Native Ways School Day event teaches kids Native American culture

Native Ways School Day event teaches kids Native American culture
Fourth-grade kids from Oak Grove Longleaf Elementary learned about the Native American culture at Native Ways School Day. (Photo source: WDAM)

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Students from the University of Southern Mississippi and members from the Golden Eagle Intertribal Society educated elementary kids during its Native Ways School Day event Thursday at Willie Hinton Park in Petal.

"It's important because our cultures need to be humbled and honored in some sort of way," said USM senior Lanena John, who is president of the Golden Eagle Intertribal Society and a proud member of the Mississippi band of Choctaw Indians. "With Native Ways School Day, we showcase our Native American culture."

Fourth-grade kids from Oak Grove Longleaf Elementary learned about the Native American culture by circulating through the park in small groups, stopping at stations showcasing Native American traditions such as Dreamcatcher making and throwing a rabbit stick.

"Basically, it is to show the cultures of Native Americans and to show that Native Americans are still here," John said. "Like for instance, my tribe, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, are in central Mississippi and are the only federally recognized tribe in the state of Mississippi, and most people do not know that."

"The ultimate goal is to demonstrate our culture and to make it fun for kids to learn in a fun-loving environment," John added.

A Native American pow wow will be held this Saturday at Willie Hinton Park in Petal, beginning at 11 a.m.