October 14 Indigenous Peoples' Day

October 14 Indigenous Peoples' Day
Posted on 10/13/2019
October 14 Indigenous Peoples' DayAppropriately on Monday October 14, designated as Indigenous Peoples' Day, we are highlighting a new Native-inspired mural in the library of Elmira High School.

Elmira High School has a new painting celebrating peace and friendship! See for yourself on a visit to the Elmira High School library where you will find a 6x12-foot painting about our history and on-going relations with the Haudenosaunee people, otherwise known as the “People of the Longhouse” or the “Six Nations.”

The painting is a collaborative work of art created this past spring by thirty-some drawing and painting students in Ms. Connie Swarthout’s art classes.

Teaching Artist, Karen Kucharski, worked with the classes on a Decentralization grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. The grant process has many stages of development and approval, including the administering process by The Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, to make the project a go, then many stages to get to this point of celebration. Students learned what it takes to create a collaborative art piece, the context of the painting, and about the grant process. In March, the students welcomed Hickory, Poody, and Rick Edwards from the Onondaga Nation, one of the nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. They shared information about their culture and were happy to see the “peace and friendship” message of the Two Row wampum belt as part of the collaborative painting.

The sponsoring organization, Friends of the Chemung River Watershed, or “Chemung River Friends,” was excited to see the connection made about the river and a reminder about the importance of environmental responsibility and friendship with the Haudenosaunee people.

This project is made possible, in part, with public funds from NYSCA's Decentralization Program, administered regionally by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.