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Mahopac Students Learn About Native American Life

Students donned traditional headdresses after learning about Native American life during a recent presentation at the Fulmer Road Elementary School in Mahopac.
Students donned traditional headdresses after learning about Native American life during a recent presentation at the Fulmer Road Elementary School in Mahopac. Photo Credit: Contributed
Coloradan Clint "Rides His Horse" Chartier, an expert on the lives of the Plains tribes, dresses in traditional garb when he lectures at schools and universities.
Coloradan Clint "Rides His Horse" Chartier, an expert on the lives of the Plains tribes, dresses in traditional garb when he lectures at schools and universities. Photo Credit: Clint Chartier/Facebook

MAHOPAC, N.Y. -- Mahopac students recently learned what life was like for early Native Americans.

Clint “Rides His Horse” Chartier, a Colorado lecturer and expert on the history and culture of the Plains tribes, appeared in traditional buckskin garb at the Fulmar Road Elementary School.

He talked to the children about the dangers of buffalo hunting and how Native Americans survived the harsh winters.

He also spoke about the ways children were taught the old stories and necessary skills to thrive in a primitive land.

Chartier displayed buffalo hides with hand-painted pictographs, handcrafted tools, headdresses, beads and other adornments.

After he spoke, he let the kids try on headdresses, which, several students said, was their favorite part of the day.

According to Chartier’s website, as a child, he was “fascinated” with the fur trade era and the culture of Native Americans.

As an adult, he was asked to give a short talk at a rural school. So impressed were local educators with his enthusiasm and expertise, Chartier said, that it wasn’t long before he parlayed that simple demonstration into a career.

He has since given numerous lectures in New England and New York, among other places.

After conducting a special summer program for educators at the University of Connecticut, he was invited by European participants to lecture in Germany and France. He has continued to conduct programs in Europe.

Chartier, a self-employed visual artist, lives on a ranch in southern Colorado with his wife, Dona Bollard, a fine art photographer from Torrington, Conn.

For more information about Chartier and his school programs, click here.

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