we honor mother earth every day at indian community school
Learning about our connections to Mother Earth helps our students understand who they are (cultural identity), how to live in a good way and what tribal sovereignty means. This land-based learning takes place in classrooms, on field trips and here on our grounds, and it is a regular part of what our students learn about and experience. Connections to Mother Earth are also learned from cultural guests who come to our school from all over Turtle Island, and who share their expertise and traditional knowledge with our students and whenever possible, they also share with our community members during evening programming.
We offer our students hands-on land-based learning experiences including a Minooman Camp (wild ricing), Deer Harvesting & Cooking Camp, snow snake, lacrosse, plant medicine walks that teach the language and plant medicine identification and harvesting, canoeing, gardening and pow wows — to name a few. Students also travel to tribal lands in Wisconsin and participate in cultural activities including maple sugar camps, corn husking, round dances, cultural crafting, singing, drumming and more. Our goal is that by the end of 8th grade, our students to be able to:
- Articulate what it means to be connected to Mother Earth and why that is important to cultural identity, living in a good way, and tribal sovereignty.
- Identify animals and plants and describe the role they play in the interconnected web of life.
- Be involved in habitat restoration and care for the land and water.
- Participate in and describe the process of raising traditional foods and medicines.
- Help to research, plan, and implement a project related to protecting Mother Earth and/or the water.
- Identify culturally significant landmarks and natural resources on their reservations or traditional homelands.
- Explain the processes, traditional protocols, and ceremonies that are important to remember in traditional harvest of animals, plants, medicines, and construction materials.
“In this land rights action we seek justice.
Justice for the waters.
Justice for the four-leggeds and the wingeds.
Whose habitats have been taken.
We seek justice, not just for ourselves,
but justice for the whole creation.”
Audrey Shenandoah, Onondaga
Land Rights News Conference, 2005