Beatrice Rafferty Hosts National Park Service Workshop on Passamaquoddy Teaching Kit
Contact: Meg Scheid, 207-454-3871
On Saturday, October 27, education rangers from the National Park Service will present the last of three teacher workshops offered around the state to introduce their award-winning teaching kit. Invited are area middle school teachers whose focus is Social Studies or Maine Studies, and student teachers preparing to teach elementary school age children. The kit, titled Passamaquoddy History and Culture: A Traveling Teaching Kit for Grades 5-8, won third place in the curriculum category of the National Association for Interpretation’s annual media award competition in 2006.
Meg Scheid, park ranger at Saint Croix Island International Historic Site in Calais, Maine, will facilitate the workshop. “We’re as equally excited about the workshops as we are with the kit, for many reasons,” Scheid said. “By providing workshop participants the opportunity to meet with and learn from Passamaquoddy elders, educators, or community members who either helped create and pilot the kit, or whose lives are featured among the many biographies included in the kit’s Teacher’s Guide, we continue the spirit of partnership and authenticity on which the trunk was conceived.”
The workshop will be held at Sipayik (Pleasant Point), one of two Passamaquoddy reservations in the state. Motahkomikuk (Indian Township), only a short distance away, is the tribe’s other reservation. “By providing participants the opportunity to visit one of the reservations, they connect with an important aspect of the tribe’s history and culture,” Scheid added.
The kit helps teachers meet the LD 291 state requirements, but Scheid says the kit is more than that. “The kit instills in the minds and hearts of their students the rich history, language, and culture of the Passamaquoddy people who live and work in our communities today. Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot—all Wabanaki Tribes within Maine—provide an important link to vital history, language, and culture unique to this state.”
Scheid will introduce workshop participants to the kit’s hands-on teaching tools and engage them in related activities for the classroom. Participants will meet a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe who speaks the language, teaches it, and works toward preserving it. They will discover the history of the Passamaquoddy language and its importance in preserving the tribe’s culture, while testing their skill at learning and speaking Passamaquoddy words. Participants will also garner a greater understanding of the history of Saint Croix Island International Historic Site—Maine’s second national park unit—and the significance of the relationship that developed between the French and Passamaquoddy in 1604.
The workshop will be held at Beatrice Rafferty Elementary School, Sipayik, on Saturday, October 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Space is limited. Registration begins immediately on a first-come, first-served basis, and is being coordinated through Saint Croix Island International Historic Site at 207-454-3871, or by emailing Meg Scheid. Registration will be confirmed by email. Workshop details, including upcoming registration deadlines, are posted on Saint Croix Island International Historic Site’s website. Information about applications for scaled stipends/scholarships is also available online. The local coordinator at Beatrice Rafferty Elementary School is Assistant Principal/Technology Coordinator, Dana Mitchell. Questions can also be directed to Mr. Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did You Know?
The Acadians were descendants of French farmers who settled in the areas of present-day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island in the 1630s. Primarily French speaking and Roman Catholic, their relations with English conquerors were troubled. They were deported between 1755 and 1763.