Collins Career Center goes back in time

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 14, 2002

GETAWAY-- Past the brick columns and black fence around Collins Career Center, arrows flew through the air and Native American drums pounded.

"A lot of people came through for us," said Leonard Blizzard, chairman of the school's Pioneer Day.

The event, held on the school's parking lot Saturday, was a project of the school's After School Mall Program which featured archery, carriage rides and food such as beans and cornbread. Also, Native Americans came to teach attendees about their history and way of life.

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"We're still here," Tammy Spirit Bird, a Minford resident, said. "We want to educate people about our culture. When people see old Western movies, they think that's what we are when we're not.

"People who came out here today danced with us. They felt the heartbeat."

Even though Spirit Bird and other Native Americans who attended dressed in ceremonial clothing, she said that normally, they wear jeans and T-shirts.

However, Linnville resident Barbara Bright Fire said the ceremonial clothing is not a costume.

"This is not a game, this is our life," she said. "This is who we are and we're sharing it with others."

Students in Blizzard's after-school fire science class built a scale model of a Native American village.

When searching for clay for his students to build longhouses, Blizzard said he knew where to find clay in Scioto County. However, because the display depicted Lawrence County's pioneer and Native American history, he wanted clay from this county. He found it on the school's property.

Sometimes, students age 16 to 18 don't work well on group projects, Blizzard said. However, he said his students did an excellent job.

"I didn't know there was so much history in this county," Chris Sammons, a 17-year-old student from the Rock Hill School District, said

"I didn't know Native Americans had a trade route on Symmes Creek.

"Sitting in class is boring sometimes. With this, we can experience what we learned for ourselves."

Traditionally in the pioneer days, women would clean the dead animals that the men killed for food. Seventeen-year-old Angel Martin, a South Point resident, said she likes the way things are now as opposed to the way things were.

"Lawrence County has a lot to offer," said Blizzard. "There is so much history here, and people are really friendly, nice people. I really enjoy it."