Pow Wow Education Day Immerses Students into Tunica-Biloxi Native Culture
The Tunica Biloxi Tribe makes great strides to keep its culture and traditions alive.
ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how the tribe teaches children about Native Americans.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana retells their stories through dance and song.
Louisiana School of AG Science Student Kiara Molette says, “I think it’s important to learn about the Native American culture so they can share with other people and be more aware when they see it.”
Tribal leaders show students different dances to connect with them.
Louisiana School of AG Science Student Laney Cooper says, “My favorite part is how active they are with us. They asked us to go out there, do some dance moves with them, show us their moves, I mean how we dance is totally different from them so to see other people’s ways really just makes it more fun and exciting to be here.”
Live performances reveal their history and traditions.
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Member Jean-Luc Pierite says, “We have our traditional songs, our traditional stories, which represent our traditional, ecological knowledge, the ways in which we steward the local ecosystem, and remain in harmony with all that’s here today.
Students learn how the tribe preserves Native American culture.
Pierite says, “It’s important for them to come out to the Pow Wow and to be on tribal lands and to understand the ways in which we continue to live within Louisiana and our cultural contributions to the state today.”
Children immerse themselves in the culture through stories and games.
Cooper says, “I learned that most of their costumes come from their families and cultures. They’re all unique. They look similar but each one of them has a personal thing on them that represents them.”
Pierite says this is the tribe’s way of keeping their way of life.
“We were also including sort of tidbits of like how we can actually think not just how these are folktales or fairytales, or legends or anything like that but how does that actually play into the overall understanding of what’s going on in the world.”
He says their goal is to educate children to honor their heritage.
Today, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe has more than 1,500 members throughout the United States.