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Viewfinder 31st Annual Students Day at Grand Village of Natchez Indians

NATCHEZ — On Wednesday, the Grand Village of Natchez Indians hosted the 31st Annual Student Days and students from schools throughout the region, including schools from Jackson, New Iberia, Louisiana, and Natchez attended.

The event that continues today features many different activities, including pottery, basket making, crafts, flint knapping, weaponry and archery in addition to demonstrations of dances and a stickball presented by the Mystic Wind Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

Several storytellers were on hand and students learned about Native Americans and French Colonists.

“Everybody likes to think of Mississippi as just having a 300 year existence,” said Lance Harris, director of the Grand Village of Natchez Indians, “but it was thousands and thousands of years before that, with native people being here … there is a long history here that is just untapped and not in the record books.”

Harris said he believes such events important to introduce children to things they don’t necessarily see every single day.

“I’m real keen on bringing in native people to actually teach and perform and share their culture with people,” Harris said, “Just to get them exposed to other people, other cultures and to also learn more about their Mississippi history and everything.”

Dan Isaac who was in attendance with the Mystic Wind Mississippi Band of Choctaw said everyone was very respectful in conversation and were genuinely intrigued.

“It seemed like there was a general interest in what we were talking about,” Isaac said. “They really wanted to know. They were real honest in questions even for our group. It is an exchange. We’re getting to them. They’re getting to know us. At the end of the day, we’re all equal. Everybody is the same and that’s all we want.

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