EXETER, R.I. –The Tomaquag Museum received $9,920 to develop a free, weekly Children’s Hour program that will teach the history and culture of the Narragansett Tribal Nation through music, dance and storytelling. It will be on Thursdays from 9am to 10am. This funding is part of the Rhode Island Foundation’s Centennial Community Grants program part of a series of activities to mark the Foundation’s 100th anniversary this year. The Rhode Island Foundation awarded $500,000 in grants to fund community-building activities in every city and town.
“Children’s Hour is a wonderful way to engage local families in the knowledge of Indigenous culture through fun and interactive learning experiences,” said Lorén Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum. “We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our programming throughout the community of Exeter and beyond.”
Children’s Hour will target the pre-school and homeschooler set during the school year and the families during school vacation. It will be an intergenerational experience with parent, grandparents, or other caregivers participating with infants to middle schoolers in the mix. This is very common for Native American programming here at Tomaquag Museum.
Each week the Children’s Hour will have a different theme or focus. It will include music, dance, storytelling, engagement with exhibits and art or science activities. Each activity will be scaled to fit the ages and abilities of the youth. We will encourage peer mentoring between older and younger participants.
Our goal will be to increase the communities’ knowledge of Native American culture specific to the Narragansett Tribal Nation and how it connects to the landscape in Exeter. We will incorporate history, art, cultural and environmental experiences. We will have opportunities for Three Sister’s Gardening, Water Exploration, traditional ecological knowledge, intersected with hands-on learning experiences.
Tomaquag staff of educators will provide authentic Native American cultural experiences to Exeter and other nearby families through this free Children’s Hour.
For more information regarding Rhode Island Foundation visit www.rifoundation.org.
About Tomaquag Museum:
Tomaquag Museum, Rhode Island’s only museum entirely dedicated to telling the story of the Indigenous Peoples was established in 1958. It is a Native-led nonprofit museum. Tomaquag serves as a cultural bridge between the past, present and future as well as a facilitator between the Indigenous communities and the diverse world. Through our unique collection, lectures, tours, off-site programs, and arts & educator workshops, we educate the public regarding Native history, culture, arts, current events, and environmental issues.
Tomaquag Museum is one of 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community.The Museum is visited each year by artists, researchers, students, and travelers from across the United States and throughout the world.