Native Village 

Youth and Education News

February 18, 2004,  Issue 128, Volume 2

"Diversity is a celebration of different cultures, and if we lose that, we won't really learn anything from other people. Everything will remain the same - stagnant." Cara Kropp, Fort Lewis College Student

KNME-TV to Launch American Indian Literacy Initiative in New Mexico
KNME-TV, a public television station in New Mexico, and Between the Lions, a PBS children's series, have jointly received a $745,000 federal grant. The money will be used for an American Indian Head Start Literacy Initiative. The initiative calls for using the BETWEEN THE LIONS television series with related resources adapted for American Indian communities. "KNME has a long history of working with Native American communities, both in producing multi-cultural programming and extensive outreach activities," said Ted A. Garcia, KNME General Manager "This grant will allow KNME the opportunity of extending its existing educational outreach efforts and, working with collaborative partners..."  Several tribes will participate in this initiative, including the Mescalero Apache, Eastern Navajo, and the Pueblos of Acoma, Laguna, San Felipe, San Juan, Isleta, Taos, Cochiti, Sandia, Santa Ana and Zia.

Dine curriculum guide is a milestone for indigenous languages
The Farmington School District in New Mexico is the first school in the U.S. to have a Native language program that meets state standards.  K-12 students follow the Dine Bilingual Language Culture and History Curriculum. The guide focuses on Navajo history, government, fundamental philosophy and parent involvement. The district is sharing the curriculum with other schools.
The Farmington Daily Times

Letters to the President
Five Little Singer Community AZ School students have become published authors. Their words of wisdom are included with those of celebrities, educators, legislators and parents in new book: “Letters to the Next President: What we can do about the real crisis in public education”   The Little Singer students--Derrick Attakai, Evalena Joey, Britta Mitchell, Melody Riggs and Manuel Thompson --are the only native voices included in the book in which Bill Cosby compares our current national public education system as “the junkiest room he’s ever seen.”

Lame Deer school cuts dropout rate
In recent years, the dropout rate for high school students at Lame Deer public schools has fallen from 17% to 6%.  Much credit goes to the Lame Deer Alternative Learning Center where educators tailor study programs for each students' strengths and hold students accountable for their work. "The minimal grade that the students at the Alternative Learning Center can receive is an 80 percent, "said the center's director, DeForrest Inman.  "If a student does not obtain that grade, the work is returned and corrections are made until the student reaches the grade of 80 percent or better."  Ultimately, though, academic success hinges on larger issues.  "In the end, it is all based on the concept of building a community within the school," Inman said. "It isn't money that's the answer. It's relationships and community." The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory from Portland, Ore., recently visited the Lame Deer schools and gave high marks for reducing the dropout rate.

Community Struggles With Suicides At Pojoaque School
In the past year, four Pojoaque NM School students have committed suicide. Those deaths have brought grief, publicity and plans for how to deal with the tragedies.  "At times like this, the academic stuff just goes out the window," said PHS guidance counselor Eileen Schwettmann. "Kids are angry, hurt, confused. Parents wonder about their children. The community is trying to help." Community member are creating a mediation network, giving people a way to fix their problems by talking about them.

Tribal Chairman Drives 4,000 Miles in Effort to Save School
Duane Big Eagle has returned to South Dakota after a two-week, 4,000-mile quest to save the Crow Creek Tribal School.  Big Eagle, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribal chairman, first drove to New Mexico and then to Washington, D.C. He met with many officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as South Dakota Sens. Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson. Big Eagle asked them to help the tribe fix or replace its aging and unsafe school buildings which he fears might be forced to close after this year if no improvements are made. Big Eagle, who has been lobbying for 25 years to improve the Crow Creek school buildings, said the results of his journey only left him more discouraged.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Gaming Revenue Goes to Area Schools
The Nez Perce Tribe has given more than $200,000 in gaming revenue to Highland High School and representatives from Moscow and Lewiston ID school districts. "The Tribe does not have infinite resources, but we recognize the importance of investing in local school children," said Anthony Johnson, chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee.  The grants are required by Proposition One which allows gambling on tribal lands if Idaho tribes give 5% of their net gaming revenue to schools. The Nez Perce Tribe gave about $50,000 more than required.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Schools Fail Aboriginals, Report Claims
Most schools in British Columbia fail miserably in educating aboriginal students. According to the Faser Institute, a few have had quiet success, including Sardis secondary in Chilliwack, Grand Forks secondary, and Sk'aadgaa Naay elementary school in Skidegate on the Queen Charlotte Islands

Repetition at high cost in Latin America and the Caribbean
According to United Nations, 25% of primary students repeated the 2001 school year in Brazil, 14% repeated in Guatemala and 11% in Peru. Repetition is an important reason why 18% of the region's pupils don't complete their K-6 years.  The cost of repetition to education systems is enormous. Estimates place cost of repetition among 15 countries at over $11,100,000,000 a year. Brazil's cost alone is over $8,300,000,000. This amount is equal to one year of schooling for almost 10,000,000 Brazilian high school students or 2,000,000 university students.

Tribal colleges blossom in U.S.; Haskell no longer in league of its own
For much of its 120-year history, Haskell Indian Nations University has been among a handful of schools giving Native American students a shot at higher education. Not anymore. Today, more than 30 tribes have tribal colleges in 12 states. All but four colleges are on reservations. Most offer two-year associate degrees, but eight have four-year, baccalaureate degree programs. Comments from college leaders:
"It's not peaked yet. That number [of tribal colleges] could be 40 in the next few years. I wouldn't be surprised. " Gerald Gipp, executive director at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium in Alexandria, Va.
"Our enrollment is at an all-time high right now; we have 1,500 students. " Billi Hornbeck, registrar at Oglala Lakota College.
"We're growing. We're very aggressive. We'll be at 2,000 before too lo
ng." Kim Winkelman, a vice president at Oglala Lakota College.
"We're at 1,001 right now. This is where we're comfortable, at around a thousand. If we take many more than that, we get short on textbooks and we run out of dorm space ... things like that." Manny King, Haskell registrar
"Every semester we have a waiting list of some 400 students who couldn't get in. What this means, I think, is that all across Indian Country, people are recognizing the value and the need for higher education."   Lori Tapahonso, spokeswoman for the Haskell president's office.

The list of tribal colleges include:

Bay Mills Community College  Brimley, MI
Blackfeet Community College, Browning, MT
Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, ND
Chief Dull Knife College, Lame Deer, MT
College of Menominee Nation, Keshena, WI
Crownpoint Institute of Technology, Crownpoint, NM
D-Q University, Davis, CA
Diné College , Tsaile, AZ
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Cloquet, MN

Fort Belknap College, Harlem, MT

Fort Berthold Community College,New Town, ND
Fort Peck Community College, Poplar, MT
Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, KS
Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, Baraga, MI
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Hayward, WI

Leech Lake Tribal College, Cass Lake, MN

Little Big Horn College, Crow Agency, MT

Little Priest Tribal College, Winnebago, NE
Nebraska Indian Community College, Macy, NE
Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA

Oglala Lakota College, Kyle, SD
Red Crow Community College, Cardston, Alberta
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College,  Mount Pleasant, MI
Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, MT
Sinte Gleska University, Rosebud, SD,
Sisseton Wahpeton Community College, Sisseton, SD
Si Tanka University, Eagle Butte, SD
Sitting Bull College, Fort Yates, ND
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Albuquerque, NM
Stone Child College, Box Elder, MT
Tohono O'odham Community College, Sells, AZ
Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, ND
United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND
White Earth Tribal and Community College,  Mahnomen, MN

Indian-teacher-training program attacked
Scholarships from the federally-funded American Indian Teacher Training Program have enabled American Indians to pursue college degrees in education. But if William Perry Pendley has his way, the program will vanish. "It flies in the face of the [U.S.] Constitution," said Pendley, president and chief legal officer the Mountain States Legal Foundation. "...Setting race as an absolute prerequisite [is] inadmissible and unconstitutional."  Pendley has sent written statements to the University of Utah, Humboldt State University, Montana State University and the University of Oregon asserting that the teacher training programs there were unconstitutional.

Minority Applications and Enrollment Drop at Michigan After Affirmative Action is Ended
Seven months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the University of Michigan's minority admissions policy, minority applications have dropped by 23%. The number of those admitted is down 30%.
H-Amindian Listserv

Bush cuts funds, again, for N.D. tribal college
For the third year in a row, President Bush's 2004 budget recommends $0 (yes, zero) funding for the United Tribes Technical College in N.D. The college refuses to take the cuts lying down.  President David M. Gipp says student opportunities won't end; they're just beginning.  " We're dismayed but we certainly have no intention of closing or anything like that. Our enrollment continues to increase and we have a high demand to continue what we've been doing for 35 years."  UTTC receives about $3,000,000 through the U. S. Department of Interior.  Prior to Bush Administration cuts, UTTC had received BIA education funding since 1981. President Bush's budget has cut UTTC's funding by 53%. "I believe they think we don't matter," said Gipp. "They see us as an easy target for elimination. I'm convinced that Gale Norton and her people at Interior don't care about the future of American Indian people and their families."

Aboriginal students win grants for excellence
Twenty post-secondary students in Ontario with aboriginal backgrounds have earned educational grants through an awards-of-excellence program.  "Not only are these deserving recipients outstanding students, they have found time to give back to their communities by volunteering their time," said Art Frank, president and CEO of Casino Rama which sponsored the awards. The students are:

Lynn Gehl, non-status Indian Melanie Jacobson, Metis descent Sara Plain, Aamjiwnaang First Nation
Scott Robertson, Lower Mohawks Six Nations Dolleen Manning, Kettle and Stony Point Band Jesse McCormick, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
Lisa Beedie, Beausoleil First Nation Shanyn Bishop, Chippewas of Mnjikaning (Rama) Samantha Boshart, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
Charles Bourgeois, of Metis descent Lindsay Churchley, Metis descent
Angel Larkman, Metis descent
Tania Morrison, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
Lisa Marie Naponse, Whitefish Lake First Nation
Thecla Neganegijig, Wikwemikong First Nation
Nikki Walser, Beausoleil First Nation Rebecca Whiteye, Moravian of the Thames Delaware Nation
Iris Wright, Six Nations Band, Tuscarora
Paul Lato, Batchewana Band, Shawna Snache, Chippewas of Mnjikaning (Rama)

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