Last week several UC Libraries (HSL, CECH, Langsam) collaborated to produce the first installment in our Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness public programming. This inaugural event focused specifically on children as Langsam Library received a visit from twenty-four students of the Arlitt Child & Family Research & Education Center. Cheryl Ghosh, Senior Librarian at UC’s CECH Library put together an amazing program of dramatic skits, activity stations, and multi-media fun.
First, the 3 to 5-year-olds were treated to an introduction and brief play about the Iroquois legend of the Three Sisters and its corresponding gardening tradition. This tradition of planting corn, beans and squash (the sisters) in close proximity is widespread among Native American farming. At the same time the story functions as a metaphor for supporting and helping one another.
After the skit, the children were divided into groups and each group moved on to an activity station. One group and its chaperones built a teepee. The other, shucked corn and picked beans from bean plants. After ten minutes the groups switched and tried the other activity.
After fifteen minutes of activities, the students had a brief snack then proceeded to the Student Technology Resource Center (STAC) where video was taken of them in front of a green screen. At that point the video was superimposed onto an image of the Great Plains and an American Indian village complete with moving buffalo.
Finally, as a parting gift, each child received the book D is for Drum: A Native American Alphabet by Debbie and Michael Shoulders and Irving Toddy. The event lasted approximately an hour and at no time did our worries of waning attention spans among the children materialize. They never once lost interest. A success, if we do say so! And a huge thanks to all who assisted.
Please plan to attend the Native Voices: Native American Concepts of Health and Illness opening event on Thursday, July 26th in the CARE/Crawley Atrium of the UC Medical Sciences Building. And stay tuned for the six weeks of supplementary programming the HSL has planned.
Please see the gallery below for more images of the event.