In October, the 8-9s learned about the growing movement in the United States to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. Most 8-9s ended up feeling so strongly about the issue that they wrote letters to Mayor DiBlasio to request that he change the holiday in New York City. The 8-9s also decided to have their own Indigenous Day celebration to honor the first people that ever lived here.
On Thursday, December 15, the 8-9s celebrated Indigenous Day. They cooked food mostly using ingredients that Native people in this area had long ago. The kids tried to be as authentic as possible, using shells instead of knives to remove corn from the cobs to make succotash and mashing berries to make a juice. The 8-9s also made fry bread, which has come to be associated with Native American culture because it was made from the rations many tribes received on reservations. The 8-9s also made shields with native symbolism, masks and dream catchers to decorate the classroom. They enjoyed cooking, decorating, and particularly feasting!