WBEZ | native americans http://www.wbez.org/tags/native-americans Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How To Talk To Kids About Thanksgiving http://www.wbez.org/news/how-talk-kids-about-thanksgiving-113949 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gobble.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res457242128" previewtitle="Parent and child hand turkeys have a heart to heart."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Parent and child hand turkeys have a heart to heart." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/24/thanksgiving-turkeytalk1_custom-c5fac29b7022215b40a6cfb12f8198e75c75e7d1-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 386px; width: 620px;" title="Parent and child hand turkeys have a heart to heart. (LA Johnson/NPR)" /></div><div><div>You know the drill: Trace your hand, then add the details. Two feet, a beak, a single eyeball. Color it in, and voila! Hand becomes turkey.</div></div></div><p>You know the rest too: The Pilgrims fled England and landed on Plymouth Rock. The native people there, the Wampanoag, taught them to farm the land. In 1621, they sat down together for a thanksgiving feast, and we&#39;ve been celebrating it ever since.</p><p>It&#39;s a lesson many remember from childhood, but the story has some problems.</p><p>There is evidence, in the form of a colonist&#39;s letter, to suggest the feast did happen, but the holiday didn&#39;t take off nationally until the civil war, when writer Sarah Hale advocated for it as a way to unite the country.</p><p>And, of course, it leaves out what happened to native communities over the next few centuries.</p><p>Bettina Washington, the Wampanoag tribal historic preservation officer, says it&#39;s crucial to acknowledge what happened. &quot;It&#39;s not a pretty history by any stretch of the imagination,&quot; she says, &quot;but we need the story to be told truthfully.&quot;</p><p>Each year, elementary teachers across the country search for the best way to address the elephant &mdash; or turkey &mdash; in the room.</p><p>There isn&#39;t a guide: Social studies standards vary by state. Most are intentionally vague.</p><p>In many states, Thanksgiving is not explicitly mentioned in the standards. And yet children bring their lives into the classroom, leaving educators to decide how to tackle a holiday fraught with broken treaties and forced exodus.</p><p>Here are some of their strategies.</p><p><strong>Shift the focus</strong></p><p>When the 20 or so second-graders enter Crystal Brunelle&#39;s library, she keeps the lesson simple.</p><p>&quot;Other people celebrate Thanksgiving besides us. Some people have turkey,&quot; says Brunelle, a library media specialist at Northern Hills Elementary in Onalaska, Wis. &quot;Others may celebrate in a different way or not at all.&quot;</p><p>Brunelle tells her class: &quot;Lots of cultures have a holiday to give thanks and many cultures celebrated a thanksgiving prior to the Pilgrims.&quot;</p><p>She focuses on the distinct ways different cultures show gratitude, from China to Mexico. And she makes sure to include readings from the nearby Ho Chunk Nation and books written by native authors &mdash; a challenge considering&nbsp;<a href="http://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/pcstats.asp">just 20</a>&nbsp;of the 5,000 children&#39;s books published in 2014 were written by Native Americans.</p><p>Brunelle says second grade is a critical time.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a time when they&#39;re still forming their opinions and they are very open and accepting of others,&quot; she says. &quot;I don&#39;t want to miss that time. Later is too late.&quot;</p><p><strong>Make connections</strong></p><p>Rebecca Valbuena has been teaching mostly third and fifth grade for 27 years. She has seen the whole range when it comes to teaching Thanksgiving.</p><p>&quot;I know school districts that are very tight and there are no holidays. Other schools, they&#39;re talking about how nice it was for those natives to share their meal,&quot; says Valbuena, who coaches teachers in the Glendora Unified School District in California.</p><p>Valbuena says one timely strategy is to connect Thanksgiving to the Syrian refugee crisis.</p><p>&quot;Make it relevant to today,&quot; she says. &quot;Turn it into a lesson of what a pilgrim really is. These people left looking for freedom. It&#39;s a really strong connection to people of the past.&quot;</p><p>Bettina Washington, of the Wampanoag tribe, agrees that making connections is key but says it can be as simple as emphasizing that all students have ancestors.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re not using clay pots anymore. We use a stove just like you. We&#39;re still here,&quot; Washington says. &quot;Where were your ancestors from? What were they wearing and how were they cooking? It&#39;s very important to make that connection.&quot;</p><p><strong>Emphasize critical thinking</strong></p><p>Brunelle and Valbuena both say Thanksgiving is an opportunity to get students to ask questions and focus on multiple perspectives.</p><p>&quot;We want to teach children how to be historians,&quot; Valbuena says. &quot;We talk about reading the book but also reading behind it: Who&#39;s the author, what&#39;s the message, and what&#39;s their motivation?&quot;</p><p>With her fourth- and fifth-grade students, Brunelle pulls out a history textbook and asks students to examine the portrayal of Native Americans.</p><p>&quot;We see Native Americans in a particular way and then we don&#39;t see them again. They disappear,&quot; Brunelle says. &quot;We talk about that and look to see who is missing.&quot;</p><p>For Washington, that disappearance is what matters most. No matter how you teach the complicated history of Thanksgiving, she says, keep students talking about it.</p><p>&quot;We always get called in the month of November and then we&#39;re not here the rest of the year,&quot; says Washington, but she added: &quot;The positive thing about this time of year is that we are thought of. That opens the door to greater learning and understanding.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/11/25/457105485/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-thanksgiving?ft=nprml&amp;f=457105485" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/how-talk-kids-about-thanksgiving-113949 Northwestern to investigate founder’s connection to historic massacre http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-investigate-founder%E2%80%99s-connection-historic-massacre-105689 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F80401078" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/evans%20letter.gif" style="float: left; height: 380px; width: 280px;" title="A letter from Washington in 1865 asked John Evans to resign as governor of Colorado over his role in Sandy Creek. (Colorado State Archives)" />When Gary Alan Fine was named the John Evans Professor of Sociology at Northwestern, he wanted to know more about his title.</p><p>&ldquo;I got on the internet and googled, and within 30 seconds I was shocked,&rdquo; Fine said. He found out Evans was governor of Colorado in 1864, the year of the Sand Creek Massacre.</p><p>Colorado cavalrymen murdered more than 150 civilian Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in one of the most notorious mass killings in U.S. history.</p><p>&ldquo;Children killed in front of their mothers, women who had their breasts cut off, I mean just a horrific story,&rdquo; Fine said, calling it one of most significant events of genocide in U.S. history.</p><p>Colorado&rsquo;s frontier government was effectively at war with the Cheyenne&rsquo;s and the Arapahoes, but the government had offered up the Sand Creek camp as a refuge for tribal members who were willing not to fight white settlers and railroad men. In other words, the massacre amounted to a bloody attack on a peaceful refugee camp.</p><p>Evans was not present at Sand Creek &ndash; he was out of the state on business &ndash; but as the territorial governor he somehow approved the action. He was removed from his post as governor after <a href="http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/resources/archives/four/sandcrk.htm#smith" target="_blank">Congress caught wind of the events</a>, but he remained president of Northwestern&rsquo;s Board of Trustees for thirty years after the fact.</p><p>The City of Evanston is Evans&rsquo; best-known namesake, and his fortune as a railroad mogul played a major role in Northwestern&rsquo;s early development. Multiple emeritus positions and the school&rsquo;s alumni house all carry Evans&rsquo; name.</p><p>That&rsquo;s why Northwestern Senior Adam Mendel took note when he saw Evans&rsquo; name connected to Sand Creek in readings for a class. After further researching Evans and finding out that he was considered culpable for the massacre, Mendel got together with members of the Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance to demand an explanation from the university as to why this part of Evans past was not in the biography of Evans on the university website.</p><p>Mendel said the students wanted &ldquo;recognition of John Evans&rsquo; role in Sand Creek and the way in which his profits from clearing the land of the Native population led to the development of the school.&rdquo;</p><p>They put together a petition that asks for the establishment of a Native American studies program and a scholarship fund for Cheyenne and Arapaho students. The group also wants a permanent memorial built on campus with input from the tribes.</p><p>The university responded in mid-February by announcing a committee of seven scholars to research Evans. The committee plans to release a report in 2014 on Evans&rsquo; connection to the massacre and on links between Evans&rsquo; financial contributions his policies towards Native tribes as governor of Colorado.</p><p>&ldquo;The year 2014 will mark the 150th anniversary of Sand Creek, so it is appropriate to assess how and what we report about John Evans as part of our institutional history, and if and in what way we should continue to recognize his contributions to the University,&rdquo; Provost Daniel Linzer said in a statement. &ldquo;Although Sand Creek occurred 13 years after the establishment of Northwestern, we would like to know in detail the nature of John Evans&rsquo; relationship with the University when he was territorial governor and afterwards.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m ecstatic that the committee is going to be formed,&rdquo; Mendel said.</p><p>He&rsquo;s disappointed that the committee does not include students or any members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, but said it&rsquo;s a great start.</p><p>Fine has high hopes for where the research could take the university.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;What do we owe the Cheyenne and Arapaho, what do we owe native students, what do we owe the students today in terms of remembering our own traumatic history. How do you memorialize trauma?&rdquo; Fine asked.</p><p>He cites the work of Brown University, which formed a committee in 2003 to <a href="http://brown.edu/Research/Slavery_Justice/about/letter.html" target="_blank">address historic links to slavery</a> at the university. In 2007, Brown announced it would give $10 million in an endowment to local public schools as a form of reparations.</p><p>Fine hopes Northwestern will eventually do something similar by helping Native American students get access to higher education. Recent numbers show just seven percent of Native American kindergarteners end up graduating from college.</p><p>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/LewisPants" target="_blank">Lewis Wallace on Twitter</a>.</p></p> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-investigate-founder%E2%80%99s-connection-historic-massacre-105689 Worldview 10.10.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-101011 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//episode/images/2011-october/2011-10-07/searchers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It’s Columbus Day. Over the years, Columbus Day has become something of a Rorschach test on what you think about our history with Native Americans or First Nations peoples. There are lots of places today where indigenous cultures are fighting to survive. Today, we continue our occasional series <em>Images, Movies and Race</em> with a look at media representations of Native Americans. <em>Worldview</em> film contributor Milos Stehlik speaks with Dorene Wiese. She's a filmmaker, historian and president of the American Indian Association of Illinois. Then, we hear how an anthropologist is using high-tech tools to keep one indigenous culture in Peru on the world map.</p></p> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-101011 Columbus Day look at how imagery shaped U.S. policy and attitudes toward Native Americans http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-10/columbus-day-look-how-imagery-shaped-us-policy-and-attitudes-toward-nati <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-07/dances with wolves.jpg.crop_display.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Well it’s Columbus Day. Over the years Columbus Day has become something of Rorschach test on what you think about our history with Native Americans or First Nation people. Jerome McDonnell saw a Columbus Day e-card the other day that said, "Let’s celebrate Columbus Day by moving into someone’s house and telling them we live there now."</p><p>Probably most of our perceptions about native Americans is from what we see in our films and on television. Today we revisit an installment of our occasional series <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/images-movies-and-race"><em>Images, Movies and Race</em></a>. <em>Worldview</em> Film Contributor, Milos Stehlik, from <a href="http://www.facets.org/">Facets Multimedia</a> spoke with Dorene Wiese. She’s a filmmaker, historian and president of the <a href="http://www.chicago-american-indian-edu.org/">American Indian Association of Illinois</a>.</p><p>Dorene and Milos focused on how historical images of Native Americans in film and media helped form U.S. policy and attitudes towards Native Americans.</p></p> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-10/columbus-day-look-how-imagery-shaped-us-policy-and-attitudes-toward-nati Chicago scientist dates artifacts that may rewrite ancient history http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-24/P1000205.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Archaeologists have hard evidence that humans lived in North America much earlier than previously thought, and a Chicago researcher played a key role in nailing down the dates.</p><p>The earliest North Americans were long thought to be the Clovis people, who lived about 12,000-13,000 years ago. Now archaeologists have dug up stone tools and debris from underneath a Clovis site in central Texas.</p><p>Steven Forman brought samples back to his lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He used a technique called optical dating to determine when the sediment around the objects was last exposed to sunlight. The artifacts turn out to be about 15,000&nbsp; years old, from millennia before the Clovis people. And they appear to provide a missing link in understanding how some Clovis technology developed.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not the first evidence of cultures older than Clovis, but Forman said it may be the strongest.</p><p>&ldquo;It appears to be that this might be kind of watershed piece of science in which people say, yes, there is really compelling evidence for pre-Clovis occupation in North America,&rdquo; said Forman, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at UIC. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s no longer a red herring.&rdquo;</p><p>The new find will likely overturn the history of ancient humans in North America. The results are out today in the journal, Science.</p></p> Thu, 24 Mar 2011 15:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190