By John Anderson

A group of children and adults gathered at the Auburn Sportsman’s Club on Saturday afternoon to hear Craig Standing Bear speak about Native American heritage, tell a few stories, and play some flute music.

“Stone Holder” provided the introduction wearing deerskin apparel. He held up a hanging circular sculpture with four attached colored objects representing the four types of humans on earth – black, white, yellow, and red. All were equally spaced, and none had more importance than the others.

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Standing Bear’s lineage includes Iroquois, Scottish, Mohawk, and French Canadian, but it was the Native American that came through on Saturday. He first explained his rather elaborate attire before telling a few well-received stories.

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One story was about how the bear lost his tail. In a prank by a fox, the bear was told to sit over a hole on the edge of a pond’s ice with his tail in the water. The fox said the bear’s long tail would attract the fish. The fox surprised the bear and it jumped up. This pulled off the tail imbedded in the ice. Lesson: there are no fish at the pond’s edge in winter. Ice fishing must occur away from shore.

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Standing Bear then played three songs using three different flutes. He has been telling stories for over 30 years, but the flute is a relatively new skill of 15 years.

Finally Standing Bear answered questions and discussed the many artifacts displayed for the audience. This is the first of regular presentations at the Auburn Sportsman’s Club about Native American culture, skills, and history.

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A Powwow was held at the Club for the first time last year, and it will be repeated on May 3rd and 4th. There will be activities for adults and children, and you can learn more about Native Americans.

Craig Standing Bear owns Mohawk Leathers (www.mohawkleathers.com) which manufactures moccasins, jewelry and leather goods. He also leads nature walks for organized groups where he will teach about edible and medicinal plants. Craig can be reached at 508-735-7094.