from language. Language carries cultural
norms in an upward spiral which encompasses all community members. Oneida
cultural concepts flow upward, moving from the general to the specific and back
to the general again. The cultural
concepts seek their own balance as they meet the evolving needs of the people.
spiral of knowledge brings a higher progression of awareness. All parts of the environment are
interdependent. Each part has an
integral function that affects the whole.
The inter weaving of human beings in a social setting and the organisms
that thrive in the natural world follow the same natural laws. Students will attain this cultural knowledge
through four processes:
individual is the first process. Students will learn pride
in their identity. They will learn
self-respect which will in turn engender respect for others and for everything
that exists in the natural world. The
personal attributes that will be promoted in the education system include being
adaptable to change, having confidence in one=s abilities and a willingness to be a self
students will leave with a deep understanding of themselves espousing the Oneida value of REASON.
and ceremonies are ways of achieving an equilibrium in the body. Students will acquire the capabilities of
maintaining balance. Students will
exercise self-control using the resources provided by the earth. Oneidas
understand the close relationship between a healthy mind and body. This value is incorporated in the Oneida concept of PEACE.
Our students will
learn they are members of an Oneida
community and recognize the responsibilities between the individual and the
environment. Responsibilities are
acquired through cooperation within the framework of the clan system and
through the language which addresses respect to all living things. The student skills learned will include
active listening, seeing other perspectives, decision making, and arriving at a
consensus. These responsibilities
and skills reflect leadership qualities that are inherent in the Oneida principle of RIGHTEOUSNESS. Righteousness is the belief in the basic
rights which belong to the people. By
fulfilling these responsibilities, students will assure preservation of the
environment and survival of the community.
There are many
symbols in Oneida
culture fostering unity. Cultural
activities transmit significant teachings and symbolic relationships. Examples include the concept of wampum and
illustrative stories that explain our origins as People of the Great Tree. The arts, crafts, songs, dances and games
are both ceremonial and social. These
activities promote unity. Their
cultural message is derived from the Oneida
concept of POWER which is a belief system and explains our existence
here as human beings. The concepts of
power are the norms, rules, and customs of society. These laws and customs are based on the
authority derived from government and religion.
The Oneidas have a unique
cultural world. To empower our students
as they participate in the Western culture, it is important they be given the
opportunity to discover and explore their cultural identity first. Students will leave enriched with a positive,
coherent sense of self.
It is understood
that the educational process for ethnic groups has been and can be destructive
or constructive to growth and development.
With this in mind, the school provides opportunities for students to
know what is their own in contrast to what belongs to others. Multiethnic education leads to higher level
thinking skills and an appreciation for others.
Our students will be culturally Aliterate@ in the best sense of the word.