Thursday, April 23, 2015

To Be #Shawnee: Our Grandfathers - the #Delaware #NativeAmerican #Heritage

To Be Shawnee:

A Bond Between Brothers pt.1

Before the white man ever set foot on North America the native inhabitants already had a complex system of trade, government and intertribal relations. The Shawnee were not any different. The Shawnee believed the red man had been spared in Noah's Flood by the Great Spirit (Moneto). All red men were descended by one woman and made the great tribe. This belief influenced the Shawnee and their relations with the other tribes.

The Shawnee and the Delaware (Lenni Lenape)

Called the grandfathers by the Shawnee people, the Delaware (known as the Lenni Lenape) shared a close bond with the Shawnee. The Shawnee showed this group of people the utmost respect because they believed the Delaware had been the first tribe to be created after the flood.

"Curiously enough, Our Grandmother did not create the Shawnee first, but they began with the Delaware. When she completed a Delaware man and woman, she put them on the east side of a fire which she had kindled. Then she created one Shawnee division, in the form of an old man and an old woman. After this she created a young man and young woman who were expected to have children who would constitute three of the Shawnee divisions. Here, apparently her interest in creating people ceased..... (Told by Mary Williams, an absentee Shawnee in the book Shawnee by James H. Howard)

There is a story that was once told by the Shawnee and Delaware in Pennsylvania of how the Shawnee and Delaware were once one people.  The story is known as "The Grasshopper War" and is still told today at Native American PowWows.

Deep in the Pennsylvania wilderness, before any white man ever set foot on the land, were two villages. The inhabitants of each village liked to visit one another. The men would hunt together and the woman would share their work. Each village enjoyed the company of the other. One day while a boy was visiting he found a grasshopper near a river. He played with his little friend until a group of children came upon them. He showed the grasshopper to his friends and they were all happy playing with the insect together. But one of the boys wasn't happy with the visiting boy's discovery. He thought to himself, "Shouldn't the grasshopper be mine instead of his. This is my village after all." So the upset boy snatched the grasshopper from the visiting boy and ran away with the insect. The children and the boy gave chase. They soon caught up to the thief and the children began to fight, each siding with the boy of their own village. Now the women heard the fight and came out to see what the argument was about. Seeing the blood and bruises of their children they joined in the fight to defend their child and village. The screams grew in the air. Later that day, the men had returned from hunting when they found the females of their family and their children huddled on the ground injured and bloody. The chiefs of both villages wanted vengeance. They declared war upon each other and the men joined their wives and children in battle. After the battle was over, everyone was repulsed by what they had done. A simple argument between boys had led to a battle between friends. Quilt filled their hearts. They decided in order to keep the peace it was best if the two villages went their separate ways. Thus began the Shawnee and Delaware.


The Delaware originally lived along the Northeast Coast of the Atlantic between the Hudson and Delaware rivers. They were one of the first tribes to come into contact with the white man in the early 1600's.

 A loose confederacy of clans, the largest villages at the time of contact had a population of two to three hundred people. Most of the villages, though, only consisted of 25-30 people. Like Shawnee divisions, the Delaware had three major groups. These were" Unalachtigo(Turkey)
Unami(Turtle) and Munsee (Wolf). Each group spoke their own dialect.

Like the Shawnee, the Delaware also has a clan system. Unlike the Shawnee, the Delaware were matriarchal. A child would inherit their clan identity from their mother. Hereditary leadership passed down from mother to child. If the women elders did not approve of any leader they could remove that leader from their office. Agricultural lands were controlled by the women but the Delaware did not recognize ownership of the the land. Land was collectively owned by whichever clan occupied that area. Unlike the Shawnee, the Delaware did not travel with the season from village to village.
Whenever a young woman married the couple would reside with her family so her mother and sisters could help with the family. After she gave birth, the most important person in a child's life was his or her mother's eldest brother. The mother's brother would become the child's mentor and would be from a different clan.

The Shawnee and Delaware enjoyed a friendship from long ago. While the Shawnee were in Pennsylvania, they were closely associated with one another. Like the Shawnee, the Delaware were affected by the outbreak of Smallpox during the 17th century. After the Shawnee left Pennsylvania for Ohio, the Delaware stayed behind briefly. Conflicts with the Europeans and the Iroquois contributed to the Delaware abandoning their homelands. In 1766, through a peace treaty with the British, the Delaware moved west across the Allegheny Mountains into Ohio using Shawnee trails. This pattern would continue until the Delaware were removed by the United States to Oklahoma in the 1860's. The Shawnee would always move first, establish the trails then the Delaware would follow.

The two tribes often joined forces to fight a common enemy together. In 1776, the combined forces of Shawnee and Delaware forced the Cherokee to move deeper into the south. The Shawnee and Delaware fought together in the French and Indian War but not the American Revolutionary War. While the Shawnee were helping the British fight against the newly formed American army, the Delaware were one of the first tribes to sign a peace treaty with the leaders of the future United States. In the treaty, the Delaware promised they would aide the patriots by providing food and supplies. The future United States agreed to grant them a place of importance at the head of the new country in return. Although they fought on opposing sides, the Shawnee and Delaware never lost the close relationship. Even today, the Shawnee honor the Delaware.

#QuoteMeThursday: A drunk Shawnee is a dangerous Shawnee

Monday, April 20, 2015

LTW: #Motivation and the #Gifted Student

Behavior Problems: I'm Just Not Interested
Welcome back to the Lighting the Way: Teaching the Gifted Child. This week we will take a deeper look at the motivational forces that allow gifted children to excel in academics. 
There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive a person has to do something whereas extrinsic is when a person is motivated to do something because it has external awards or consequences. Everyone has both types of motivation. For example, you want a promotion at work but you need to have a higher degree to do so. So you go back to school to obtain that degree. You were displaying extrinsic motivation to get the degree because you want the promotion at work. Now let's say you decide to go back to school because you want to finish your degree. There's no reason for the degree. You have a great job and a wonderful life. You just feel that there is something missing in your life. You are intrinsically motivated to get the degree because the desire came from within you to do so.
Gifted children and adults normally operate out of intrinsic motivation. They have a hunger deep within to learn, create, explore and discover. They also possess the ability to obtain large amounts of information quickly and use that information in meaningful, productive ways that are well beyond their age. One of the reasons our gifted population struggle in American academics is because the teaching methodologies used do not suit the learning style of the gifted students.
Once the gifted student deems the academic material is beneath their learning capabilities they will lose interest in the material. If they lose interest then they will find other ways to keep themselves occupied, sometimes at the expense of other students! Academic acceleration works well with gifted students if it is done properly. Gifted students may excel in one subject but not in another. For example, an 8 year old student may be doing 5th grade Math but can't read past a 3rd grade level. So what is the best course of action? Place the child in a 5th grade Math class, 3rd grade Reading class, and remain in 2nd grade for all other academic content. This way the student is being academically challenged. The problem with the American public school system is that most school cannot accommodate the gifted student in this manner. Thus, the student becomes bored and loses interest in school.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What's Up With Allison: The Return of Calico and Chief Little Owl

What's Up with Allison?
The Return of Calico and Chief Little Owl
It's been a very crazy past couple of months for me. Just as I was getting back to writing on my blog life happened and the flu. I am back to action now. Besides working on my papers for school and teaching I am currently working on the second book of the Children of the Shawnee series. The first book, Calico, took you deep into the world of the 18th century Shawnee.

Lies and Deceit will answer questions as to what happened to Yellow Oak and Squirrel Runner? Remember that little secret Fox Fire told Pierre when Little Owl was recovering from alcohol poisoning? How do the lies that were told even before Calico and Little Owl were born affect their perception of the world?
 Oh, and did I forget to mention someone important in Calico's life is going to lose her life?
But who is it?
If you haven't read Calico you can find a copy on Amazon.