Native American Heritage Month celebration at GCS
GOWANDA — A joyous Native American celebration featuring traditional foods, games of longball, art projects and an elder activity centered around gratitude was held Friday, Nov. 15, which is also National Rock Your Mocs or Crocs Day — at Gowanda Central School District. Students and staff were encouraged to show their support for this meaningful celebration — which is integral to Native American Heritage Month — by wearing moccasins or Croc shoes.
Representatives of Gawki:yo:h Farms of the Seneca Nation were on sight with samples of Native foods — bison, strawberry juice and squash — in the cafeterias. Students enjoyed some friendly competition in the gym as they teamed up for games of longball. Meanwhile, in the classrooms, teachers led an art project where students decorated moccasins with symbols and created door hangers with a bird motif. The door hangers will be shared with elders of surrounding communities and elder care facilities.
The highlights of the celebration were the Haudenosaunee song-and-dance performances by students and community members dressed in Haudenosaune outfits.
Many thanks to the following for facilitating the cultural celebration: Marty Jimerson and Chris Tallchief, singers from Seneca Nation Language and Culture Department, along with other staffers; Gaehnew Printup, longball presenter, of the Seneca Nation Early Childhood Learning Center; Frank John, traditional Native foods presenter, and Gerry Fisher, menu coordinator, of Gawki:yo:h Farms; Tristan Hagemam and Anne Foit, Johnson O’Malley instructors, who assisted with the art and elder projects; Gowanda staff members Tyler Thompson, Lea Golden and Lottie Gill.