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QAHN's "Heritage Talks" head to Chateauguay Valley High School: The Wampum Chronicles: Weaving History the Haudenasaunee Way

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"The Wampum Chronicles: Weaving History the Haudenasaunee Way,"
with journalist / author / storyteller / artist Darren Bonaparte

WHEN: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

TIME: 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

WHERE: Auditorium, Chateauguay Valley Regional High School, Ormstown, Qc.

The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) use of wampum belts to record and teach about key figures and past events – including treaties among different nations – is a fascinating aspect of indigenous culture in North America. For centuries, key teachings and events, from the Creation story to the Great Law of Peace, through contact with European traders and settlers, have been preserved and communicated to future generations through this traditional art form.

At the dawn of the 17th century, wampum became the interface between native and colonist. When great leaders of the past delivered speeches at the council fire, they held wampum belts and strings in their hands as a symbol of the most solemn of commitments.

A Mohawk storyteller, writer, and artist from Akwesasne, Darren Bonaparte has given talks about wampum since he wove his first belt in 1999 – the same year he was elected chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. His presentation incorporates more than two dozen belts and strings as well as historic clothing and artifacts. He explains the workings of a typical treaty council and the oral traditions behind each wampum. What unfolds is a historical narrative that spans centuries of time—a true epic that took place in our own back yard.

*****PLEASE NOTE: This talk is only open to students at Chateauguay Valley Regional High School. *****