Bridging the Cultural Gap

OHS continues to build bridges with federally-recognized Native American tribes connected to Ohio. On Friday, we were visited by tribal citizens of the Seneca-Cayuga, Wyandot, and Delaware tribes. Many of the people who came were members of the Seneca-Cayuga language class, taught by Paul Barton, a Faithkeeper and seated Speaker of the Seneca-Cayuga Longhouse. The group was on their way from their homes in Oklahoma to the Eastern American Indian History Conference at Fort Pitt Museum in Pittsburgh. While in Columbus, they toured the exhibits at the Ohio History Center and visited the collections storage facility for a behind-the-scenes tour. Some of the kids even had the opportunity to clean artifacts!

The visit was part of a program to build relationships with the Native American communities that were removed from Ohio in the 19th century. The nine tribes historically connected to Ohio are the: Shawnee, Eastern Shawnee, Absentee Shawnee, Wyandotte, Seneca-Cayuga, Ottawa, Delaware, Miami, and Peoria.

During the visit, one of the young children said “nyaweh” or “thank you” to me in the Seneca-Cayuga language, to which I replied “nyoh” or “your welcome”. I would also like to add “welcome home.”

–  Sharon Dean, Director of Museum and Library Services

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3 Responses to Bridging the Cultural Gap

  1. Bob Crum says:

    Class act, Brad. Unfortunately, Ohioans have not always interacted with others in such appropriate and respectful ways.

  2. oleladydevine says:

    I have visited Ohio twice, in 2007 & 2009 along with two bus loads of Eastern Shawnee tribal citizens. Every where we went we were welcomed warmly, with open arms & open minds. . People can be helped to learn to interact better with others. It was a learning experience for both sides.

  3. levi randoll says:

    i had a great time visiting sharon. me and lyndsey had never been to that museum yet and we felt at home with the staff, they were very open, nice and kind to all of us. they showed us their museum, talked and had lunch, and got to go to their collections facility as well. in the future we do hope to get back to columbus ohio to see more of the delaware items. we’ll have something big to look forward to!

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