Decades ago I met an impressive young man named Eaglebear. He was working hard with others to preserve the sacred burial grounds of the Piscataway Indian Nation along the Potomac River. Through the years I watched as he matured, fell in love, raised his six children and adopted three more to become the father of nine, and the adoptive uncle of many, many nieces and nephews, and recently a grandfather with several grandchildren. Eaglebear and others moved to Colorado, bought some land near Gardner, and founded a small community. “Our philosophy is a Native Americn way of life, living simply, leaving as little of a footprint on the earth as possible. You do not have to be Native American to visit here. All good people are welcome,” writes Eaglebear.
Although far away, Eaglebear visits this area each year to share authentic American Indian stories, songs, dances and amusing anecdotes with children and their families. This cultural exchange is rich in messages of peace and the importance of community. As well as performing for our schools, the community performs for and serves other populations as far away as Central America. We have considered ourselves fortunate to be included in their tours.
In 2007, myself with a pilot group of teachers and administrators from various Metro Montessori schools set out to The Art Of Mentoring. Anna Lee was one of these attendees who I have known for seventeen years. Held in Vermont, this week-long workshop demonstrates the importance of connecting to nature, each other, our inner selves, and the lessons passed on to us by our ancestors. These threads, woven together during that week, highlighted the importance of the lineages from Eaglebear’s heritage, Maria Montessori’s teachings, our own individual backgrounds, and our regional and national stories and shared cultural experiences. Gathering all of these rich ingredients into a single shared basket allows us to bask in this sumptuous season of Thanksgiving as we celebrate our vast and diverse cultural inheritances and recall what we are most grateful for: our strong connections to nature, one another, our inner selves and our pasts. Truly, these are where all good things come from!
Founder of Beyond The Walls and Kids Love Nature!
As our dance troupe, Southwest Dancers, approaches our third year performing at Meadows Montessori School, we would like to extend our hands in gratitude and friendship to the children, parents and teachers of this community.
We are thankful to be able to contribute to the growth of each of your children, to nurture a sense of peace within each child, and provide a context of understanding between Native American people and people of all races and nationalities, and ultimately to create a world of compassion and understanding.
Thank you for inviting us to be a part of this world that we are creating together. During this Thanksgiving season we send out blessings of peace and love to each one of your families.
and Southwest Dancers