Today on November 20th, 2007, there was a gathering of 40 to 50 homeschooled students and their parents/guardians whom attended a Native American Day cultural event held at the Rae House Museum in Galt, California. Barbara Payne, a Galt City-Council Member and Curator of the Rae House Museum, commenced activities and gave introductions. Tribal Artisan Mildred Burley opened the proceedings with traditional prayer.
Silvia Burley, Chairperson of the California Valley Miwok Tribe, explained about indigenous tribes and how they interact with local, state and tribal governments. She took questions from the audience, read aloud poetry and played traditional flute. Mildred Burley educated the audience on the methods employed by Miwoks to process acorns for consumption, a staple in the Miwok diet. Much to their excitement, the children were invited to participate and recieved hands-on experience. She also engaged the students in the artistry of traditional basket-weaving of which she is an established local expert.
Miwok spiritualist and Sweat Leader Daryl Burley was the next presenter. He performed a Miwok “Hand-Game song” and spoke of spirituality and of the Indian ways. Next, he performed a Miwok “Acorn song”, using traditional clapperstick. He explained about the Native American rituals of smudging and cleansing through the use of sage to all present. He accepted and answered all of the questions that the students posed to him and delighted the audience by speaking in his native language. Finally, he closed with another song in honor of his grandmother, using the clapperstick. Mildred Burley concluded the session with traditional prayer. At this time, the Tribe would like to thank Barbara Payne, Curator of the Rae House Museum, for the invitation and allowing them to share their culture with all of those whom attended.