Saturday, May 09, 2009

Carved Indian statue at welcome rest area, I80, PA

I'm on the road, en route to get my daughter from end-of-year at college. Yesterday, I entered Pennsylvania and stopped at the 'Welcome' rest area on Interstate 80. There is a tall, carved wood statue there, of an Indian head. The plaque at the base of the statue says:

"Dedicated to the American Indians (Seneca)
...But they won't be forgotten,
But will be remembered in our minds
And in our hearts.
Love is life."

It is signed "Peter Toth, June 30th, 1973."

I recall that Toth is trying to put one of these in every state. I don't have time to do research on him or this work right now, but I am curious. Seneca, he says, who will be remembered, because they are.... what? What does Toth think? What do his words suggest to you?

Teachers! Before school is out for the summer, ask students to pay attention to these sorts of statues if they come across them. Of, if there's one near you, study the statue, dedication.

Just in case you're wondering, the Seneca people are alive and well.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Missy Whiteman's Video: Indigenous Holocaust

Stunning video and commentary about boarding schools... Created by Missy Whiteman, titled Indigenous Holocaust. If you teach Shirley Sterling's My Name Is Seepeetza, consider using this video along with it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Brianne Grant's thesis on Education in YA Lit

Back on July 9th, 2007, I blogged about Brianne Grant's article "Opening the Cache of Canadian Secrets: The Residential School Experience in Books for Children."

Today, I point you to Grant's thesis: Where Hope Lives: An Examination of the Relationship Between Protagonists and Education Systems in Contemporary Native North American Young Adult Fiction.

She considers educational systems as portrayed in four novels:
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  • The Porcupine Year, by Louise Erdrich
  • Good for Nothing, by Michel Noel
  • No Time to Say Goodbye: Children's Stories of Kuper Island Residential School, by Sylvia Olsen, written with Rita Morris and Ann Sam
I'm partway through it (gotta stop and do some writing of my own) and look forward to sitting down with it when I have more time. Her thesis may prove perfect for my History of American Indian Education course next spring.