It is often said that in order to appreciate where you are, you have to know where you have been. In Intrigue of the Past: North Carolina's First Peoples, the lessons use archaeology as a tool to foster the development of an interest in learning about North Carolina's first people. It is through the preparation and implementation of these lesson plans that teachers and students can experience the rich history and diversity of North Carolina's first people.
This type of work is long overdue. For too long the story of the Indian has been that of an almost mythical being. The lessons in Intrigue of the Past: North Carolina's First Peoples portray the Indian people of North Carolina as a live, vibrant, and thriving group who have lived in North Carolina for more than 12,000 years.
It is hoped that as Native American children are exposed to these lessons, they will feel proud of their heritage and intrigued by their history. Likewise, it is hoped that non-Native children will be impressed with the wealth of contributions that Native peoples have made and will be intrigued to learn more about them as a unique and diverse group of people living today.
I strongly support efforts aimed toward achieving a better understanding of Indian culture, both historical and present-day cultures. What better way to promote such an understanding than through the education of students and teachers?
I applaud this effort to bring about a better understanding of our past so that our future may be enlightened.
Gregory A. Richardson
North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs