For the last several years I have visited school classrooms with my Native American presentation. My great grandmother was a Northern Cree from Saskatchewan Canada. I have been learning the Cree language along with Native American sign language, and have a collection of various tools, weapons, clothing, and pow-wow items. Many of them I have made myself including several necklaces made from bear claws!
Mrs. Mary Boudrie runs a preschool not far from my place, and I have put on many presentations at her school. I usually focus in on the first Thanksgiving, as that is what the children are learning about, and that is when they make their special “stone soup!” They get a kick out of my many animal hides, and “Chief Ten Bears” Native American outfit and regalia always gets their attention. My grand-daughter “Cactus Flower” came along to help me, as she has done in the past.
This year we used Mr. Tom Boudrie’s huge pole barn for the kids and their parents. Tom has one of the largest Native American collections in the state of Michigan, so it was fitting to have my talk/demonstration there. I knew before hand that there would be many more people present than at any other presentation, and that food was going to be served. I figured this would be a good time to introduce them to some good Native American food-wild game! I cooked up some bear meat, wild turkey, and venison for their liking. I was surprised at how many of the kids gave it a try, and several parents told me how much they enjoyed the fare. I think the bear meat went over the best! Many were surprised at how good it tasted, as they expected a gamey flavor. Even several of the women gave it a try, and were impressed.
What a good way to introduce the uninitiated to the great taste and benefits of our natural resources available through hunting. It’s a good way to make some allies from non-hunting people you may be able to influence. And that my friends is a good thing for those of us who do hunt!