Fort Worth, TX, Native students explore sustainability and art

February 23, 2011

Fort Worth, TX, Native students explore sustainability and art
Tanka Bar recently provided snacks to the Native American Science and Technology Using Materials from Land Art Camp in Texas which is a part of the Fort Worth Independent School District's American Indian Education Program.

This year's NASTUMLA camp focused on erecting the group's first Three Sister Garden (squash, corn and beans) as part of a restoration project of the Indian Village at the Truelson Hightower Outdoor Learning Center. Alice Barrientez, program liaison, explained the importance of the program to the Tanka Team.

"Like our elders have taught us not to disturb the earth without purpose, what is removed must have a place for it to be," Ms. Barrientez said. "For instance earthworms and grubs need a new home so you must provide them a new home. We also asked Mother Earth to bless the area for it will provide nutrition to all living things as well as her."

Barrientez said the students learned about decomposing and regenerating the soil with nutrients such as nitrogen.

"With the village's location near the lake, we will provide zinc from fermented water produced by the dead fish," she said. "Students also made scraping tools from flint and made paint from sandstone crushed into powder form and mixed using animal fat and liquid."

She said the students also "stepped back into Paleo-Indian age" by practicing with an atlatl or spear-thrower.

To see all of the NASTUMLA camp photos NASTUMLA camp 2011

Fathers of the students built fencing last weekend to keep out wild animals. Now the group will head back to the Indian Village in March to begin planting.

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