Hexagons in the Berkshires Honor Indigenous People

We are especially impressed with this project completed in the Berkshires of Massachusetts by Art Educator, Historian, Fulbright Scholar and Researcher Stephanie Graham. Stephanie is the art teacher and global education program coordinator at Mount Everett Regional
School in Sheffield, Massachusetts.

She and her students have previously participated in the Hexagon Project but this 2022 school year, she helped coordinate a county-wide integrated curriculum around honoring the indigenous peoples, the Mohicans, who once thrived there.

We are so grateful to Stephanie and all of the teachers, parents and students who have shown their respect, understanding and learning through the hexagons they created as part of the celebration of Indigenous People’s Month 2022. 

The blog article written by Stephanie explains the Hexagon Project’s role in her class curriculum. In addition, she speaks about her process and her learning and she shares many insights about putting this amazing project together.

Art becomes enlivened by the resources used, reaches deeply, and speaks directly to the goals of the Hexagon Project and our 2023 Special Theme of Environmental Justice. As Stephanie describes, “We address the need for awareness, visibility, and advocacy. As we make progress regarding restorative justice practices in education, we commit to building connections, understandings, and partnerships to provide a more inclusive and equitable space for all.”

Six hundred hexagons tell the story of this partnership across schools, grade levels and disciplines.

Stephanie, who graduated from State University of New York at New Paltz with a
B.S. in Art Education in 2000 and an MPS in Humanistic/Multicultural Education in 2004, wrote about her project in a recent blog. Below is a sample of her article. If you are interested in learning more details to incorporate a project like Stephanie’s into your school curriculum, visit our Resources page and look under this year’s theme of Environmental Justice.

Stephanie writes: Occupying Mohican land is the one thing we can unequivocally say we all have in common. Integrating the curriculum with local, indigenous history and culture will strengthen our school and community culture. The Berkshire Hexagon Project was an opportunity to elevate this knowledge, and for schools from all over Berkshire County to come together in collaboration. The framework created for this project was structured around the Standard Model of Indigenous Learning. Using this approach, teachers created learning opportunities through the concepts of Place, Storytelling, Intergenerational Interaction, Experience, and Interconnectedness. Students then responded with artwork that illustrated their understanding of history and culture, their connection to the land, to each other, or to themselves.  Continue reading the blog article and view additional photos here.