Terri Juberg is a third grade teacher at North Hill Elementary – her Excel Grant application began: For the past 5 years, our third graders have enjoyed having Ronn Wilson from Of Cedar and Salmon come to North Hill. It has been the best cultural experience possible for our kids! If we didn’t have Of Cedar and Salmon coming, our social studies unit on the Native People of America would consist of two chapters from a text book written in 1985 and it barely scratches the surface.
Ronn is of the Kwaguilth people of the Northwest Coast. His message is based on “reverence, respect and remembering.” He melds the people of the past, and the environment they lived in, to our current role in the world.
The program consists of two complete days of lessons, dancing in full costume, art, silk-screening, and story telling surrounded by carvings, pelts, painted screens, and a 16 foot long serpent drum. Families are always invited to enjoy Ronn’s story telling and the students’ dancing at an evening “potlach.”
Ron allows the students access to not only museum quality artifacts, but also instills lessons of survival and reverence that teachers wouldn’t be able to duplicate.We are always amazed at the valuable and delicate artifacts the students are allowed to hold and admire. (There are 9 tables full of them!) The lessons of trust, respect (for each other, adults, and the environment) and listening are incredibly valuable and taught in fascinating and accessible ways!
For the first time, Ron Wilson will create a large painted cedar mural as a permanent art installation for North Hill. The whole school will be able to see the art as it developes and we hope to have pictures to show you soon.