November 16, 2013 at 12:22 AM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - In honor of Native American History month, Red Chief Climbing Otter and Clan Mother Many Feathers of the Cherokee Nation of New Jersey came to Redwood Elementary School as special guests.
Redwood School second graders were allowed to engage in Cherokee culture and traditions. Red Chief Climbing Otter and Clan Mother Many Feathers showed students a special Pow-wow dance, recited their Cherokee prayer and code of ethics, and performed a sage healing. The second graders learned some Cherokee words like "Do-na-da" which is a way to say "See you later" (Cherokee never say "Good bye" because that means the end and the person has perished).
They also participated in a Question and Answer session. Students asked, "Have you seen "The Trails Of Tears?" Red Chief Climbing Otter explained he has never traced those steps. He said tracing that route would be too painful to see and feel where many of his people died from illness, sorrow and ill treatment. Another question was, "What do you eat?" Clan Mother Many Feathers chuckled and responded, "The same thing you eat." She then added, "A lot of Cherokee eat squash, corn, deer (venison) and a favorite dish of bison burgers which have more protein than beef burgers." Ms. Jacson added, "Bison hot pepper soup!"
Students and faculty enjoyed the special visit and look forward to their return next year.