Rhode Island public school teachers can book free field trips (transportation included!) to the Rhode Island State House for programming provided by the Carter Roger Williams Initiative, Rhode Island Secretary of State, Roger Williams National Memorial and the Tomaquag Museum.
Grade Level: All Levels | Source: Ella Thomas Sekatau, Narragansett Indian Recipes (1973) and William S. Simmons, The Narragansett (1989)
Johnnycake with Berries
2 cups johnnycake white stone-ground corn meal
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup blueberries or sliced strawberries
¼ cup cream or milk
corn oil or sunflower oil
Combine cornmeal and salt in a bowl. Stir in boiling water and mix until smooth. Add maple syrup and berries and stir thoroughly to combine. Mixture should be somewhat stiff. If it is too stiff, thin with cream or milk. Add a few tablespoons of oil to griddle or skillet, preferably cast iron, and heat until a drop of water just sizzles. Drop batter by tablespoon onto griddle and cook for 5 minutes without turning. Turn and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Serve plain or with additional maple syrup. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
1 cup johnnycake white stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup cold water
3 cups shellfish liquid (or bottled clam juice)
Place cornmeal in sturdy saucepan. Stir in water and mix thoroughly. Place over medium heat and add shellfish liquid gradually, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. When mixture comes to a bubbling boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or longer, stirring frequently, until thick and smooth. This can be served instead of rice or potatoes with fish or seafood dishes. It can be eaten immediately or poured into a pan, allowed to cool, cut into individual portions, and fried. Serves 4 to 6.
Grade Level: High School | Source: Brown University
The Center of the Study of Slavery & Justice at Brown University presented an examination of Indian Slavery under the title “Indian Slavery in the Americas – Its Origins, Impacts and Implications.” The focus of this panel discussion is on the new perspectives on the institution of Indian slavery in the Americas and its relationship to African slavery, as well as modern day ramifications of Indian slavery for Native Americans. Scholars from Brown University, Rhode Island College and Roger Williams University explore this topic.
Grade Level: All Levels | Source: Makepeace Productions
This film tells a modern story about how people today deal with the complex history of the 17th century. WE STILL LIVE HERE (Âs Nutayuneân) tells a remarkable story of cultural revival by the Wampanoag of Southeastern Massachusetts. Their ancestors ensured the survival of the Pilgrims in New England, and lived to regret it. Now they are saying loud and clear in their Native tongue, Âs Nutayuneân—We Still Live Here.
Published weekly, this video series from the Tomaquag Museum explores a variety of different subjects around Indigenous life. The series showcases cultural presentations by Executive Director Lorén Spears, guest lectures from Rhode Island historians, creations of Indigenous art from native american artists, Indigenous book authors, and much much more!
Grade Level: Middle School | Source: Rhode Island Historical Society, Carter Roger Williams Initiative
At the end of King Philip’s War, in August 1676, Roger Williams led his fellow citizens of Providence as they sold a group of Native American captives into slavery. In so doing, he reversed course from his earlier position, as expressed in a 1637 letter to John Winthrop, that recommended against long-term enslavement. “Slavery” had not yet become the permanent form of servitude that it would evolve into, but this reversal reveals that there were limits to Rhode Island’s early idealism, made evident in the angry aftermath of the conflict. Like many Rhode Islanders, Roger had suffered grievously during the war, and seen his house and much of his city go up in smoke. But the Native Americans sustained an even deeper loss, as they saw a way of life disappear forever.
Grade Level: All Levels | Source: Providence Archives, NPS
The sachems Canonicus and Miantonomo etched their “signatures” with the symbols of a bow and an arrow respectively, on the deed that granted land to Roger Williams. Zoom in to see the signatures and watch a Ranger John McNiff discuss the deed.
Grade Level: All Levels | Source: Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center is a tremendous resource just next door in Mashantucket, CT. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, part of the government of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is a non-profit educational institution that seeks to further knowledge and understanding of the richness and diversity of the indigenous cultures and societies of the United States and Canada. The Museum is a 308,000-square-foot complex consisting of permanent exhibits, the Mashantucket Gallery (for temporary exhibits), classrooms, a 320-seat auditorium, a restaurant, a museum shop, and administrative offices. The Research Center houses collections, archives, and archaeology and conservation laboratories where ongoing work from the field is evaluation and studied. We encourage you to explore this History & Culture eBook for much more on the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and other Native American communities in southern New England.
Grade Level: Elementary School | Source: firstpeople.us
Oral traditions play a critical role in indigenous communities across the country. Stories and legends which focused on nature and the environment were prevalent in the stories passed down from generation to generation.
Before the first European settlers came to this land, there lived on the coast of Massachusetts a giant named Moshup. Moshup lived among the Wampanoag Indians both on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Now there are many tales and variations to this story about Moshup, but the one that we like the best goes something like this.
Lorén Spears (Narragansett Niantic), executive director of the Tomaquag Museum in Rhode Island, provides important context in this RISD Museum podcast for understanding this painting of a Native leader from 1700.
Grade Level: High School | Source: RI Historical Society
The Rhode Island Historical Society developed this lesson plan to explore the issue of Indian enslavement in Rhode Island following King’s Philip’s War. The lesson also considers how 19th century Rhode Islanders understood and portrayed this issue.
Grade Level: Middle School | Source: National Park Service
This lesson plan introduces students to A Key into the Language of America and provides a glimpse into the complex relationship Roger Williams had with the Narragansett people. It also gives a first-hand account of 17th-century native culture.
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to answer the question: How did Roger Williams’ A Key into the Language of America foster understanding of daily life, work, and relationships between the Native Americans and colonists?
The Carter Roger Williams Initiative provides annual scholarships to high school seniors, helping Rhode Island students who appreciate and embody Roger Williams’s values attain a college education. The Carter Roger Williams Scholarship is intended to inspire students and their parents to think big about what’s possible for their future and to value the role of education. By providing resources about Roger Williams and his teachings, the Initiative is intended to establish a sense of place and pride for all Rhode Islanders.
The Carter Roger Williams Initiative was conceived of and funded by philanthropists Letitia and John Carter and is managed by the Rhode Island Foundation. Learn more here.
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