South Orangetown Central School District

Redhawk Native Artists event at WOS

Thank you to SOCES PTA for supporting assemblies with the Redhawk Native American Arts Council at William O. Schaefer Elementary School on May 18!

Council educators Cliff Matias (Kichwa/Taino), Vijaya Watson (Apache) and Raven Matias (Mohawk) spoke about the various Native American nations in our area and across the state, dispelled myths and stereotypes and shared aspects of their customs and cultures. “Storytelling, or ‘oral tradition,’ is a means of transmitting information and our people’s history from one generation to another,” Watson explained. “Stories are a fun way to learn great lessons so that you will live with respect and in harmony with the people, animals and environment around you.”

The artists used language, music and dance to demonstrate the different means of storytelling used by Native American people and led students and teachers through the basics of the Iroquois Robin Dance.

“This visit helps our second graders make connections to their Community Unit in which teachers highlight different cultural celebrations that take place in our area,” noted Assistant Principal Brian Galvin. Council members perform at the Bear Mountain Native American Heritage Celebration at the New York State Anthony Wayne Recreation Area each summer.