Speaker and Workshop Presentations

Claudia A. Fox Tree
photo by Cathie Atwood

Name: Claudia A. Fox Tree, M.Ed.
Nation: Arawak (Yurumein)
E-mail Address: cfoxtree@gmail.com (best way to contact me)

OTHER WEBSITES (see below for details):
Crafting Business: Arawak Design “Like” on Facebook

BLOGS
First Nations' People (FNP) Resources:
Multicultural Resources:


Professional educator, Claudia Fox Tree, M.Ed. (Arawak/Yurumein) teaches courses and workshops on transforming curriculum and culturally responsive teaching practices. She also leads conversations "un-erasing" Native American First Nations People (FNP) ingenuity. She gives voice to First Nation experiences (past and present) and asks allies and co-conspirators to come on the journey with her. Her presentations feature discussions which can focus on identity, culture, contributions, stereotypes, and historical inaccuracies. 

SOME PRESENTATION GOALS ARE TO…
  • Learn ways to deconstruct STEREOTYPES and MISINFORMATION.
  • Learn CONTRIBUTIONS Native Americans (FNP) made and continue to make.
  • Understand CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.
  • Learn ideas about being an ALLY, ACTIVIST, and AGITATOR.
  • Learn about ROLE MODELS among FNP. 
  • Expand Native Americans / First Nations People (FNP) HISTORY and CULTURE.
  • Explore the role of STORIES and MYTHS to dismantle or perpetuate the dominant narrative. 
  • Develop a COUNTER-NARRATIVE to the stories we think we know.
SOME PRESENTATION TITLES:
  • Who's Telling Our Story? Whose History Matters? Adding the Indigenous Voice
  • Understanding Genocide, FNP History, and the Impact of Stereotypes
  • Indigenous Peoples' Day (IPD): A First Nations Reflection on the Columbus Day Myth
  • A First Nations Perspective on Thanksgiving: Stuff Your Turkey with Justice
  • First Nations Cultural Appropriation and Microaggressions
WILL SPEAK AT:  colleges, conferences, seminars, civic organizations, teacher professional development workshops, etc. As Claudia is a full-time public school teacher, she only speaks to K-12 during school vacations or after typical school hours.

COMPENSATION & FEES  * within Massachusetts**
Presentations for smaller groups may be an interactive seminar or participatory workshop.  For larger groups, presentations are participatory lecture with a slideshow.  Consultation is also available upon request.
         • About One-hour ($1500-2500) – an interactive presentation with time for Question/Answer.
* Outside of Massachusetts or more than 75 min. away from Concord, MA  incurs additional travel expenses.
** Some consultations may be done in collaboration with a teaching partner, and include an additional fee.

TRAVEL: Generally, will travel anywhere in Greater Boston area. Could be flexible throughout New England and Cape Cod depending on timing.  In 2004, was invited to Germany for one week to speak about Native American culture at several United States Army bases. I am willing to travel abroad with sufficient notice, depending of time of year.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:
Claudia addresses assumptions that perpetuate stereotypes and "twisthistory," while exploring the role of the language we use.  She  focuses on developing a counter narrative against inaccurate history and misinformation about the First Nations of this land while including indigenous contributions to history and contemporary society.

SELECTED CURRICULUM WORK:
  • 2018: Curriculum Consultation on Dawnland (independent film) Teacher's Guide
  • 2018: Curriculum Consultation K-12 The Park School (Brookline, MA)
SELECTED PREVIOUS PRESENTATIONS:
  • 2018: Winchester Multicultural Network: Decolonizing Our Minds, Through Conversations We Were Never Meant to Have (with Debby Irving)LIVE an onstage conversation exploring how U.S. narratives shaped their understanding of themselves, one another, and the complex world we live in
  • 2017: Raytheon (Tewksbury, MA); Wheaton keynote at UWC (United World College) Retreat; Framingham State College (Framingham, MA); Emmanuel College (Boston, MA)
  • 2016:  Winchendon School (Winchendon, MA); UMass (Dartmouth, MA); Springfield Technical Community College (Springfield, MA); Eastern Nazarene College (Quincy, MA); Wheaton College (Norton, MA)
  • 2015: Roger Williams University (Bristol, CT); Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Burlington, MA): South Church (Boston, MA)
  • 2014: Amherst Public Schools (Amherst, MA)
  • 2013: Brandeis University (Waltham, MA); Connecticut College (New London, CT); Hanover Senior Center (Hanover, MA); GBSOCAN (Greater Boston Student of Color Achievement Network) High School Student Retreat to Develop Social Justice Leadership Skills (Brookline, MA); and AISNE (Association of Independent Schools in New England) High School Students of Color Conference.
  • 2012: U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (Natick, MA); Suffolk University (Boston, MA); Ana Maria College (Worcester, MA); Brandeis University (Waltham, MA); and University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth, MA).
  • 2011: 350 Year Anniversary Celebration in Newton, MA
  • 2010: Cambridge College (Cambridge, MA.)
  • 2009: 25th Annual METCO (MDA) Directors' Conference; Creating Cross-Cultural Bridges in Courses on Race and Culture
  • 2008: Wheaton College (Norwood, MA); Kiwanis Club (Medford, MA); and Theodore Parker Church (West Roxbury, MA) with Cheyenne Fox Tree McGrath as actor.
  • 2007: Boston College, (Massachusetts); Colgate University (New York); and Bates College (Maine).
  • 2006: Guest lectured for various classes (psychology, education, social work) and also spoke to student organizations at the following Massachusetts colleges and universities: The University of Massachusetts (Boston, MA); Boston University; Middlesex Community College (Bedford, MA); Framingham State College (Framingham, MA); Quinsigamond College (Worcester, MA); and Boston College (Boston, MA).
SELECTED CONFERENCES:
  • White Privilege Symposium/New England Understanding & Challenging Privilege: One Ally at a Time (Nauset, MA)
  • Thirty-Third Annual METCO Directors Conference (Randolph, MA)
  • White Privilege Symposium/New England Beyond Diversity and Inclusion: Mobilizing Across Boundaries (Cambridge, MA)
  • First Annual Social Justice Conference; Curley School (Jamaica Plain, MA)
  • Teachers College, Columbia University, New York:  Winter Roundtable:  22nd Annual Roundtable on Cultural
  • Psychology and Education - What You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know About Native Americans (Before Teaching About them)
  • Massachusetts Dept. of Health; Boston, MA:  Native American Heritage Month: Native American Cultural Implications in Mainstream Healthcare
  • Boston University; Boston, MA:  Howard Thurman Center: Looking at Multiracial and Multiethnic Identity of Native Americans
  • Lower/Outer Community Coalition, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Health, and Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center:  Mashpee, MA: Wuneeshkeeht – Good Medicine:  Learning From Each Other Respect, Harmony & Healing: Turning Tables, Experiencing Cultural Incongruities.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  Cambridge, MA: Boston Asian Students Intercollegiate Conference (BASIC): Panel - People of United Color in Boston
  • University of Massachusetts; Boston, MA Native American Student Association (NASA): Panel - Native American Women in Leadership Roles
  • Boston College; Chestnut Hill, MA:  Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture, Third Annual Diversity Challenge (ISPRC) - presentation with Tricia O’Reilly, EMI & Claypit Elementary - Including Ethnicity in the Racial Identity Dialogue   
  • University of Hartford; Hartford, CT:  National Association of Multicultural Educators (NAME): 8th Annual CT Conference on Multicultural Education - presentation with Elli Stern, EMI - Difficult Discussions: Teaching Identity, Power, and Privilege in The Classroom   
  • Teachers College, Columbia University, New York:  Winter Roundtable:  20th Annual Roundtable on Cultural Psychology and Education  - Turning Tables: Experiencing Cultural Incongruities
BRIEF BIOGRAPHY (Please feel free to use whatever you think is relevant in your promotional materials):
Claudia has been a public school special education teacher for over thirty years. She has also taught anti-racism and multicultural education courses to teachers, school staff, and at the college level for over twenty-five years.  To find out more about her multicultural consultancy work around social justice, see her blog: http://multiculturalinitiatives.blogspot.com/

Claudia earned a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts (Boston), majoring in Anthropology and Psychology; Elementary (gr. 1-6) and Moderate Special Education (gr. 5-12) certifications from Fitchburg State College; and a M.Ed. from Northeastern University in Educational Research, focusing on Native American identity development.

Claudia is on the board of the Massachusetts Center for Native Americans (MCNAA http://mcnaa.org/) and the Massachusetts liaison for the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP http://uctp.org/), headquartered in New York. She has been a presenter at numerous conferences and workshops at colleges and civic organizations across New England, and has also made appearances both in Germany and the Caribbean, the lands of her ancestors.  She has spoken to all ages from preschool to adult.  See a list of her resources at http://nativeamericanresources.blogspot.com//

Claudia is a self-taught artist who uses polymer clay (Millefiori technique) to create jewelry and accessories inspired by her Native American culture. See her business at: http://arawak-design.blogspot.com/

In January 2017, Claudia was the first speaker at the Boston’s Women’s March, spoke to over 125,000 thousand people on the Boston Common, and introduced her daughter who sang, “Amazing Grace” in Cherokee and then lead the crowd through the first verse in English.

In 2016, Claudia was the 58th woman to be featured by YM (Eliminating Racism/Empowering Women) Boston Women of Influence Series for the YWCA’s 150th year anniversary.
  
In 2015, Community Change, Inc. recognized Claudia with the Drylongso Award for significant anti-racism work.

In 2011, Claudia wrote a chapter, "Aren’t They All Dead? Covert Racism and Native Americans" in Covert Racism: Theories, Institutions, and Experiences, edited by Dr. Rodney D. Coates and published by Koninklijke Brill in The Netherlands.

WHO ARE THE ARAWAK?
The Arawak are an indigenous Nation who, at one time, ranged from Florida, through the Caribbean, and into the northern part of South America. We are still alive today, living everywhere in the world, and passing on the traditions, stories, and culture of our ancestors to the next generation.  Our beliefs were founded upon the land of our ancestors, the Americas, with their unique climate, plants, and animals.  There are many words in the English language that are Arawak in origin.  These words represent inventions, foods, cooking techniques, and other contributions that are indigenous and include: barbecue, cacique, canoe, cigar, hammock, hurricane, and tobacco.

In 1492, shipboard on his third night in the Indies, Christopher Columbus wrote in his journal, “I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men and govern them as I pleased.” On his 2nd voyage in 1493, Columbus arrived with 17 ships, 1,500 men, farmers, masons, foot soldiers, carpenters, ironworkers, priests, and 20 purebred mastiffs and greyhounds. He brought seeds, plants, and domestic animals like cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs that completely transformed the environment. His ships also carried chains, medallions, and branding irons.  Columbus came with the intention of enslaving. He set the tone and example for later Conquistadors, one of genocide, cultural destruction, and environmental damage. The Arawak survived and continue to pass on their cultural traditions to this day.

Yurumein is the traditional name for my ancestors’ island of Saint Vincent.

WEBSITES & BLOGS:
Native American Resources – Claudia posts the information shared in her workshops and presentations, additional links to articles and video, and many lists of books.  In this blog, she shares and updates resources long after the presentations are done and courses she has taught have ended. She addresses a broad range of Native American issues, with a focus on the Arawak (her nation) and Massachusetts (where she lives).

Multicultural Courses & Culturally Responsive Teaching – Claudia teaches several courses under the broad topic of "Multicultural Education," prioritizing social justice issues of access, power/privilege, and narrowing the academic achievement gap. She is a person of color and almost always has a white co-teacher. These courses include topics, such as: racism, sexism, heterosexism, growth mindset in the context of cultural proficiency, cultural appropriation, multicultural literature, transforming curriculum, closing the academic achievement gap, etc. This is a place where Claudia posts information that she teaches; lesson plans for specific activities; and resources used.

Arawak Design Jewelry – Claudia designs and crafts clay beads using the "millefiori" technique, then incorporates the beads into jewelry and accessories.  Her art is available at the many local Pow Wows which she attends in Massachusetts, especially those sponsored by MCNAA.

EDCOInitiatives for Developing Equity and Achievement for Students (IDEAS), a Project of EDCO Collaborative, a program committed to achievement and success for all students via culturally proficient classrooms and schools that honor the individuality of students and families of all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

MCNAA – The Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness was founded by Burne Stanley-Peters and her late husband Slow Turtle.  The mission is to develop and implement programs that assist needy Native American residents with basic needs, college related expenses, and cultural and spiritual enrichment; and to increase public understanding, awareness, and appreciation of Native Americans.

UCTP – The United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) was established as a Caribbean Indigenous leadership initiative or an “Inter-Tribal authority” inspired by ancient Taino and other indigenous confederacies as well as contemporary initiatives such as the National Congress of American Indians (U.S.), the Grand Council of the Crees (Canada), the Assembly of First Nations (Canada), the International Indian Treaty Council, COICA (Columbia), and CONFANIE (Ecuador) etc.

AWARDS:
  • 2016  Boston Women of Influence Series The 58th woman to be featured by YM (Eliminating Racism/Empowering Women) on the YWCA’s 150th year anniversary
  • 2015  Community Change, Inc. Drylongso Award for significant anti-racism work
  • 2000  EMI Outstanding Anti-Racist Educator from her School District

SELECTED INTERVIEWS/VIDEOS:
RESEARCH:
  • 2010 – Getting to the Root of It all:  Teaching Root Words Across Subject Areas to Enhance Vocabulary Comprehension and Close the Achievement Gap in Target Populations by Lincoln Public Schools teachers:  Claudia A. Fox Tree (Lead Facilitator, Special Education Teacher), Bill Burns (Vocabulary Program Leader, English Teacher), Elizabeth Averch (Science Teacher), Brenda Hedden (Literacy Specialist), Rosemary Heffernan (Math Teacher), Keith Johnson (Social Studies Teacher), and Alechia Torchia (Special Education Teacher)
  • 2008 – I Say, You Say: Student, Parent and Educator Perceptions of Anti-Racist Teaching Strategies for Students of Color by Claudia A. Fox Tree, Lincoln Public Schools; Melanie A. Sullivan, Needham Public Schools; Michael J. Stern, Newton Public Schools; and Melissa S. Wong, Newton Public Schools.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:
  • Fox Tree, C. A. (9/30/2016).  “My First Home Was An Arranged Marriage .” Boston Globe Real Estate section. 
  • Fox Tree, C. A. (2012-current). Several theater reviews for Boston Events Insider
  • Fox Tree, C. A. (2009-2014). Several articles in Turtle Talk.  Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness (MCNAA). Boston, MA.
  • Fox Tree, C. A. (2011).  Several poems and short writings. The Ice Cream Stand: & Other Stories & Poems by 21 writers of The Place for Words & Workshops (Volume 1).  Ed. Mindy Pollack-Fusi. The Place for Words Press, Bedford, MA.
  • Fox Tree, C. A. (2011). "Aren’t They All Dead? Covert Racism And Native Americans."  Covert racism: Theories, institutions, and experiences.   Ed. R. D. Coates. Koninklijke Brill: Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Suyemoto, K. & Fox Tree, C. (2006, June).  “Building Bridges Across Differences to Meet Social Action Goals: Being and Creating Allies Among People of Color.” American journal of community psychology special issue. (vol. 37. no. 3-4).  pp. 237-246.
  • Fox Tree - McGrath, C. & Van Putten, Hank (Spring/Summer, 2001).  "Including All Voices:  The Need to Expand." The Activist.  pp. 9-11.
  • Fox Tree - McGrath, C.  (2000).  "Letter to My Children’s Teacher." Presented at The Third Annual Indigenous Women’s Conference: The Voice of Mother Earth on May 7, 2000.  Long Island, New York.  Published (Summer, 2000) in Turtle Talk Newsletter:  A Quarterly Publication of Mass. Center for Native American Awareness.  pp. 3-4.
  • Fox Tree - McGrath, C.  (Winter/Spring, 1998).  "Multicultural Anti-Racist Perspective in Science:  More than Scientists of Color." The Activist. (vol. 3.).  pp. 6-7.
  • Fox Tree - McGrath, C.  (Spring, 1991).  "Spanish Cruelties in the New World" excerpt from The Arawak Nation:  A personal discovery.  Prisma magazine: A multicultural forum. (vol. 2.  no. 1).  pp. 13, col. 1-3.

2016 Update: Some of the Arawak/Taino Designs I've made


Top row:  Atabey's face, Atabey - mother earth (upside down), Yocahu - volcano, Sun, Yocah   

Second row:  Behique - medicine healer, Owl, Coqui - tree frog (upside down), Lizard Man, Love Birds   

Third row:  Dream Keeper, Twins, Pregnant Female Cacique, Atabey - Caguana ceremonial park location, Log Drum.   

Bottom row: face of Yocahu, Sun, Sun - Sol de Jayaya location, Infant on a Cradle Board, Log Drum surrounded by rattles.

Native American Resources

This BLOG is a place where I present lesser known truths (some may call it "revisionist history" - I just call it history) and perspectives about the Indigenous People of the Western Hemisphere, which are not easily found in other places.  I address a broad range of Native American issues, with a focus on my Nation, the Arawak (and the Taino Nation), Massachusetts (where I live), and social activism/responsibility (related to NA's). I recommend many of these resources in courses and workshops I teach about Native Americans - book lists, websites, video clips, music/songs, curriculum ideas, and other thoughts thrown in for explanation…

Multicultural Imperatives (Lists of Resources)

I teach several courses under the broad topic of "Multicultural Education," prioritizing social justice issues of access, power/privilege, & narrowing the academic achievement gap. I am a person of color and I almost always have a white co-teacher. We include topics, such as: racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ethnocentrism, deculturalization, transforming curriculum, etc. This is a place where I post information that we teach; lesson plans for activities; and resources we use and/or which are shared with me by my adult students.

Here are RESOURCES and LESSONS I use when TEACHING ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE - especially race, ethnicity, and culture can be found HERE. You will find MANY LINKS TO SITES & ARTICLES, BUT ONLY THE FIRST FEW PARAGRAPHS (due to copyright laws), so please press the link to read the articles in their entirety. TO SEARCH, use the "SEARCH BY LABEL OR CATEGORY" section in the right column.

A Sampling of the Many Items I Sell at Pow Wow

Native American jewelry and hair accessories - specializing in beautifully hand crafted clay beads. Established in 1994. P.O. Box 1454 Concord, Massachusetts 01742
At this time, Arawak Design does not allow purchases from this site, nor do we currently have a catalog for the items that we carry. To see more products or to purchase, please come to a Pow Wow (scroll down to see a list of my shows).
ZIPPERED DRUM POUCHES lined with plastic (cold wash/no dryer please!), these pouches have photos of my family drum ©2007 and can be used to carry candy, make-up, sage, or so many other important items (Approx. $20.00).




LEATHER NECK POUCHES: my handcrafted clay beads attached to leather cords on beautifully dyed suede and leather (Approx. Approx. $15.00).

Other Items

I have a selection of items that I do not make, but fit my style and product assortment.  (photos to come!)  They include:

Beaded Barrettes

Social Justice Buttons

Bookmarks

Pens

Canvas Bags

T-Shirts

These are all original (and copyrighted) designs:

The Drum Connects Our Hearts and Hands…
To the Heartbeat of the Mother Earth…
These are full color front and back shirts (Approx. $25.00).

Earrings

THREE DANGLE EARRINGS: each has a small concho on which dangles three of my handcrafted clay beads with accents of glass seed beads, shells, stone chips, and/or other interesting beads ($28.00).


FETISH EARRINGS:
each has one of my handcrafted clay beads with accents of glass seed beads, shells, stone chips, and/or other interesting beads, as well as a stone or metal fetish representing an animal or human (Approx. $20.00).






SMALL DANGLE EARRINGS: each has one of my handcrafted clay beads with accents of glass seed beads and/or stone chips (Approx. $15.00).





POST OR CLIP EARRINGS: each has one my handcrafted clay beads (Approx. $5.00).

Bracelets

LARGE BEADED BRACELET: 5 of my handcrafted clay beads and glass, metal and/or stone bead accents (Approx. $12.00).



MEDIUM BEADED
BRACELET: 4 of my handcrafted clay beads and glass, metal and/or stone bead accents (Approx. $10.00).








SMALL BEADED BRACELET
: 3 of my handcrafted clay beads and glass, metal and/or stone bead accents (Approx. $8.00).










ONE BEAD LEATHER BRACELET
: one of my handcrafted clay beads on a piece of leather and a glass crow bead accent (Approx. $4.00). A Real Bargain!



OR: a memory wire bracelet with a single clay bead (Approx. $4.00).