BENEFITING: HAND IN HAND MANO EN MANO
EVENT DATE: May 11, 2017
Speak Passamaquoddy wrote -
The High School Level Passamaquoddy Language and Culture Class supports the efforts to restore the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s language to full usage within the community. Continuing Passamaquoddy Language and Culture classes in the public high schools will give Passamaquoddy students greater sense of belonging in the public high schools, easing the transition from Maine Indian Education elementary and middle schools which do have Passamaquoddy Language and Culture classes. The high school class bridges the gap between grade 8 and young adulthood when young parents (and their pre-school age children) can participate in the Tribe’s Language Immersion Program. For millennia the Passamaquoddy way-of-life was to hunt, fish, trap and gather food and medicine and to employ the natural resources of the environment to sustain our communities. Over the past 400 years the encroachment and degradation of the resources in our homeland forced Passamaquoddies to adapt, forcing a shift away from our traditional indigenous economy. We had to find alternative ways to survive and to feed our families. Today there are 3,611 individuals on the tribal census rolls. It is important to maintain Traditional ways and Passamaquoddy Language to insure alternative ways to survive don’t replace the Passamaquoddy way of life. Traditional ways and Passamaquoddy Language can instead transform alternative ways of surviving into new opportunities for thriving. Students’ understanding of Passamaquoddy Language and Tradition will be strengthened at a time when mass media and other cultural influences exert tremendous pull on students’ imaginations. A greater sense of belonging at school will also help Passamaquoddy students perform better and achieve more academically. They will be better prepared to contribute to a strong Passamaquoddy future. This class will be offered in four Washington County, Maine, public high schools attended by significant numbers of Passamaquoddy students. Open to every student, it will provide high school students additional opportunity to fulfill universities' World Language admissions requirements by studying the language and culture of the Passamaquoddy. The public school districts and Tribal administration are contributing increasing amounts of support for the class. The fundraising goal of $7,500.00 will compensate two teachers in two classes for one school year. We hope this campaign will lead to the the program is fully supported by the school departments, Tribal government, and supporters like you.