Preserving Native American Culture in New Haven
Through activities such as naming ceremonies, pow-wows, storytelling, drumming lessons and craft making, Native American youth uncover and further develop the depth of their identities.
|With the help of a $3,000 Year Round Small Grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Connecticut Native American Inter-Tribal Urban Council is focusing its efforts on educating Native American youth on the practices of their ancestors.|
Tucked away in a small storefront at 545 Whalley Avenue, you will find the Connecticut Native American Inter-Tribal Urban Council. The small office that serves as the organization's headquarters is easy to miss amidst the activity of one of New Haven's busiest streets. That is a shame, because inside is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving a key piece of history - the cultures and traditions of our earliest inhabitants.
The Council, as it is known for short, was founded in 2010 to ensure that the spiritual and cultural activities of Native Americans live on in New Haven and throughout Connecticut. Led by James Rawlings, an elder of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribal Council, the small nonprofit has expanded its reach in the past several years by collaborating with local organizations, regional tribes and Yale University's Blue Feather Drum Group.
Through activities such as naming ceremonies, pow-wows, storytelling, drumming lessons and craft making, Native American youth are able to uncover and further develop the depth of their identities.
There is great need for these programs, according to Rawlings.
The future of any group depends on the support of its children. In addition, the ability to experience one's heritage fosters a sense of pride and connection. Educational programs like these are vital to the Native American community, and the cultural history of the region as a whole.
If you would like to support the ongoing educational efforts of the Connecticut Native American Inter-Tribal Urban Council, please contact James E. Rawlings at 203-215-1521.
Did You Know?
According to 2010 census records, of the 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives living in the United States, 31.6% are children (under the age of 18), whereas in the total population only 24% of individuals belong to that age group.
Source: "American Indian Children and Families," National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), www.nicwa.org