The Nazareth College Center for Service-Learning works hand-in-hand with Ganondagan State Historic Site to bridge the Rochester Native community with students and faculty from across the disciplines at Nazareth. The goal of our collaboration is to provide an opportunity to introduce and advance service-learning and Native American studies content in community and academic settings.
Nazareth’s partnership with Ganondagan began with a 2001 Ethnobotany service-learning course and has since expanded the number of service-learning courses in History, Art History, Art Education, Religious Studies, and Community Youth Development. The collaboration has resulted in service-learning activities such hosting a museum showing of Native Art, the annual spring Iroquois Social Dance, and an annual lecture series of salient Haudenosaunee topical issues that are open to the public, and literature searches and lesson plans for K-12 teachers.
For example, the collaboration brings together the resources and expertise of the staff of Ganondagan and Nazareth College faculty and students to create lesson plans for 4th, 7th, and 11th grade level teachers to implement in their classes. The class materials generated through the partnership has created socially and culturally appropriate and sensitive course material that advances the history, traditions, and beliefs of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people and is disbursed to teachers looking for useful guides in the classroom.
Over the past 8 years the partnership has hosted several events at Nazareth College. For example, events included “Connecting Cultures: Native American Studies and Service-Learning” by South Dakota State University Diversity and Service-Learning Associate Valerian Three Irons (Mandan-Hidatsa) and Nazareth College senior Andrea Rosenburg. Mr. Three Irons shared his perspective about the importance of cultural awareness and cultural appreciation. Ms. Rosenburg discussed her three month service-learning experience with the Lakota Nation.
Mike Tarbell (Mohawk) from the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howe's Cave, New York presented in February on American Indians and Baseball in “Baseball's League of Nations: American Indians and Baseball.” Mr. Tarbell enlivened his presentation with photos, videos, and stories from his own career as a semi-professional baseball player and his talk was based on the very popular exhibit at the museum entitled “Baseball's League of Nations,” which illuminates the experiences of Native Americans and America's National Pastime.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Colgate University, Michael Taylor (Seneca) spoke on “Native Americans, Sports Mascots and Logos, and the Public Gaze: Representations and Imagery of the Native American ‘Other’,” addressing the issue of using Native American names and images in team mascots. “Dialogue, Dine, and Dance” held at Nazareth College brought together students to eat traditional foods and share their experiences with service-learning while learning about and participating in traditional Iroquois dances.