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Exploring Native culture through children’s books

September 7 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

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One event on September 7, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Golden rod blooms along the cornfields along the Hoosic River in September.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Dale Borman Fink and Colleen Rossi will explore Native culture through children’s literature. How children learn about Native history and culture is a source of controversy today, they explain. In this book discussion, the group will explore six books written by Native authors from the Northeast.

By focusing on books by Native writers, the group will catch valuable glimpses into Indigenous life, including how grandparents pass on the wisdom and traditions of their community. Beautifully written and illustrated, the six selected books will introduce readers to books to share with children in their own circle of family and friends.

They will give a talk twice, on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company.

Selected Books

1. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp, illustrated by Erwin Printup Jr.

2. How the Chipmunk Got Its Stripes by Joseph and James Bruchac, illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey.

3. Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau, illustrated by Robert Hynes.

4. Kunu’s Basket: A Story from Indian Island by Lee De Cora Francis, illustrated by Susan Drucker.

5. The First Blade of Sweet Grass: A Wabanaki Story by Suzanne Greenlaw and Gabriel Frey, illustrated by Nance Baker.

6. Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac.

The leaders for this book discussion group are Dale Borman Fink, a retired professor from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts who taught children’s literature, and Colleen Rossi, retired teacher, curriculum specialist and principal in the Pittsfield Public Schools. Rossi and Fink bring a love of children’s literature and teaching to these rich stories of Native American life and culture.

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We Are Still Here: Indigenous Peoples of the Northeast

At least an estimated 100,000 Native people lived in Massachusetts before European contact — and throughout September the Osher Institute of Lifetime Learning (OLLI) at Berkshire Community college will celebrate their stories.

Explore art shows, music performances, tours of historic sites with emphasis on connections with the Indigenous community, guided reading groups focused on books by Indigenous authors of the Northeast, and four online lectures by leading scholars.

Listen to the music of Hawk Henries, a Nipmuc flutist who makes and plays traditional Nipmuc flutes with musicians around the world, from the London Mozart Players to the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Judy Dow, an artist of Abenaki and French Canadian descent, educator and activist, has had her baskets on display at the Smithsonian and her tapestries on exhibit in Europe with the UN Indigenous organization.

Abenaki, Wabanaki and Haudenosanee writers will share books and stories, and you can walk Main Street, Stockbridge, and learn about the Mohican families and European incomers who founded Stockbridge as an experiment in multicultural living in the mid-18th century.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

Event Details

Details

Date:
September 7
Time:
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Categories:
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Event Tags:
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Event Location

Shakespeare & Company
70 Kemble St.
Lenox, MA
413-637-3353

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