Once upon a time, there was a woman named Miss Sather.
She taught in a one room school in North Dakota as a teenager,
just like Miss Ingalls does in a later book.
But Miss Sather is more special to me,
because she’s my Mommy.
The more I study Little House,
the more I fall in love with my own family’s heritage.
These past few years I’ve spent more time asking
my parents questions about their childhood
and writing things down.
But, the more answers I get,
the more questions I have.
My Mom taught with a one year certificate,
but went back to finish her four year degree
when I started college.
When I started homeschooling,
Mom added her teaching files to mine.
Since we are studying the Plains Indians,
I wanted to share the printables we’ve used for years.
When I didn’t own a printer or scanner in the early years,
I traced over the pattern with thin white paper,
cut out a pattern,
then replicated it onto brown paper.
I like to attach the arm with a brad,
so it can wave.
These were made with an old mimeograph machine,
In the Midwest, the term Indian is still used,
even in newspaper headlines.
Years ago, I asked a friend what term she preferred I use for….
I was delicately dancing around my words…
trying to be respectful…
for her people.
She looked at me, wrinkled up her face with mock exasperation,
and said, “Well, Indian. That’s what we’ve always been called.”
She had a realistic approach about the PC terminology;
their troubles wouldn’t be fixed with a name change.
However, now living in the Pacific Northwest,
where there are many immigrants from India,
I have friends from two different people groups
that prefer the term Indian.
With the need for clarification,
I use Native American.
Growing up, studying the native culture was a requirement
in public school, and one requirement I loved.
Even in my free time, I engrossed myself in biographies
and history books about the Plains Indians.
I loved learning how the different tribes used whatever was available
to provide food, shelter, entertainment and clothing.
Now, years later, when my daughter is the same age,
we’ve enjoyed studying about the Plains Indians.
Check out what Jackie and her family, the Homestead Wannabes,
did for their Native American unit.
She also pointed out a fun online game to show children
how the natives used every part of the buffalo.
The Minnesota Massacre was mentioned by Mrs. Scott,
although Ma hushed her before she could say too much
in front of Laura and Mary.
The Minnesota Historical Society covers the event very well,
with videos, personal histories and classroom helps.