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Story 08: Working Together To Get It Right

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Sidebar: Tall Oak, Wampanoag-Piquot/Native American Advisory Board

Written by Joan Lester

Together with our Native American Advisory Board (I believe it was one of the first in the country) we settled down to create a fully revised multimedia curriculum unit. A year later, together with Gladys Widdiss, Helen Haynes, Helen Attaquin, Cynthia Akins, Frank James and Tall Oak (the Native advisors) we published Indians Who Met the Pilgrims, a breakthrough curriculum that fully incorporated Native voices (quotes as well as voices on tape), oral history and personal stories and photographs of people and places.

"...what stays out in my mind is that we were a functioning board. We weren't a rubber stamp board. That's what I enjoyed the best about traveling up there each of the times I went, because it was worth the trip. Because I knew you were really listening to what we said. Not only listening, but I knew you were going to translate everything that came out of those discussions and comments into some kind of reality. And before you implemented it and put it into the work, you were going to consult with us again. You actually used us consultants. You didn't just give us the title and not really use us. That was a refreshing change from the way museums had always been. You were a pioneer, I would say."

—Tall Oak

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