Indian Times
9:41 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Chickasaw Cultural Center Observes Native American Heritage Month

The Chickasaw Cultural Center is focusing on healthy living for its young people this year.

Chickasaw Cultural Center
Credit Susan Shannon

The Chickasaw Nation started November with a multi-tribal day. Valorie Walters, executive officer of the Chickasaw Cultural Center, said that was a day to bring in other tribes to share their history and culture.

“Throughout the month of November, including December as well, we have a special exhibit here,” Walters said.

“Its called Through The Eyes of the Eagle. It actually focuses on healthy living for children. This is a beautiful exhibit that features original artwork from the Eagle Books and has been in various locations on exhibition including the National Museum of the American Indian,” Walters said.

The Eagle books are a series of four volumes incorporating animal characters called Mr. Eagle and another called Miss Rabbit, and a clever trickster, Coyote.

They talk to the young Native American boy called Rain That Dances and his friends about the need for physical activity, eating healthy foods, and learning from their elders about traditional ways of being healthy.

Credit Susan Shannon

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to come out and see the beautiful exhibit,” Walters said. “Throughout the time the exhibition is here, we will also have activities going along with it. We have a nutrition program within the Chickasaw Nation and they are helping us quite a bit to reinforce the healthy living for children.”

The books were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Diabetes Translation’s Native Diabetes Wellness Program, in collaboration with the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee and the Indian Health Service.

The program is in response to the high prevalence of diabetes among Native Americans and the need for diabetes prevention materials for children.

The cultural center will also offer hands-on ways to commemorate the upcoming holiday season.

“We are going to focus on the Thanksgiving celebration here at the Cultural Center, and part of our way of sharing our history and culture is that we're going to have a couple of craft demonstrations, one including a Native American miniature ornament class,” Walters said.

Credit Susan Shannon

The demonstrations will let visitors learn how to make Native American miniature ornaments like miniature stickballs, miniature moccasin and other things.

The Thanksgiving celebration is from Nov. 22—24.

Interview with Valorie Walters, Executive Officer to the Chickasaw Cultural Center

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