By AMBLE SMOKER
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Snowbird Cherokee Language Summer Camp and the Cherokee Youth Gardeners held Science Day at the Kituwah fields on Wednesday, July 16. The Tribal Historic Preservation Office, the Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the EBCI Natural Environmental Office had representatives on-site to teach kids about water quality, water resources, aquatic insects, fish anatomy, and all things fish.
Jake Wiggins, from the Painttown community, said, “I learned that the fin on top of the fishe’s back, keeps the fish up. We went through to see fish and see what kind of fish are in here (Tuckasegee River).”
The participants of the program were able to get into the Tuckasegee River to catch and learn about the various wildlife present in the water.
Snowbird resident Rachel Ballou described the process, “We used D nets. You put them on the bottom of the ground and you kick the dirt up. Insects go in and you take it out, put it on a table and figure out what kind you caught. We caught tadpoles and a Dobson fly larva.”
The Tribal Historic Preservation Office works with the Snowbird Language Camp each year to teach cultural, archeological, or historical lessons. However, this year the group elected to take a more scientific approach with fish from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Snowbird Cherokee Language Summer Camp is a program based out of the Snowbird community where members are introduced to the Cherokee language. Although it is not an immersion program, kids still get an introduction to the language in a fun, educational setting. They are currently working with Western Caroling University on a book about fish and the experience at the Kituwah Fields with the Tribal Historic Preservation Office helped further their understanding.