Native American Connections

According to Minnesota statute, a district that has more than ten students who identify as American Indian must form an American Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee.  The Stillwater Schools “Native American Parent Advisory Committee” meets regularly at SMINC. This group was quite active before the COVID-19 era, and used the nature center for multi-day events, with their tipi set up for use as a venue to demonstrate Native American crafts. One activity was to gather information for this exhibit. The central painting was done by NAPAC at SMINC, on a brain-tanned deer hide, and depicts symbols relating to important concepts in Native American culture. The examples of plant material on the left side represent  species used in ceremonial activities. The tools on the right side are used in harvesting wild rice. Paul Red Elk, the last Lakota medicine man, contributed to this exhibit. Paul donated the 100-year old traditional antler rake (most recently used by a Hidatsa woman in South Dakota) and the examples of processing nettle fibers into cordage used for fish netting, bowstrings, etc. He has presented workshops at SMINC on “Make Your Own Herbal First Aid Kit” , “Tree Medicine”, and “Animal Medicine”


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