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Native Traditions in the Americas:

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Native Traditions in the Americas:

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Preserving Culture from the Arctic to the Tropics: How the Inuit of Canada and the Zapotecs of Mexico Keep Their Native Traditions Alive Summary: This unit was developed following participation in the Mexico/Canada FulbrightHays Seminars Abroad program during the Summer of 2004.Participants traveled throughout the Central Valley of Mexico and Eastern Canada.The unit is designed for middle school students to explore and compare/contrast two distinct cultures studied during the seminar: theInuit of Canada and the Zapotecs of Mexico. Using a variety of materials including videotapes, audio tapes, websites, books, artifacts and photographs, the students will first explore the culture of the Inuit people living on Baffin Island in the northern territory of Nunavut, Canada.These people of the Arctic have a distinct culture and many traditions based on wildlife, resources and landscape of the Arctic and their need to survive in the harsh northern climate.Students will explore the history of the Inuit and cultural traditions they are working to keep alive today. Through research and presentations, they will documenttraditional Inuit foods, arts & crafts, language, legends and lifestyle. Like the Inuit of the Arctic, the Zapotecs living in the Oaxaca region of Mexico are working to preserve their traditions.Students will study the history of the Zapotec people and will research their customs and traditions.Artifacts and photographs will be used, along with a videotape produced by students at the Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca. The video promotes the preservation of Zapotec customs.Students will document information about traditional Zapotec foods, arts & crafts, language, legends and lifestyle. After students have spent two or three days studying each culture, they will compare and contrast the Inuit and the Zapotec.Although they live thousands of miles apart, both groups of early peoples of North America share some common traditions.Working in groups, students will think about and discuss the importance of preserving older traditions in modern times.