On Friday, May 16th, D303 third grade students came downtown to experience what organizers dubbed the “3rd Grade Pow Wow”.
3rd Grade was the year when elementary school students learned about Native American history and culture, as well as St. Charles’ history. So the committee proposed a “Pow Wow” for those students to give them an authentic and hands-on experience.
D303 Principal Denise Liechty agreed to organize the event, and did a marvelous job of getting the elementary schools involved, working out the logistics of having 900, 9 year olds walk around downtown St. Charles. 450 students took the tour in the morning and the other 450 in the afternoon. They all started out at the Arcada Theatre, where they heard the spellbinding stories of world-renowned Native American storyteller Gayle Ross (having performed in Europe and at the Kennedy Center) and saw the wonderful, multi-generational, Waswagoning Dance Theater perform.
The students then separated into three groups and toured downtown from Ēkwabet (where Guy Bellaver spoke with them about the project) to the 20th Birthday Gallery to the Day In The Life Exhibit at Pottawatomie Park, where Schingoethe Center docents gave them a tour of the village.
To thank Principal Liechty, the organizing committee for the 20th Birthday Celebration purchased Debra Yep-Pappan’s piece Hello Kitti Tipi to Corron Elementary School.