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Indian statue
(Click for an enlarged view)

Allies in War, Partners in Peace
The story of Polly Cooper and the Oneida People and Valley Forge

On a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.,
I saw this remarkable statue. It is rich in symbols.

I read the plaque (see below). It tells a heroic tale of U.S. history that I had never heard.

We all owe a debt to Polly Cooper and the Oneida people.

Use your research skills to learn more about this story.

Tell others the story:

1. Make a children's picture book that tells this amazing story.

2. Create a multi page web site telling this inspiring story.

3. Write new verses to a favorite tune, telling of the story of the spirit and generosity of the Oneida nation.

4. Write a play reenacting the events in the story. Give it for students or your community.

Plaque reads:

Allies in War, Partners in Peace
Edward Hlavak
St George, Utah
Gift of the Oneida Nation of New York

This work honors the bonds of friendship that were forged between the Oneida Nation and the fledgling United States during the American Revolution. Oneidas fought alongside the colonists in many key battles and helped sustain American soldiers during the darkest hours of the Revolutionary War. In the winter of 1777-78, a group of Oneidas walked more than 400 miles from Oneida Territory, in what is now central New York, to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, carrying corn to feed the starving soldiers. Polly Cooper, the Oneida woman depicted in the statue, taught the soldiers how to cook corn one of the Three Sisters, the sustainers of life, along with beans and squash.

Oskanondonha, at right, played a key role in the Oneida’s decision to side with the colonists. Also known as Skenandoah, he was the wampum keeper, and creator of government-to-government agreements, a highly respected individual among Oneidas.

General George Washington holds the two row wampum belt, symbol of agreement that the U.S. and Oneida Nation would not interfere in each other’s internal affairs.

Behind these figures stands the white pine tree, a symbol of peace, in the stories of the Oneida, Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga and Tuscarora nations, which constitute the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. Long ago the Peacemaker united these warring nations with his message of  the Great Law of Peace, unearthing the white pine tree and burying the weapons of war beneath its roots.

The turtle, wolf, and bear represent the three clans of the Oneida Nation.

Make an online book in a web site to share your creation with your class and community. Example

Make a new folder called polly your initials. Example: pollyco.

In your polly folder - make a new folder to hold your images. Call it images. Save all your web pages in the polly folder and
place your image files in the image folder BEFORE adding them to the web pages.

Each web page should be one part of the story. Name each page based on the viewing order. Examples: title.html, 1.html, 2.html

Link the pages in order from the start to the finish to allow an easy read through.

You can use words like Click here to go to the next page. Then link the words to the next page.

Some people use arrows arrow right pointing to the right arrow to show people blue right pointing arrow how to go to the next page.
Link to the arrow image to make the connection to the next page.
Or to navigate backwards a left pointing arrow arrow

Make a Main Title webpage that includes credits.
Extra challenging: add a linked index that allows visitors to go to a specific page in the story.

Make your own illustrations using a computer or use free web images to add pictures. Take digital photos in your community.
Alternatively, you can scan in hand drawn art. Be sure to save them in your images folder. Then add them to your web page.

Resources: How to make web pages: FrontPage | TextEdit or SimpleText | NotePad | Netscape's Composer 7.x or Atomic Learning

Webmonkey for Kids | Word's Web Page Wizard | Basic elements of Web page design | Dreamweaver 3

"We have experienced your love, strong as the oak, and our fidelity, unchangeable as truth. You have kept fast hold of the ancient covenant chain, and preserved it free from rust and decay, and bright as silver. Like brave men, for glory you despised danger; you stood forth in the cause of your friends and ventured your lives in our battles.. While the sun and moon continue to give light to the world, we shall love and respect you (Journals 9:996)." 1904 Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. W.C. Ford et al., eds. to Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress and Government Printing Office (34 1937 volumes)

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posted 10/2007 In the spirit of Polly Cooper and the Oneida people - released to public domain by Cynthia J. O'Hora

Aligned with the following Pennsylvania Academic Standards - Reading, Writing Speaking, History, Civics and Government, Civics, Science and Technology, Art & Humanities, History Aligned with the National Standards for Civics and Government