornell’s American Indian Program, encouraged the next generation of graduate students to strive to be leaders in their fields. Dr. Troy Richardson, Saponi/Tuscarora, an associate professor at Cornell, spoke to students about a range of things they should consider before applying to graduate school. He encouraged them to find an institution that suits their needs, including cultural and social support networks, as well as finding internal advocates who can give them feedback when applying.”

“The American Indian Program strives to develop new generations of educated Native and non-Native peoples who will contemplate, study and contribute to the building of Nation and community in Native America.” ~AIP~ Mission and Goals

Cornell University

Cornell University

“We Have Taken to heart the revolutionary spirit that founded our university and encourage each other to pursue unpredicted lines of thinking in order to affect change on local and international scales.” ~Cornell University~

Discussion Questions for this post
  1. In what state is Cornell University located?
  2. Approximately how many Native students attended the workshop?
  3. How long was the event?
  4. What did Native students learn in the information sessions?
  5. What did Dr. Troy Richardson encourage Native students to consider before applying to graduate school?
Category: Education

Crow Creek High: Students Hammer to Help!

O’siyo. There is a critical need for housing on almost all Native reservations throughout the country. A brilliant solution was created by Crow Creek Sioux Reservation’s high school. Oren Voice, a wood-shop teacher with a team of three faculty members began a program that enlists students to help build the much needed homes on the reservation.

Crow Creek high school students building homes for other tribal members. Photo- Crow Creek Tribal School. ICTNM

Crow Creek high school students building homes for other tribal members. Photo- Crow Creek Tribal School. ICTNM

Excerpt: Overcrowding Leads to Innovative Housing… Stephanie Woodard, ICTMN

“In building homes for tribal members, our students will learn computer-design and building skills, how to bid on a job and more, said Oren Voice, wood-shop teacher at the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation’s high school, in Stephan, South Dakota. It’ll give them a good technical education and help them prepare for careers.

Under Voice’s supervision and a team of three additional faculty members, a crew of 11 students began building a home on the reservation June 4. In two days, the students had the subfloor in place and had framed two walls, using conventional balloon construction. “We’re ahead of schedule and should have no problem finishing the entire home, kitchen cabinetry and all, by November,” said Voice, a tribal member. “Then a family can move in.”

Crow Creek shop teacher Troy Naser shows decorative metalwork students are selling to help finance homes they are building for fellow tribal members. (Stephanie Woodard) 2

Crow Creek shop teacher Troy Naser shows decorative metalwork students are selling to help finance homes they are building for fellow tribal members. (Stephanie Woodard).

The dwellings will help the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe chip away at not just unemployment among tribal members, but also a critical need for housing experienced on almost all reservations throughout the country… As soon as the students finish the first house, they’ll start another one, said Voice. He was thrilled to report that the kids haven’t forgotten anything he taught them last year: In fact, they told me they’re so happy they took my class. 

The Crow Creek tribal council provided seed funding for the program, including money to buy the necessary tools, and will buy the homes when they’re finished. More support for the project will come from sales of large- and small-scale decorative metalwork by students of automotive shop teacher Troy Naser. He gave the rest of the team a look at finished pieces for the tribal housing department and other clients. The hunting scenes, galloping ponies and other vivid imagery showed artistic talent and careful craftsmanship—a harbinger of more top-notch work to come from Crow Creek’s youngsters.” Read more…

“More support for the project will come from sales of large- and small-scale decorative metalwork by students. The hunting scenes, galloping ponies and other vivid imagery showed artistic talent and careful craftsmanship—a harbinger of more top-notch work to come from Crow Creek’s youngsters.” ~Troy Naser~ Automotive shop teacher.

Kudos to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, the High school, the hard working teachers, and most importantly the wonderful students! They set a Positive example of what can be done if all people pull together.

 

Category: Education

Extended Lesson for the Navajos: Beauty, Brains, and Bravery!

O’siyo. In updating the ESL lesson plan for the Navajo Nation, there was a lot of new information to add!  Both Navajo men and women excel in nearly all professions and economic endeavors. Their brave spirits have taken them on many new paths.  Here are some updated photos and news for these wonderful people.

See the complete Navajo Lesson Plan with Answer Key Here.

The People: 

Miss Navajo Nation

The beautiful Leandra Thomas is Miss Navajo Nation 2013.  Photo- nhonews.com

The beautiful Leandra Thomas is Miss Navajo Nation 2013. Photo- nhonews.com

This prestigious contest has been in existence since 1952. “The contestants must fill the requirement of having knowledge of the Navajo culture and tradition. Unlike most beauty pageants throughout the world, the Miss Navajo Nation pageant is of beauty “within” one’s self.”- Miss Navajo Council-

Science

Navajo physicist Fred Begay. Photo- physicscentral.

Navajo physicist Fred Begay. Photo- physicscentral.

Dr. Fred Begay (born 1932) is a Navajo nuclear physicist and a Korean War Veteran. Dr. Begay was profiled in the 1979 NOVA documentary, The Long Walk of Fred Young.

Politics

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly. Photo Navajo President.org

“After serving as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate for sixteen years and four years as Vice President in the Shirley-Shelly Administration, Ben Shelly was sworn in as President of the Navajo Nation on January 11, 2011. President Shelly was born in Thoreau, New Mexico.” ~Navajo President.org~

Navajo Nation Vice President Rex Lee Jim. Photo Navajo-nsn.gov

“After serving as a ranking member on the Judiciary Committee and chairman of the Public Safety Committee within the 21st Navajo Nation Council, Delegate Rex Lee Jim was sworn in as Vice President of the Navajo Nation on January 11, 2011. Born and raised in Rock Point, a small farming and ranching community in northern Arizona.” ~Navajo President.org~

Joe Shirley, Jr., former President of the Navajo Nation.

Art and Literature

Navajo- Hastiin Tłʼa, (1867–1937) Renown Navajo Medicine man and master weaver. Photo- Wikipedia

Navajo- Hastiin Tłʼa, (1867–1937) Renown Navajo Medicine man and master weaver. Photo- Wikipedia

“Many Indian cultures accepted – and in fact, celebrated – the fact the some people could fill both male and female roles in their society. One such individual was Hosteen Klah (also spelled Hastiin Klah) who became well-known as a Navajo weaver and as a Navajo singer (medicine man). Among the Navajo, weavers are usually female and hataalii (singers, chanters, or medicine men) are usually male. Hosteen Klah filled both of these roles.” -Native Roots-rc gorman

Talented Navajo artist R.C. Gorman was born near Canyon de Chelly, Arizona and spent his life painting scenes that reflected Navajo culture.~RC Gorman Gallery~

Master Weaver Florence Riggs discusses weaving at the 2013 55th Annual Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market. Photo Weavinginbeauty

The 55th Annual Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market  theme for 2013 is  “Weaving Worlds with Wool” celebrates and highlights Navajo Rug Weavers and is Honoring Signature Artist Florence Riggs whose rug is the centerpiece of the event. 

Sherwin Bitsui (1975-) is a Navajo writer, and the recipient of several literary awards and grants. Photo- Bitsui website.

Military

Video:  Keith M. Little Navajo Code Talker

View this wonderful educational  video as the legendary Navajo Code Talker Keith M. Little speaks about his life growing up in his home and his important role  during WWII.

“After hearing about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while in boarding school, Keith Little chose to enlist in the U.S. Marines. He went to Communications School and became one of the legendary Navajo Code Talkers, seeing action on Iwo Jima, Roi Namur, Saipan and other Pacific locations. Keith helps tell the important story of the Code Talkers through his role as president of the Navajo Code Talkers Foundation.” ~Project completed by- Shawn Tsosie, Jessica King, and Robbie Christiano.~

Music

Music Artist Raymond Carlos Nakai. Photo- Nakai website

Raymond Carlos Nakai (April 16, 1946) is a Navajo musician with several Grammy awards for his music. “Inner Voices” was an award winner.

The beautiful Radmilla Cody (Robert Doyle : Canyon Records )

Radmilla Cody Navajo singer, received a 2013 Grammy nomination for her album Shi Keyah: Songs for the People-She is the first Native American to be nominated for a Grammy Award. This album contains many wonderful songs, but especially Navajo Warrior and the beautiful  Code Talker which Miss Cody sings  a cappella in both Navajo and English.

Navajo Rock Band Blackfire.Photo- newspaperock.

Navajo Rock Band Blackfire started nearly twenty years ago by three siblings, and is still popular. Photo: newspaperock.

Navajo Books

Code Talker- The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII By Chester Nez with JS Avila.

Warriors- Navajo Code Talkers [Paperback

Hosteen Klah- Navaho Medicine Man & Sand Painter By Franc Newcomb,

Songs From the Loom By Monty Roessel

There is no greater place than the land we know as Dine’tah. Our heritage is written in our clans, our ceremonies, and a collection of history that tells our past, yet our future in the bounty of prosperity.” ~President Ben Shelly~

Category: Education

Cherokee Extended Lesson Plan

O’siyo. This week for Teachers and students we’ll focus on the Cherokee Nation. This is an Integrated skills lesson intended for L2 learners at the intermediate to advanced level of English. However, teachers can modify the material as needed for their level of learners. The construction of the exercises makes the reading material more of a communicative activity, and helps students to better understand the content.

Note: All Lesson Plans on this site are the Original Work and Property of Amerindian7. The material is for Educational use with proper acknowledgement. Please be certain to read Talking Feather’s Terms of Use Policy. All additional reference material and photo sources are identified.

Cherokee (Tsalagihi Ayili) Tribal Dancers. Photo-Headresses

Cherokee (Tsalagihi Ayili) Tribal Dancers. Photo-Headresses

Cherokee Contents

  • Noted Members of the Cherokee Nation
  • Video Cherokee of North Carolina 2012 Grand Pow-Wow Opening
  • Books of Interest about the Cherokee Nation
  • Noted Cherokee Educational Programs
  • Cherokee Lesson Plan with Answer Key
  • The Cherokee: A Concise History
  • A Cherokee Myth: Possum Loses His Hair
  • Teachers’ Guide and Answer Key

“The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.”~Wilma Mankiller~

“…I know what I’m doing, why I’m doing these paintings. It’s like I’m trying to capture that feeling of collective pride, that resiliency, that drum beat…There’s such transition in my art, my life, my well being… I feel blessed, man. I feel awesome.”~Ryan Lee Smith~Cherokee Artist-

  

 

Noted Members of the Cherokee Nation

Sequoyah invented the Cherokee syllabary.

Sequoyah invented the Cherokee syllabary.

 

Chief Wilma Mankiller Photo: Manataka American Indian Council.

Chief Wilma Mankiller Photo: Manataka American Indian Council.

Cherokee artist Ryan Lee Smith- Photo- Karen Shade, NAT

Cherokee artist Ryan Lee Smith- Photo- Karen Shade, NAT

Mustangs By Ryan Lee Smith. Photo- his site.

Mustangs By Ryan Lee Smith. Photo- his site.

Video Cherokee of North Carolina 2012 Grand Pow-Wow Opening

 

Books of Interest about the Cherokee Nation

Note: All of the following texts can be purchased at Amazon.

The Cherokee Indians (Native Peoples) By Bill Lund.

The Cherokee Indians (Native Peoples) By Bill Lund.

The Cherokee (Indians of North America) By Thea Perdue:Frank W. Porter.

The Cherokee (Indians of North America) By Thea Perdue:Frank W. Porter.

The Cherokee Indian Nation- A Troubled History Edited by Duane H. King

The Cherokee Indian Nation- A Troubled History Edited by Duane H. King

Trail of Tears- The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation John Ehle

Trail of Tears- The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation John Ehle

 

Noted Cherokee Educational Programs

Cherokee Immersion School. Cherokee site.

Cherokee Immersion School. Cherokee site.

“tsalagi tsunadeloquasdi began in 2001 as a language preservation program. Twenty-six students and four staff members paved the way to revitalizing the language with our young people. Our mission is to promote the revitalization/usage of the Cherokee language while educating children in a safe and cultural environment.” Learn more…

https://www.cherokeesofsouthcarolina.com/education.html

https://www.cherokeesofsouthcarolina.com/education.html

 

“The Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois & United Tribes works with a number of agencies that can help anyone that has the desire to improve their education and job skills. The South Carolina Indian Development Council (SCIDC) and the Work Force Investment Act (WIA) will help you finish your high school, get a GED, help you go to a technical College and there is also on the job training (OJT) for those who qualify for placement in an OJT slot. ECSIUT can help you complete application through the South Carolina Indian Development Council.” Learn more…

Co-Partners JOM -The Cherokee Nation Co-Partner Program – also known as Johnson O’Malley or more commonly, JOM – is designed to provide supplemental and/or operational support to public schools within Cherokee Nation boundarieserving eligible Indian students from three years of age through 12th grade. The desired outcomes of this program are to increase Indian student achievement levels and encourage the use of cultural enrichment initiatives within JOM programs in place in public schools.” Learn more…

Kituwah Preservation & Education Program (Eastern Band) – 1. Immersion: The first component is Early Childhood Education, which currently serves over 75 children ages 7 months to seven years. 2. Community Based Language Programs: Providing language resources to the community, area schools and individuals.  3. Cultural Resources: Provide cultural and historical interpretation to the public, universities, and schools.”  Learn more…

 

Cherokee Lesson Plan with Answer Key

“It was a spirit of survival and perseverance that carried the Cherokee to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears. Today, it is the same spirit leading the Cherokee.”–The Cherokee Nation-Date Unknown-

Pre-Reading Discussion Questions

Before you read the history of the Cherokee, consider the following situation:

Imagine that your country passed a law proclaiming that all of the land that you and your family had lived on for many years now belonged to the government. In addition to this you and your family were forced to leave your home under military supervision! With your group discuss the possible actions you might take in this situation.

Consider the title of the reading selection The Long Trail of Tears, and also consider this list of words and phrases taken from the reading: English settlers, conflict, treaty, firearms, territory, gold, U.S. government. Based on this information, develop a scenario which reflects what you imagine happened to the Cherokee.

The Cherokee: A Concise History

1. The Cherokee people are believed to have settled into their ancestral homeland in the southeastern United States sometime before 1,500 years ago. Linguists classify the Cherokee language as Iroquoian, but it is a distant cousin of present-day Iroquoian languages, suggesting that the Cherokee people gradually split off from the more northern Iroquois a long time ago. They slowly developed an extensive system of villages covering much of present-day western North and South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee, with a population estimated at 22,500 by 1650.

2. Villages scattered across this region were typically a hard day’s walk apart. The economy of the Cherokee inhabitants was based on agriculture supplemented with hunting and gathering of natural foods. But the economy also involved creation of clothing, decoration, baskets, pottery, tools, and weapons, together with trade for these items, often over long distances. Houses evolved from early woven branches and mud to substantial log cabins with smoke holes and doors.

3. The first contact between the Cherokee and Europeans occurred in the 1540s when Hernando De Soto, the Spanish conqueror of Peru, led an army of exploration and conquest from Florida up through Cherokee territory and into the central United States, primarily searching for gold and other riches. De Soto died of fever on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1542. Other Spanish expeditions entered the territory at long intervals over the next 100 years, and the fact that much of the Cherokee territory lay in the Appalachian Mountains tended to minimize the contact between the Cherokee and the Spanish.

4. During the 1600′s, contact and conflict grew between the Cherokee and the English settlers growing outward from the Virginia colonies. During this period the Cherokee and tribes acquired firearms, and also substantially fortified their towns. This period was a tangled web of wars and alliances between Indian tribes including the Cherokee, Tuscarora, Creeks, Chickasaw, and Shawnee. There were also conflicts between the Indians, the British, the French, and the American colonists. Then the first smallpox epidemic, probably brought to Carolina by slave ships, broke out about 1738, and had a devastating effect on the Cherokee as well as other tribes because they had no natural immunity. During the American Revolutionary War of 1775–1783, the Cherokee and many of the other tribes sided with the British against the colonists.

5. Following the British defeat, some groups of Cherokee moved west of the Mississippi River to reside in Spanish territory, primarily in present-day Arkansas. This territory was ceded by Spain to France, and shortly thereafter, Napoleon sold it to the new United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Immediately from that time, President Thomas Jefferson and the Congress put steadily increasing pressure on all of the eastern tribes to move west of the Mississippi river into the new territory.

6. Even during this difficult time, Cherokee culture continued to grow and flourish. Between 1809-1821, the deservedly famous Cherokee scholar *Sequoyah, after observing a book for the first time and referring to it as Talking Leaves invented a syllabic alphabet (a “syllabary”) for the spoken Cherokee language, and used that to establish a system of writing Cherokee. Within several years, it was in wide use in the Cherokee nation, and a newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, began publication using Sequoyah’s syllabary in 1828. This was the first American Indian newspaper published in the United States.

7. The pressure to move west increased, and only became worse when gold was discovered on Cherokee lands in North Georgia in 1828. The U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830, but the U.S Supreme Court ruled that the Cherokee were a sovereign nation and removal could only be archived via negotiated treaties. Unfortunately, political divisions among the Cherokee led to the signing of just such a document by a small minority of Cherokee. Despite the fact that the Cherokee had fought with him in the Creek War (1813-14) and reputedly saved his life, then-President Andrew Jackson exploited this signing to use the U.S Army to force the removal of the Cherokee people from the east to new territories in Oklahoma. This episode has become known as the infamous Trail of Tears. More than 17,000 Cherokee were forced to move over 2,200 miles, and more than 4,000 died in the process.

8. The Indian Removal Act applied to Cherokees living on communally owned tribal land. Cherokees who lived on private land along with some others who had evaded the army, continued living in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and their descendants today constitute the Eastern Band Cherokees. The Western Band Cherokees, located in Oklahoma, derive from those who made the march. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the western group was still plagued by conflicts with settlers for lands, and both bands suffered from misguided government policies, including the forced education of Indian children in government boarding schools away from home, and from attempts to discourage use of the Cherokee language.

9. Today, the majority of the Cherokee Nation reside in western Oklahoma. They have their own schools and an excellent educational system. The tribe also does well in business and economic development. They are the second largest tribe in the United States, with over 200,000 tribal members. They have the sovereign right to exercise control over all tribal assets.

10.Sequoyah (circa 1767-1843) was a Cherokee silversmith who created the writing system known as the Cherokee syllabary, making it possible for people to read and write in Cherokee. Sequoyah completed the language system in 1821. The Cherokee Tribe officially adapted his syllabary in 1825. Due to their syllabary teaching, the members’ literacy rate rapidly increased, and surpassed that of the European-American settlers located nearby.

Exercise 1 Vocabulary Practice (History)

Directions: The following vocabulary words (in bold font) are from the reading selection you’ve just finished. Find and highlight each of the following words in the paragraphs indicated in parenthesis, then infer  the meanings from the context. Highlight any additional words that you aren’t familiar with and do the same with those. Check your answers with your group members, then refer to your dictionary or thesaurus to confirm your answers.

  1. The Cherokee people are believed to have settled into their ancestral homeland in the southeastern United States. (1)
  2. Linguists classify the Cherokee language as Iroquoian. (1)
  3.  The economy of the Cherokee inhabitants was based on agriculture supplemented with hunting and gathering. (2)
  4. Houses evolved from early woven branches and mud to substantial log cabins. (2)
  5. …to substantial log cabins with smoke holes and doors. (2)
  6. Other Spanish expeditions entered the territory at long intervals over the next 100 years. (3)
  7. During this period the Cherokee tribes acquired firearms, and also substantially fortified their towns. (4)
  8. Then the first smallpox epidemic, probably brought to Carolina by slave ships, broke out about 1738, and had a devastating effect on the Cherokee. (4)
  9.  This territory was ceded by Spain to France, and shortly thereafter, Napoleon sold it to the new United States. (5)
  10. Even during this difficult time, Cherokee culture continued to grow and flourish. (6)
  11. …the U.S Supreme Court ruled that the Cherokee were a sovereign nation …(7)
  12. Despite the fact that the Cherokee…reputedly saved his life…Andrew Jackson exploited this signing… (7)
  13. Cherokees who lived on private land along…continued living in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and their descendants today constitute the Eastern Band Cherokees. (8)

Exercise 2 Discussion Questions for Comprehension

1. What evidence was there that the Cherokee people originated from the Northern Iroquois?

2. What did the early Cherokee economy consist of?

3. Describe the first dwellings of the Cherokee.

4. Was finding the Cherokee people the primary reason for De Soto’s expedition?

5. After the death of De Soto, what factor contributed to the minimal contact between the Cherokee and the Spanish?

6. In 1828 what discovery led to the increased pressure on the eastern Cherokees to move?

Exercise 3 Questions for Reflection and Discussion

1. During the 1600s numerous wars occurred between the Cherokee and other American Indian tribes. What do you think caused those wars?

2. Why were the Americans, British and the French also at war with the Indians?

3. What made the Cherokee side with the British during the American Revolutionary War (1775-83)?

4. Why were the Cherokee children forbidden to speak their language and forced to learn English during the 1800s and 1900s?

Exercise 4 Research Activities

Directions: Choose a person or an event from the following list for research and prepare a presentation for class or for group discussion.

• Sequoyah

• The Indian Removal Act

• The Trail of Tears

• President Andrew Jackson

• Hernando De Soto

• The American Revolutionary War

Exercise 5 Writing Activities

1. Write an essay in which you express your opinion on the events leading up to and including the Trail of Tears.

2. Write an essay in which you discuss the small pox epidemic and the effect it had on the Cherokee and other tribes.

Sources: • Cherokee History (Lee Sultzman)

Some L2 learners may not understand what certain animals (or insects) look like.  Here are some photos to go with the myth. Click on the photos for their origins.

Possum and Baby. Cute Photo- Fantazzle site.

A Coyote. Beautiful Photo- True Wild Life.

A Cricket. Photo- Baby Turtle blog

A Lizard. Photo- Scienceshot.

A Lizard. Photo- Scienceshot.

 

A Cherokee Myth: Possum Loses His Hair

Just as their forefathers did in the past, Cherokees today enjoy telling stories. Many of these myths usually have a moral for young ones to learn. A good many of these wonderful stories involve animals who possess human characteristics…including human flaws, as the following story demonstrates.

“Possum had a long bushy tail. He was very proud of it, combing it out every day. If anyone came over to his house, he would show off his tail right away. Coyote didn’t like this. Everyone laughed at Coyote’s tail. They said it was all scratchy and full of weeds and dirt.

One time the Animal People decided to have a council and a big dance. They told Coyote to spread the news. Coyote went by to see Possum. Possum said, “It must be where everyone can see my fine tail, I will dance with my tail if you give me a special place.”

“You come along then,” said Coyote. “We’ll have a special place for you. I will even send Cricket over to comb your tail out and dress it all up for the dance.” Possum was very pleased with this offer. Coyote went over to see Cricket and they had a talk. Cricket was the best haircutter anyone knew.

In the morning, Cricket went over to see Possum and told him he was there to fix up his tail for the dance. Possum stretched out and Cricket went to work. When he was all through combing and smoothing the hairs, he wrapped Possum’s tail in a bright red string.

Cricket said, “Possum, this string will keep all the hairs smooth until the dance. When you get to the council and it’s time to dance then you can take the string off.” When it was night Possum went to the lodge where the dance was to be and found that the best seat was ready for him. When it came his turn to dance, he loosened the string and stepped out into the middle of the floor.

The drummers began drumming and Possum began singing, “See my beautiful tail!” Everyone shouted and Possum danced around and around. “See how fine the fur is!” The people shouted more loudly than before and began laughing. “Look how it sweeps the ground!” All the people were laughing now and Possum was wondering what it meant.

He stopped dancing and looked around at the circle of animals. They were all laughing at him. Then he looked at his tail. There wasn’t any hair on it at all! His tail looked like Lizard’s tail. Cricket had cut off all the hairs at the root and now they were scattered all over the dance floor.

Possum was so astonished and ashamed that he didn’t say anything. He rolled over on his back and grinned at everyone. To this day Possum still does this when he’s caught by surprise.”

Exercise 1. Vocabulary Practice

Directions: With a partner, reread the myth and highlight the following words from the reading. Match the words from the myth with their meanings by placing the letter of the word next to the meaning.

1 ___ the dense coat of fine silky hairs on such mammals as the cat, seal, and mink.

(a) lodge

(b) wonder

(c) fur

2___ possessing beauty; aesthetically pleasing.

(a) ashamed

(b) beautiful

(c) wonder

3___ a meeting place for a group of people.

(a) wonder

(b) lodge

(c) roll

4___ to move or cause to move along by turning over and over.

(a) Possum

(b) roll

(c)lodge

5___ having an inordinately high opinion of oneself; arrogant or haughty.

(a) proud

(b) ashamed

(c) Possum

 

6___ a toothed device of metal, plastic, wood, used for disentangling or arranging hair.

(a) scatter

(b) comb

(c) lodge

7___ something strange; a mixture of surprise and curiosity.

(a) Possum

(b) wonder

(c) proud

8___ to throw about in various directions; strew.

(a) scatter

(b) roll

(c)) wonder

9___ overcome with shame, guilt, or remorse.

(a) roll

(b) ashamed

(c) scatter

10___ an informal name for opossum.

(a) proud

(b) ashamed

(c) Possum

Exercise 2. Reading Comprehension- Recalling the Characters

Directions: Without rereading the myth, match the character to his phrases. Then check your answers in the reading.

Characters:

• Story Teller

• Possum

• Coyote

• Cricket

• Animal People

“Everyone shouted and Possum danced around and around.”____

“Look how it sweeps the ground! Ha! Ha! Ha!”____

“Possum, this string will keep all the hairs smooth until the dance.”____

“I will even send Cricket over to comb your tail out and dress it all up for the dance.”____

“When it came his turn to dance, he loosened the string and stepped out into the middle of the floor.”____

“See my beautiful tail!”____

“The people shouted more loudly than before and began laughing.”____

“See how fine the fur is!”____

“Possum was so astonished and ashamed that he didn’t say anything.”__

Exercise 3. Using Adjectives to Describe Emotions

Directions: The myth you’ve just read deals with the topic of feelings. Think about how different situations can affect the way you sometimes feel. The following sentences describe situations that can affect how you feel. Read a sentence and then either choose one of the words from the list below or supply your own word to describe how you would feel. You may use a word more than once.

Example:

If you slipped and fell, and everyone laughed, you would probably feel angry.

Situations:

1. You are coming out of the store with a bundle of shopping bags, and somebody bumped into you without saying, “Excuse me”.

2. You just found out you won 5,000 dollars!

3. Your lover brings you a beautiful flower, and it isn’t even your birthday.

4. It’s a beautiful sunny day and everyone you see smiles at you!

5. You have just heard that one of your relatives has had an accident.

6. Your best friend tells you she/he really desires your boyfriend/girlfriend.

7. You have just received the highest grade in your class!

Word List:

• proud

• love

• embarrassed

• worried

• excited

• happy

• angry

• jealous

The Cherokee People (Part II)

Note:  This additional material focuses more the Cherokee people themselves, and less on the historical events. For historical background information see the original Cherokee Part I.

Cherokee Culture Then…

1. The Cherokee depended primarily on hunting and farming for their survival. They hunted mainly deer, and the people used every part of the animal. Nothing went to waste. Some of their farming produce included beans, melons squash, pumpkin and corn. The men also fished to supplement their food supply. They made bows and arrows, nets, spears, blowguns and farming instruments. The women were responsible for maintaining the home, and farming.

2. Like many of the aboriginal people the Cherokee wore clothing made from animal skins before the Europeans introduced cloth to the Cherokee. Even into the 1800’s the men wore leggings made of deer hide in order to protect their legs from thorns and underbrush. The men wore tops called hunting shirts with their leggings. Women wore tops, skirts and sometimes thick blankets in winter. Both men and women wore moccasins on their feet.

3. The Cherokee made jewelry of shells, silver, and clay beads. They also made clay pots, baskets, masks and rattles, which were used in religious ceremonies.

4. They resided in villages with up to as many as 500 people in each. The homes in the winter were round in shape and made of wood covered with mud for insulation. Each house contained a hole in the top known as a smoke hole, the purpose of which was to allow smoke to escape from the fires within the homes. During the warmer weather, homes were cone shaped and made of bark. To keep out the heat and insects, they were covered with grass. They were fashioned to stay cool inside with plenty of light.

5. Traditionally the Cherokee were a matrilineal family organization, where the women had autonomy and authority in their homes. After marriage the man usually joined his wife’s household, and the offspring of the couple became members of their mother’s clan. Women also maintained their own property. Although Cherokee women might have participated somewhat in tribal affairs (some women even fought alongside the men in wars) they were not allowed to hold positions of power, such as those of chief or as council members. Neither were women allowed to become religious leaders.

6. The Cherokee political system in each village operated as follows. Each village had a red chief and a white chief. The function of the white chief was to rule during times of peace, while the red chief took over leadership during times of war. In this manner, the people were never without a leader in a time of crisis. Below the chiefs was the village council, whose function was to help make decisions for the tribe. The people as a whole believed in group cooperation as opposed to the needs of the individual.

7. For their religious functions, the Cherokee tribe had very special men known as Shaman or Medicine men, who were revered by the rest of the tribe. The medicine men served many important functions within the tribe. They presided over ceremonies including those centering around war, they took care of the sick, and created cures for many of the illnesses. Since the deer was the primary animal the Cherokee depended on for many of the necessities of life, one of the deities they worshiped was the Deer god. Like most aboriginal people, the Cherokee believed that everything (including inanimate objects) had a spirit. They especially believed in animal spirits.

Cherokee Culture Now…

1. Today the Cherokee still hunt, but only during specified times of the year and some people still grow their own produce. Now, however they buy most of their food at supermarkets and grocery stores. During ceremonies, especially for religious ones, Cherokee people will wear their traditional regalia. Most people usually buy their daily clothes from department stores.

2. Cherokees still practice the art of jewelry making, and the women are still known for their beautiful baskets, which they sell at festivals held on the reservation. Also, the people live in ordinary homes located on the reservation.

3. Within the family unit, men and women are considered equal to each other, although the matrilineal tradition is still observed. Women have jobs outside of their homes.

4. Politically, the Cherokee people made progress in 1987 when a Cherokee woman named Wilma Mankiller was the first female in modern history to win the position of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Initially, there were people who opposed her candidacy because they objected to being led by a woman. During her campaign there were many people who openly spoke against her. She even received several death threats!

5. Through hard work and dedication, Wilma eventually won the people over. Her programs provided improvement for the people in areas such as education, housing and employment. Through her leadership the tribe has gained autonomy within the Cherokee communities. Until her election, many females thought they could never attain the position of chief. Wilma Mankiller eventually retired due to illness. Today, women also work in the same fields as the men including industry, education, and business.

6. The religious practices of the tribe today vary, from clan to clan, and are too complex to write about in detail here. The Cherokee still have religious ceremonies in which the tribal members still dress in their regalia.

Exercise 1-Vocabulary Practice-Inference

Directions: The following sentences are from the reading selection you’ve just read. Try to infer  the meanings of the words in bold font.  The sentences can be found in the paragraphs indicated in parenthesis. Highlight any additional words that you may not be familiar with and try to guess their meanings as well. Check your answers with your group members, then refer to your dictionary or thesaurus to confirm your guesses.

Vocabulary from: Cherokee Culture Then…

1. The men also fished to supplement their food supply. (1)

2. The homes in the winter were round in shape and made of wood covered with mud for insulation. (4)

3. They were fashioned to stay cool inside with plenty of light. (4)

4. Traditionally the Cherokee were a matrilineal family organization, where the women had autonomy and authority in their homes. (5)

5. … the women had autonomy and authority in their homes. (5)

6. Below the chiefs was the village council, whose function was to help make decisions for the tribe. (6)

7. For their religious functions, the Cherokee tribe had very special men known as Shaman or Medicine men, who were revered by the rest of the tribe. (7)

8. They presided over ceremonies including those centering around war, they took care of the sick, and created cures for many of the illnesses. (7)

9. Since the deer was the primary animal the Cherokee depended on for many of the necessities of life, one of the deities they worshiped was the Deer god. (7)

10. Like most aboriginal people, the Cherokee believed that everything (including inanimate objects) had a spirit. They especially believed in animal spirits. (7)

Vocabulary from: Cherokee Culture Now…

1. During ceremonies, especially for religious ones, Cherokee people will wear their traditional regalia. (1)

2. Also, the people live in ordinary homes located on the reservation. (2)

3 …Cherokee woman named Wilma Mankiller was the first female in modern history to win the position of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. (4)

4. Initially, there were people who opposed her candidacy because they objected to being led by a woman. (4)

5. Through hard work and dedication, Wilma eventually won the people over. (5)

6. Until her election, many females thought they could never attain the position of chief. (5)

7. The religious practices of the tribe today vary, from clan to clan, and are too complex to write about in detail here. (6)

Exercise 2 Questions for Comprehension and Discussion

1. What are some differences between the Cherokee culture of the past with the culture of today?

2. What are some of the similarities?

3. Discuss a situation in which group cooperation might have been beneficial for the Cherokee in their past. Has group cooperation benefited the tribe today? In what way?

Exercise 3 Questions for Reflection and Discussion- (Culture Now)

1. Why do you think the Cherokees were and still are a matrilineal people?

2. List what you think might have been some of the duties of the White Chief (paragraph 6). List some responsibilities of the Red Chief.

3. Provide some reasons for the initial negative response to Wilma Mankiller’s candidacy for tribal chief.

Exercise 4. Research Activities

Directions: Choose one of the following questions and present the results of your research.

• List and describe some of the current Cherokee ceremonies?

• Before Wilma Mankiller became chief, what was her life like as a young girl?

• Have there been other female chiefs leading the Cherokee tribe since Wilma Mankiller?

Exercise 5 Writing Activities

Directions: Choose one of the following and write about the topic:

• What are your thoughts about females running for political positions?

• Write an essay in which you compare Wilma Mankiller’s situation to that of other females who have run for office in other countries.

Sources:

• Cherokee History (Lee Sultzman)

• Cherokee History Resources on the Web

• Wilma Mankiller  (Biography)

• Wilma Mankiller: Rebuilding The Cherokee Nation,-Sweet Briar College-1993

Amazon: Red men of fire; A history of the Cherokee Indians

Eastern Band: Cherokee North Carolina

Western Band: Cherokee Oklahoma

Southern Band: Cherokee Georgia

Teachers’ Guide and Answer Key

Note To Teachers:

The goal of this material is to raise students’ awareness of the American Indian people living in the United States today, and to encourage learners to view Native Indians as an integral part of American society. My hope is that students will see the native people of this country as workers, students, professionals, parents, and leaders of their communities.

Activities:

The construction of the exercises makes the reading material more of a communicative activity, and helps students to better understand the content. There are various pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading tasks for each reading selection. Although the majority of the exercises are suggested for group work, especially during class, students can complete the activities independently as homework assignments. At the following class meeting, their responses can be used as the basis for group discussions. The research activities can also be completed individually or as collaborative group projects. I offer some suggestions for some of the activities throughout the lessons.

Language Skills

The target skills for the lessons are primarily reading and speaking, however, tasks for writing, and research activities are also included. These exercises are intended for ESL students, but everyone can use them. Although the reading level is high-intermediate to advanced, teachers can modify the material as needed for their level of learners.

The Teachers’ guide offers suggestions for how to use this material.  Please feel free to email and let me know if there is anything more I can offer. Suggestions are welcome.

THE CHEROKEE Part  I

Pre-Reading Discussion Questions

Suggestions:

The first question draws on the students’ personal experiences and imagination. Place students in groups of 4-5, and while members are completing the first question, you can write the title and list of words on the board in preparation for the second question which is a task concerning prediction of the content of the reading.

Some possible questions to ask about the title: What is a trail? What are tears? Who could be crying? Why would anyone cry in this situation? Who were the English settlers? What connection could they have to the title?

Cherokee History

Exercise 1- Vocabulary Practice

ancestral: belonging to or inherited from an ancestor.

Linguists: a specialist in linguistics; person who speaks or studies more than one language.

agriculture: a large-scale farming enterprise.

evolved: undergo development or evolution.

smoke holes: a vent (as in a roof) for smoke to escape.

expeditions: an organized group of people undertaking a journey for a particular purpose.

fortified: to make strong or stronger.

devastating: physically or spiritually devastating.

ceded: give over; surrender or relinquish to the physical control of another.

flourish: grow stronger.

sovereign: of political bodies; an autonomous judiciary.

reputedly: according to general belief.

descendants: deriving or descending from an ancestor.

Exercise 2 Discussion Questions for Comprehension

The answers are taken directly from the reading, and the paragraphs for the answers are in parenthesis. For your learners with a lower reading level, you might want to give them the paragraph numbers to help them locate the answers.

1. Linguists have classified the Cherokee language as being a “distant cousin” of present-day Iroquoian, which suggests that “the Cherokee people gradually split off from the more northern Iroquois a long time ago.” (para. 1)

2. The early economy of the Cherokee inhabitants was based on agriculture supplemented with hunting and gathering of natural foods. They also made baskets, pottery, tools, and weapons for trading with other tribes. (para. 2)

3. Houses evolved from early woven branches and mud to substantial log cabins with smoke holes and doors. (para. 2)

4. No, originally DeSoto was searching for gold. (para. 3)

5. Although other Spanish expeditions entered Cherokee territory over the following years, contact between the Cherokee and the Spanish was minimized because much of the Cherokee territory lay in the Appalachian

Mountains. (para. 3)

6. The Cherokees were pressured to move west when gold was discovered on Cherokee lands in North Georgia in 1828.

Exercise 3- Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Possible Responses:

1-Reasons for inter-tribal wars:

Greed: Indians wanted more land to hunt;

Racial or cultural conflict: tribes looked different and dressed differently from each other, and sometimes observed different traditions, which might have caused suspicion between the groups.

Personal conflicts might stir up battles.

2-They all wanted the land from the Indians.

3. The Cherokees mistakenly thought that if they helped the British get rid of the Americans; the Indians would get their lands back.

4-The Americans felt that if the children learned English and forgot their native language, the Cherokee children would grow into the American culture and forget their original culture, which many of them did.

Exercise 4 Research Activities-(students’ choice)

(New additions to list)

• President Andrew Jackson

• Hernando De Soto

• The American Revolutionary War

Exercise 5-Writing Activities- (students’ choice)

THE CHEROKEE  Part II

Reading: Cherokee Culture Then and Now

Exercise 1-Vocabulary Practice

Cherokee Culture Then…

supplement: add to what seems insufficient.(1)

insulation: a material that reduces or prevents the transmission of heat. (4)

fashioned: make out of components; often in an improvising manner. (4)

matrilineal: based on or tracing descent through the female line. (5)

autonomy: personal independence.(5)

council: a body serving in an administrative capacity.(6)

revered: regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed. (7)

presided: to occupy the place of authority or control, as in an assembly or meeting.(7)

deities: a person or thing revered as a god or goddess. (7)

aboriginal: being or composed of people inhabiting a region from the beginning. (7)

Cherokee Culture Now…

1. regalia (n.) the decorations, insignia, or ceremonial clothes of any group, or office. (1)

2. ordinary (adj.)the expected or commonplace condition or situation

3. Principal Chief (n.) the main or primary leader.

4. initially (adv.) at the beginning

5. dedication (n.) the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action

6. attain (v.) to gain with effort

7. clan (n.) group of people related by blood or marriage

Exercise 2- Questions For Comprehension and Discussion

1. What are some differences between the Cherokee culture of the past with the culture of today?

Suggestions: For this group exercise, students could create a chart like this one.

Then…

Now…

Food

hunted; used open fire

supermarkets; modern appliances

Clothing

buy clothes from stores

Tools

made by hand

buy from store

Homes

made by hand

already built

Travel

horses; arduous trip

cars; public transportation; better roads

Job Equality for Woment

none

equal jobs; first female chief elected

2. What are some of the similarities?

Suggestions: For this group exercise, students could create a Venn diagram like this one.

Venn diagram

Venn diagram example

Some Similarities:

Matrilineal organization still in existence.

Religious traditions and ceremonies still observed.

Basket and jewelry making still flourish.

Many traditional dishes still cooked.

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venn_diagram

3. If the Cherokees had banned together before they signed the treaty, which triggered the Indian Removal Act, they may not have been removed from their lands. Today they are working together and thriving as a group to maintain their language and culture.

Exercise 4- Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Possible Responses:

The Cherokees viewed the earth as female, and at times referred to it as Earth Mother, or Mother Earth, so this could be a link to women;

The White Chief: took care of the everyday disputes, and occurrences-

The Red Chief: kept the military men organized and in good physical shape; kept the weapons in good working condition; dispatched search parties to continuously check for enemies.

Traditionally, the Cherokee always had designated male chiefs, so some were opposed to a female; some women also opposed Mankiller. It went against tradition.

CHEROKEE MYTH: Possum Loses His Hair

Exercise 11- Vocabulary Practice

1-c 2-b- 3-b- 4-b- 5-a- 6-b- 7-b 8-a- 9-b- 10-c

Exercise 12-Reading-Can You Recall the Characters?

1-a 2-e 3-d 4-c 5-a 6-b 7-a 8-b 9-a

Exercise 13- Using Adjectives to Describe Emotions

Student’s choice.

Note: Teachers will find free and Complete Lesson Plans with Answer Keys on the following U.S. tribes: Apache, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Choctaw, Crow, Iroquois, Kwakiutl, Mohawk (read about the fascinating “Sky Walkers”)  Navajo, Shawnee, Sioux, and Zuni.

We also offer our unique and informative Tribalpediawhich offers concise historical and current material about many Native tribes.  Included are Discussion Questions for students. Visit some previous posts from Talking Feather!

 

Category: Education

American Indians and the Harvard Experience

O’siyo. Education is one of the most important elements in one’s life. According to many Native people,  there are two types of education, “mother wit”  from where you gather vital knowledge from parents, culture, and community. The other is often referred to as “book knowledge”  where you gather knowledge about everything else from formal school training. Where you go to receive this second wave of education depends on many elements, and can get confusing, especially  for many high school students. Fortunately, there  are people such as Jason Packineau, who guide students and show them the  many opportunities  for them in preparing for various paths to college.

 Excerpt: An Echo of Harvard in New Mexico By Jon Chase, The Harvard Gazette

“My name is Jason. I am Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Jemez, Laguna. I was born here. This is my home, said Jason Packineau, community coordinator for the Harvard University Native American Program, as he opened his presentation at the Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque in typical fashion by naming his tribal affiliations.

The purpose of the trip was to generate interest for Harvard among Native American students, as well as to host a Harvard booth at the National Indian Education Association conference in Albuquerque.” Learn more...

 

Packineau speaks to a group of Bernalillo High School students

For many of the high school students we visited, the Harvard name was simply an abstraction. But when they learned the College waives tuition for families earning less than $65,000, and will even fly out prospective students who have been accepted, you could almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they gathered up more Harvard literature from the table…”

An excellent opportunity for all Natives!  Kudos to Packineau and his staff for reaching out.

“I don’t think anybody anywhere can talk about the future of their people or of an organization without talking about education. Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future.”~Wilma Mankiller

Category: Education