On August 1st, I had the honor of giving a tour of the Great Circle to a group of about 30 Chinese undergraduate students who were visiting the area.
Professor Pat McAloon hosted the group and sent the below kind comments shared here with his permission:
John, Thank you very much for sharing the Earthworks with our guests yesterday. Your ability to share with us the perspectives of the First Peoples really changed the way we look at the Newark Earthworks, especially how we should keep in mind that dirt is a sacred medium and we should not evaluate the earthworks using our “civilized” preference for stone.
Gifting tobacco to the earthworks was also a great way to make the experience an experience.
On Saturday, April 30th, the AISO – the American Indian studies club at OSUN – group along with other friends and family ventured to the Olentangy Indian Caverns, just north of Columbus. We talked about power and representation; commodification of culture; Indians as tourist attractions and Midwestern kitsch. Wish it had been a bit warmer but it was very thought provoking. The best surprise – the caves themselves were pretty impressive.
On April 17th, 2016 the Newark Earthworks Center (NEC) hosted an open house at the Octagon earthworks in Newark. About 15 folks from the student American Indian studies club (AISO), students from my classes, family and friends, along with many members of the community and guests joined us for one of several wonderful tours led by Dr. Richard Shiels -former head of the NEC and now emeritas in the Department of History here at OSU-Newark. The weather was most cooperative and the tour was very engaging. On Observatory Mound some of the students laid down tobacco in thanks to Nokmeskignan (Grandmother Earth).