Youth and Education News
June 9, 2004, Issue 135 Volume 2
"We need to save those Elders who cannot
speak for themselves -- the trees."
--Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders
Center Serves American-Indian Children
LIVERMORE, CA -- American-Indian students have an important place to gain cultural learning and experiences -- the American Indian Center in Livermore. Mary Puthoff, who has run the center for 25 years, estimates there are about 400 area students with American Indian heritage, with the largest number being Cherokee. In order to provide these services through the Livermore Title VII Indian Education Program, the center must apply for a federal grant each year.
In Utah, 12-Hour School Days (Four on the Bus)
UTAH-- Every morning 440,000 yellow buses carry 24,000,000 American students to school. For driver William Mustache and his Navajo students, their long, dusty , bone-rattling school bus rids is among the longest in the nation: 134 miles per day--two hours each way. Yet students and driver form a tight community aboard the bus, and speak of the discomforts with stoicism. "It lasts forever; it's boring," said Chelsie Atene, an eighth grader. "But I'm with friends, and a lot of times it's fun."
Bay State girls celebrate American Indian heritage
MASSACHUSETTS: Aquayah Peters and Cheyenne Fox Tree-McGrath are typical American girls in living in Massachusetts. What sets these two apart from their classmates is in their blood: they're American Indians. Peters, 16, lives in Chelsea. Her full name is Aquayahtakemquagh ("Just Passing Through"), is a member of the Wampanoag Mashpee tribe. While most of her tribe lives close together, Peters is on her own in Chelsea, which has a large Hispanic population. "...what I want most is Native American awareness. There is not a lot around here,'' she said. "A lot of people have stereotypes. It is so much deeper than that.'' Cheyenne Fox Tree-McGrath, 12, lives in Bedford, She belongs to the Arawak tribe, whose native lands are in the Caribbean. Because the Arawak culture is learned at home or within the tribal community, Fox Tree's mother, Claudia, is teaching her children the native traditions. ``Unless you have parents actively pushing you it's just not going to happen,'' she said.
Hopi High sets pace
ARIZONA: Hopi High School, which is graduating another large group of seniors, is setting an example for all Native schools and students. Nearly 87% of students graduate within five years of starting Hopi High, which tops the state's Native Average of 63% and overall graduation rate of 76%. What makes the school a standout? Along with the usual high school classes, Hopi High:
offers Hopi and Navajo language classes;
maintains a 90% teacher retention rate;
incorporates native traditions into its curriculum.
students attend regular meetings with counselors;
provides an after-school tutoring program with bus service;
offers a Second Chance catch-up program for kids who don't complete English classes the first time around;
includes programs to encourage college attendance:
transition program allows students to earn college credits in high school.
"Hopi High School can prepare students well enough to go to Ivy League schools. It can produce top-class students," said one student who plans to attend Dartmouth. Hopi High School has about 750 students. Almost 80% are Hopi and the rest mostly Navajo.
All Native high school on track to open next year In British Columbia
First Nations leaders hope to open an all Native high school by September 2005. The school will center on Native cultures to help improve graduation rates for Native Students. A similar school, the Amiskwaciy Academy, exists in Alberta. B.C.'s government now has to approve the leaders' proposal.
Amiskwaciy Academy - http://amiskwaciy.epsb.net/non-flash/index.html
Colorado Indian license plates raise scholarship funds
The Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce has created an innovative way to raise scholarship funds for Indian students in Colorado: license plates. Each $25 license plate helps Indian students attending the state's universities. Ronald Mack, Cheyenne River Sioux, said the impetus to help Indian students is gaining momentum. "We are passionate about education," he said. It his hoped 3,000 license plates will sold by 2007 to raise funds for the Ute Mountain Ute, Southern Ute and other Indian tribes residing in Colorado. The $75,000 in scholarship funds will be available to undergraduates and graduates.
Great news from Harvard College
Beginning with the 2004-05 year, parents in families with incomes of less than $40,000 will no longer be expected to contribute to the cost of attending Harvard for their children. In addition, Harvard will reduce the contributions expected of families with incomes between $40,000 and $60,000. The new initiative, which takes effect next fall for all students, is expected to benefit more than 1000 families on an annual basis
Learn more: http://adm-is.fas.harvard.edu/FAO/index.htm
Almost $1 million for tribal college study
The American Indian Higher Education Consortium was founded in 1972 by the heads of the first six tribal colleges in the United States. Today, there are currently 34 tribal colleges in the country. Now the AIHEC is making the first thorough study of Indian college student success data. The study will be an attempt to improve higher education success rates for Native students. The Lumina Foundation for Education is providing a $785,000 grant for research.
IU report finds increase in women, minority faculty
INDIANA: Minority and women faculty members at Indiana University have increased by 13 on the Bloomington Campus. It was the first double-digit increase in minority faculty in nine years.
HSU receives $1.3 million science grant
CALIFORNIA: Humboldt State University has received a $1,300,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The four-year grant will increase biomedicine courses and help bring in minority students interested in the biomedical field. The money will also fund a new faculty position, the study of cellular biology, and the computing of genetic sequences. It will also finance a link with North Coast high schools, in particular those associated with local Indian tribe. HSU plans to create a new K-12 outreach program to attract underrepresented students to participate in summer workshops in biology, chemistry, mathematics and English.
Constructing a New Indian Country
ARIZONA: Gaming revenues, combined with traditional federal funding and local funding bases, has created a rapid increase of construction on tribal lands. As a result, the American Indian Construction Management program is being established at Arizona State University.
Indian Country Today
CU "honor" no compliment
COLORADO: Vine Deloria Jr., a member of the Standing Rock Sioux, doesn't shrink from controversy. The man Time magazine named among the 11 most influential thinkers of the 20th century has refused an honorary degree from the University of Colorado. The retired University of Colorado-Boulder history professor and author is disturbed by the transparent cover-up of the alleged scandals in CU's athletic department. "Nobody in this society ever gets punished except the people at the bottom," he said. "We're running amok in Iraq, but it turns out nobody knew what was going on in Abu Ghraib prison. The Catholic Church has all this pedophile abuse, and none of the bishops knew what was happening." Similarly, he said, coaches and administrators at CU claim they didn't know about the use of sex, drugs and alcohol to attract football recruits. "It's no honor to be connected to these people," Deloria said. "A university is supposed to reflect the highest values and beliefs that our society can achieve ... [CU's] actions indicate that the university is groveling in the mud, displaying a lower standard of ethics than the citizens of the state...so to hell with the degree."
Part of Ancient University Unearthed
Polish archaeologists have unearthed 13 lecture halls believed to be the first traces ever found of ancient Egypt's University of Alexandria. "This is the oldest university ever found in the world," said Grzegory Majderek. Ancient Alexandria was home to a library founded about 295 B.C. and burned to the ground in the 4th century. The university was then built for the intellectuals who still flocked to the city. Alexandra University's lecture halls area are of identical dimensions with rows of stepped benches in a semicircle and an elevated seat apparently for the lecturer. Each hall had a capacity of 5,000 students. Today, Alexandria is building a $230,000,000 library with help from around the world. The new library, which opened in 2002, contains about 240,000 books, a planetarium, conference hall, five research institutes, six galleries and three museums.
The Associated Press
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