“I’ve got some kids at school that I can say, ‘What tribe are you?’ and some of them don’t even know.” – Culture Camp Organizer Talana Hailey
Camp offers teachings of culture and language
HOLDENVILLE, Oklahoma — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Holdenville Creek Indian Community Center wanted to do something for the children during the summer break from school.
Johnson O’Malley Coordinator for Holdenville Public Schools and Coordinator of the HCIC Summer Camp Talana Hailey said this summer camp came to her mind in the previous year because she noticed how the children are losing sight of their culture.
“Our language is dying out with the culture and I began to see what could be done to help our children,” she said.
She said she sent notes him at the end of the school year to let the parents know that every Wednesday throughout the month of June they will have a day camp for the children in the area.
“First Wednesday we had beading class,” Hailey said. “The kids enjoyed that and it turned out very well.”
Other activities were learning the language, how to make frybread, stickball game and a stompdance demonstration.
“We also had a preacher come in to talk to the children about the history of traditional churches,” Hailey said.
She said she had a great turnout for everything else that children do throughout the summer.
“I’m competing with ball practice and also competing with other camps,” Hailey said.
For the pilot year, she opened the camp up to fourth through seventh grades.
“I am going to open up the camp to higher grades and see how we do with participation,” Hailey said.
Hailey said she wants the children who are south of Interstate 40 in the MCN jurisdiction to have the same opportunity as everyone else around the tribal headquarters.
“We want our kids to learn the language and know our culture too,” she said.