For years it had been difficult for Indigenous People living on reservations to participate in the election of our government officials. It is not uncommon for polling places to be a great distance ( as much as a 5 hour journey!) from the reservations.
This election season will be the first in which voters in North Dakota must show an ID with a street address (no PO Boxes accepted.) This new reality will clearly prevent Native Americans from participating in their most fundamental rights as citizens.
Here’s how the human library worked: people signed up for 20-minute slots of time during which they could “check out” and have a casual conversation with a “human book,” a person with a particular life experience that is generally stereotyped. In addition to Spacek, the other human books on Saturday were “refugee,” “punk entrepreneur,” “rapper,” “disabled,” “journalist,” “dwarfism,” “blind,” “transgender,” “veteran,” “Muslim,” “graffiti artist” and “psychic.”
Old habits die hard, but ever so slowly, cities are beginning to acknowledge the true “discoverers” of America, the Native Indians. Just as southern states continue to work on addressing the pain brought by honoring historical figures that caused so much suffering and racism, so too must all of us address the realities of Christopher Columbus.
We must continue to work on the racism that works at an institutional level. Whether removing iconic monuments, renaming schools or renaming and refocusing our pride in holidays, we must continue to move forward.
For additional coverage on Indigenous People’s day, click here.
Over this past week the CHSN Art Department has immersed itself in participating with a global Holocaust remembrance project, The Butterfly Project.
The goal of the Butterfly project is to commemorate the 1.5 million children killed during the Holocaust.
We began the week with a viewing of “Paper Clips.” This documentary tells the story of a Holocaust Memorial Project started in a middle school in Tennessee. While watching this video, students really gained a sense of the power of their voices and actions. Given the current climate, this message truly resonated with the students.
Next, with the help of bio cards provided by the Butterfly Project organization, we made personal connections with the children that were killed during the Holocaust. We also discussed the Righteous of Nations and the risks non-Jews faced in efforts to help the persecuted.
On February 28th, we kicked off the project with a presentation by Holocaust Survivor, Sonia Goldstein. Over 700 students listened intently as Sonia told her personal experiences in ghettos, Stutthof Concentration Camp, death marches and refugee camps. Sonia was taken to the concentration camp when she was 16, the age of most of the students in the audience. Sonia is now 93 years young, and we all valued the importance of hearing these personal accounts so that the stories may live on through us.
On March 1st, all art students returned to class, inspired to start creating butterflies. Today alone we create 860 of our total 1000 butterfly goal!
The lessons learned this week about the Holocaust, the victims, the survivors and the Righteous of Nations have been unforgettable!
The project has brought our school together in a time where tolerance and diversity are qualities we continue to foster.
Last year, the Art Department piloted a holocaust remembrance project called the Butterfly Project. The basis of this international project is Holocaust education, combined with the creation of ceramic butterflies in remembrance of the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust. During this pilot, 25 butterflies were made.
This week the CHSN Art Department begins it’s participation in the global Butterfly Project.
On Wednesday, February 28, we will listen to Holocaust Survivor, Sonia Goldstein, tell her experience during the Holocaust. This speaker will be the preliminary inspiration for those planning to help glaze clay butterflies. The speaker will be presenting in the auditorium and the Art Department will be bringing approximately 500 students.
It is our goal to create 1000 clay butterflies that will be permanently installed on the exterior brick wall of the Guidance Department facing picnic tables.
On March 1-2, the Art Department will be creating glaze designs on clay butterflies (we will pre-make butterflies prior to this event). While students are working on these creations, we will have available brief bios (provided by the butterfly project) of children that died during the Holocaust so that students have another opportunity to connect with the meaning behind the project.
On March 1, afterschool, we will hold a workshop for any students not in art classes, to create a butterfly.
Late April/May project installation and unveiling event coupled with a screening of the documentary, Not the Last Butterfly