Oneida Indian Nation Homelands (January 5, 2021) – The Oneida Indian Nation announced today that it has published its second language learning children’s book called The Robin Legend. After the successful release of its innovative cultural video series for Native American Heritage Month and its first language book The Legend of How the Bear Lost His Tail, the Oneida Indian Nation is excited to continue its language preservation efforts in partnership with Madison-Oneida BOCES.

The second book in this series is entirely illustrated by Oneida Indian Nation Member Chelsea Jocko (Wolf Clan). The Robin Legend tells the story of how the Robin learned to fly again and how it got its red chest. Legends and storytelling are a significant aspect of Oneida culture, which continue to be handed down from generation to generation. Putting these largely oral stories into books will cement their legacies for generations to come.

“Language preservation is paramount to keeping our culture alive for future generations and these books enable us to share our language not only with our families, but our neighbors and friends as well,” said Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter. “These projects are critically important to the Oneida Indian Nation’s vision of a thriving culture and community. It’s also incredibly special to have an Oneida contribute the illustrations for the entire book, which highlights the tremendous artistic talent that exists right here in our own community.”

The Robin Legend follows the same rebus format implemented by Madison-Oneida BOCES, which features both the Oneida text and the full English translation, as well as phonetics and pictures for the Robin character. The format allows for any reader to pick up the book and learn a specific word or phrase by the end using pictures, color, and phonetics right in the middle of the sentences.

“It’s important to expose students to different cultures, backgrounds and histories, as often as possible,” said Ed Rinaldo, Staff and Curriculum Development Director for Madison-Oneida BOCES. “These stories are just an introduction to Oneida culture, but bringing these stories to print extends an invitation to the entire community to build longer-lasting relationships with our neighbors. That’s what makes partnering with the Oneida Indian Nation and contributing to the preservation of the Oneida language so fulfilling.”

Copies of The Robin Legend will be distributed to local schools and libraries throughout the region, which will enable students to get a basic introduction to Oneida language and culture. The Nation’s Language Program will continue to produce new materials to sustain language learning for years to come.


FOR MEDIA USE: To download The Robin Legend cover image and photo of illustrator Chelsea Jocko, click HERE.

Media Contacts:
Oneida Indian Nation
Joel Barkin, VP of Communications


About the Oneida Indian Nation

The Oneida Indian Nation is a federally recognized Indian nation in Central New York. A founding member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Six Nations or Iroquois Confederacy), the Oneida Indian Nation sided with the Americans in the Revolutionary War and was thanked by Congress and President George Washington for its loyalty and assistance. Today, the Oneida Indian Nation consists of about 1,000 enrolled Members, most of them living in Central New York. The Nation’s enterprises, which employ more than 4,750 people, include Turning Stone Resort Casino, YBR Casino & Sports Book, Point Place Casino, The Lake House at Sylvan Beach, Maple Leaf Markets, SāvOn Convenience stores, RV Park and three marinas. Proceeds from these enterprises are used to rebuild the Nation’s economic base and provide essential services, including housing, health care, and education incentives and programs, to its Members.