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Finding common ground

"Voices" from the Spring Experience, 2019 - Three EHS seniors shared their Native American culture with indigenous educators and students from around the globe at a conference in Auckland, New Zealand. They gave a presentation and visited Maori homelands and schools, adding to their own education about indigenous cultures. Here are some of their reflections on the trip, in their own words.

“In the U.S., the Native culture has deep ties with the land. Often times when Natives move off their land, they move away from their traditions and culture as well. Conversely, in New Zealand, the Native culture is present everywhere and many promote their ancestor’s culture through facial tattoos, dances, and language. I hope that American Indian culture can find new ways to be promoted and prevail as a positive part of the diversity in the U.S.”   -- Clayton Carlson 

“Looking at the beginning of colonization, Native Americans and Maori people had nearly indistinguishable experiences. On top of that, the things that the Maori value and hold close to their hearts are similar to Native Americans. Song and dance being one of the easiest examples…welcoming ceremonies, songs of honor, as well as telling stories.”    -- Carson Ryan

 “I believe it is important to share my Native American culture to show that just because we are on the opposite side of the world doesn’t mean we don’t have anything in common. I take pride in my culture and I want others to see the importance of my generation continuing my ancestors’ traditions. I am a Native American who is proud of where she comes from and am even more excited to see where others like me are going.”   -- Andrea Richardson