Pis­cat­away pro­gram teaches chil­dren na­tive cul­ture

Pis­cat­away “Let us play” pro­gram teaches chil­dren na­tive cul­ture and cus­toms

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

Lo­cal chil­dren ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand the life of a Pis­cat­away In­dian when the Pis­cat­away Mu­seum & Cul­tural Cen­ter brought one of their most pop­u­lar pro­grams to Charles County on Mon­day.

Chil­dren ages 6 to 9 par­tic­i­pated in a Liv­ing the Amer­i­can In­dian Ex­pe­ri­ence (LAIE) pro­gram on July 18, pre­sented by the Cedar ville Band of Pis­cat­away In­di­ans. Called Papitám, the event at the La Plata Li­brary al­lowed par­tic­i­pants to meet, play and learn about Pis­cat­away tribal her­itage through ac­tiv­i­ties such as pot­tery, jew­elry and lo­cal na­tive dance.

“LAIE pro­vides ex­actly what our li­braries need — fas­ci­nat­ing, en­light­en­ing and en­joy­able sto­ries, ex­pe­ri­ences and ac­tiv­i­ties from our lo­cal past,” Sarah Guy, Charles County Pub­lic Li­brar y pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor, said.

Papitám, mean­ing “let us play,” was the first pro­gram cre­ated through the Liv­ing the Amer­i­can In­dian Ex­pe­ri­ence. Papitám is a trav­el­ing, learn­ing-through-play ex­pe­ri­ence that ed­u­cates and en­ter­tains kids Pre-K to sec­ond grade with cul­tur­ally ap­pro­pri­ate, Na­tive Amer­i­can ac­tiv­i­ties. The hands-on learn­ing pro­gram in­tro­duces chil­dren to lo­cal Pis­cat­away tribe her­itage, cus­toms and tra­di­tions through games, crafts and dance.

Amanda Da­gle, aca­demic pro­gram man­ager of Liv­ing the Amer­i­can In­dian Ex­pe­ri­ence, mar­ried into the Pis­cat­away Na­tion and has par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gram for many years. She said the mo­bile pro­gram started as a room in the mu­seum, but the Pis­cat­away In­dian Mu­seum & Cul­tural Cen­ter had a very hard time get­ting the pub­lic to at­tend. “We want to con­tinue to go where the peo­ple are,” Da­gle said. Thus, Papitám was made into an on-the-road model.

“I love that Papitám is de­signed for kids and the fam­ily joins in be­cause of the unique con­tent,” Da­gle said. “They don’t know this in­for­ma­tion so they end up learn­ing along with the chil­dren and it be­comes an in­clu­sive pro­gram. We set up so many learn­ing sta­tions with Papitám so that it’s very sen­sor y friendly, mul­ti­ple in­tel­li­gence friendly and in­cludes au­di­tory learn­ing. We like to hit all of those de­vel­op­men­tal blocks.”

“Papitám is great be­cause it fo­cuses on in­ter­ac­tion,” Cr ys­tal Proc­tor, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of LAIE, said. “Papitám in­cludes move­ment, but with more of cul­tural mixed with the arts as­pect. We bring ac­tiv­i­ties to the chil­dren that they may not get a chance to learn on a nor­mal ba­sis, like us­ing a bow and ar­row and learn­ing my fa­vorite dance, the robin dance. His­tory does not start at colo­nial contact, and our chil­dren are miss­ing out on the real his­tor y of this re­gion.”

The Papitám pro­gram be­gan with a story about the mean­ing of Papitám, and the chil­dren learned some of the Al­go­nquin lan­guage. Then the chil­dren made clay pot­tery, Ch­e­sa­peake-style jew­elr y neck­laces made of shells and beads, and danced to a Pis­cat­away song known as the robin dance. As the chil­dren learned and per­formed the dance, Proc­tor made the beat us­ing a hand drum made from deer skin and a rat­tle made of bull-run.

Emma Jack­owski, 7, and sis­ter Is­abelle Jack­owski, 4, par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gram along with Melinda Jack­owski, their mother.

“My fa­vorite part was mak­ing a neck­lace out of shells and beads,” Emma said.

“The ar­row was my fa­vorite part,” Is­abelle said.

Their mother, Melinda, be­lieves it is im­por­tant that her chil­dren learn about the his­tor y and the cul­ture of where they live.

“I liked the story in the be­gin­ning where they de­scribed and talked about the way life was for the Pis­cat­away back then,” Melinda said. “The kids got to ex­pe­ri­ence how the Pis­cat­away hunted and how they make dif­fer­ent things us­ing the parts of the deer, be­cause we don’t do that any­more in more re­cent times. I also like that it was hands-on and that is what at­tracted us to this pro­gram.”

While learn­ing about the Pis­cat­away na­tion, the chil­dren learned how to shoot a bow and ar­row, with Pis­cat­away hunt­ing sup­plies pro­vided by the LAIE staff.

La Plata res­i­dent Sara Young came with her niece, Caitlin Young, 4, and nephew, Bray­den Young, 6. Sara said she loves that the li­brary has cre­ated such great events for all lo­cal chil­dren to at­tend.

“I liked ever ything, the danc­ing, the jew­elry and mak­ing the clay pot,” Caitlin said.

“I liked watch­ing my niece and nephew do the bow and ar­row,” Sara said. “The smile on my nephew’s face made that mo­ment price­less. It’s very im­por­tant to ex­pose all chil­dren to a multi-cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment and to hear about those in­dige­nous peo­ple who were here be­fore us.”

Liv­ing the Amer­i­can In­dian Ex­pe­ri­ence will bring their other pro­gram, Ken­tkatám — “Let us dance” — to the Po­tomac Li­brary next Tues­day, July 26 for chil­dren and par­ents to learn Pis­cat­away songs and par­tic­i­pate in more of their na­tive dances.


On July 18, Crys­tal Proc­tor, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Liv­ing the Amer­i­can In­dian Ex­pe­ri­ence (LAIE), showed Is­abelle Jack­owski, 4, how to shoot a bow and ar­row at the La Plata Li­brary. The Pis­cat­away used a bow and ar­row to hunt food to eat, such as deer.

On July 18, Crys­tal Proc­tor, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Liv­ing the Amer­i­can In­dian Ex­pe­ri­ence (LAIE), taught the chil­dren how to make Amer­i­can In­dian clay pots at the La Plata Li­brary. The Pis­cat­away women used to make big clay pots, put them in the fire, and once dry, the pot would be used to store ne­ces­si­ties like wheat or grain.

On July 18, chil­dren lis­tened to a story about the mean­ing of Papitám, and learned some of the Al­go­nquin lan­guage dur­ing the Liv­ing the Amer­i­can In­dian Ex­pe­ri­ence pro­gram at La Plata Li­brary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.