K-12 Teachers Invited to Summer Residential Program

Niagara University is now accepting applications from K-12 teachers nationwide for a summer program entitled Crossroads of Empire: Cultural Contact and Imperial Rivalry at Old Fort Niagara. The week-long residential sessions, which take place July 11-15 and July 18-22, 2011 at Old Fort Niagara and Niagara University, have been made possible by funding obtained from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Directed by Thomas A. Chambers, Ph.D., chair of Niagara University’s history department, the workshops are focused on the vital history that emanated from Old Fort Niagara, one of most significant and well-preserved 18th century historic sites in North America. Fort Niagara served as an important crossroads between the empires of Great Britain, France, the Haudenosaunee (the native people who inhabited what is now much of New York state and surrounding areas), and, later, the United States as they battled each other for control of the North American continent. The Fort threatened American territory during the Revolution, was occupied by both sides during the War of 1812, and then a peace treaty secured the Fort and region for the United States.

This workshop will immerse NEH Summer Scholars in the world of 18th century life, from both the Native American and European perspective. Participants will interact with historic interpreters, clamber about ramparts dating to the 1700s, handle beaver pelts and trade goods like fishhooks and beads, and perhaps even fire a musket. One unique feature will be an overnight stay at the French Castle, the three-story stone fortress and trading post perched above the crashing waves of Lake Ontario that dates back to 1726. By week’s end NEH Summer Scholars will understand the perspective of the Iroquois people who first inhabited this region, as well as the struggles of ordinary European soldiers who bled and died to control Fort Niagara.

Teachers of grades K-12 at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions, or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals, are eligible for this program.

Teachers selected to participate as NEH Summer Scholars will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books, and ordinary living expenses.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2011.

For eligibility and application information, call 716.286.8091, e-mail crossroads@niagara.edu or visit neh.niagara.edu.

Niagara University is located 11 miles south of Old Fort Niagara.

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