Native Village 

Youth and Education News

September 15, 2004,  Issue 138 Volume 2

“Today’s children are the backbone of tomorrow’s economy... Instead of passing more tax breaks, which is not stimulating the economy nor creating jobs, the Bush administration should do more to lift families out of poverty by investing in programs that help children. ” Deborah Cutler-Ortiz

Hopi High students at Harvard
At Harvard University, Hopi High School students received rave reviews for a substance abuse presentation given after completing a June 12-July 5-summer medical program. “I had tears in my eyes for a half hour," said  Dr. David Potter from Harvard. "Several of the Harvard people who work with Native Americans said they never had seen anything like it. Hopi covered itself with glory. The performances were very strong.”  Dr. Potter and Dr. Edward Furschpan had taught the Hopi students about substance abuse and how it affects the nervous system. The students had morning and afternoon lectures each day, with a patient-case tutorials in between. The courses, which were as academically demanding as first year medical school courses, also included hours of homework.  On most days, students left for classes at 8 a.m. and did not return until 6 p.m. During the final days of the three-week session, students worked until 10:00 p.m. and didn't eat dinner until midnight. The 10 students attending this past summer were seniors Vanissa Van Winkle, Stacy Myron, Nicole Lomatska, Marissa Leslie, Faelynn Zah, Dione Naha, Travis Sahneyah and juniors Erynne Zahne, Justin Lee and Joel Melvin.

Astronomy outreach for Navajo and Hopi students
Arizona: Lowell Observatory has received funding from Honeywell to support an astronomy outreach program for American Indian students.  The program pairs Lowell Observatory astronomers with Hopi and Navajo students and their teachers.  Each astronomer works with one teacher for a year and visits the teacher's classroom to work with students.  Teachers and students also attend an astronomy workshop and spend a night observing at the astronomical research facility.  "Honeywell’s sponsorship of the Lowell Observatory Navajo-Hopi Educational Outreach Program supports science and math instruction on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in northern Arizona," said Pam Ross from Honeywell.  "These creative programs are having a significant impact by encouraging students to pursue math/science-related careers through participation in hands-on science and astronomy activities."

A new poll finds most U.S. high-school students believe the government will restart the military draft during their lifetimes, and shrinking numbers are optimistic about the country's future.
55% say young Americans will be required to serve in the military, up from 45%  last year;
70% of high school students are opposed to the draft; 
44% believe the decision to invade Iraq was correct.  33% said it was wrong. The rest had no opinion or were unsure;
68% are hopeful for the U.S. future, down from 75% last year;
66%  care about who wins the presidential race;
66% have not closely followed news reporting about the presidential race.

Tribal Indian Education Summit
Washington: Christopher James, 16, is adamant that Native kids need to step out and show they are proud to be Native. "It’s time for Native youth to be seen and heard," he proclaimed. James is part of the Dream Team, a youth organization that promotes students taking leadership roles in schools and their communities. He along with other Dream Team members took part in the 2nd Annual Washington State Tribal Indian Education Summit. Among other comments:
"Cultural competence is the ability to communicate, live, learn and work in cross-cultural situations. It’s important to have respect for differences, an eagerness to learn and a willingness to accept there are many ways of viewing the world." Terry Bergeson, Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction
"We need more collaborative efforts from the top down into the classroom where the most effective results will be realized." Ray Lorton, Chief Leschi School Superintendent
"Culture and language is critical for our students to meet standards and it can improve academic achievement. Instruction needs to be broadened to include hands-on and visual activities in small groups so our students will understand why they are doing the work.Denny Hurtado, Indian Education in Washington State.
"[Students] need to be seen and heard more. We need to teach them how to be superstars and how to communicate more effectively. We must spend more time allowing kids to ask more questions and be in leadership positions." Howard Rainer,  Native American Educational Outreach Programs at Brigham Young University
Indian Country Today

Association comes of age for Native American youth
Oregon: From a church gymnasium to its own three-story building Portland's Native American Youth Association has grown with its indigenous community. In 1975, NAYA began with a handful of adults and about 25 children. Today, it serves about 600 young people and their families with a budget of $1,300,000 paid by grants and fund raising. Especially important, says executive director Nichole Maher, is keeping the acronym "Naya," which means "mother" in the Pueblo language. "Every youth we work with, we really work with the entire family," she said. "We want to make our name reflect what we do, while maintaining our identity."

Specialist to support, recruit Indian students
Wisconsin: Tony Fairbanks has been hired by the University of Wisconsin-Superior and UW-Extension to work with American Indian children across the state and on campus. Fairbanks, a Native American youth-development specialist, had been a consultant to the Blandin Foundation and dean of students at the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School. "I'm very excited," Fairbanks said. "It's a real honor to work with the university. This is an excellent opportunity for Native Americans to reach their goals, along with myself to be a part of that."  At UWS, he'll provide support services to American Indian students and lead recruitment efforts. For UW-Extension, he'll produce culturally appropriate programs for the 4-H Youth Development Program. UWS has about 50 American Indian students, a number the university wants to increase. According to UWS, 10 reservations are within 100 miles of campus.

Heavy Runner named American Indian College Fund inaugural recipient of Mellon Tribal College Faculty Fellowship award
New York:  Iris Heavy Runner, Blackfoot, has been involved in the tribal college movement since her student days at Haskell Indian Nations University, KS. Whether as an instructor, consultant or in her current faculty position at Fort Peck Community College, Heavy Runner is focused upon improving Native student retention. Because of her dedication, Iris was named one of two recipients of the American Indian College Fund - Mellon Tribal College Faculty Fellowship. She will receive$32,250 in order to complete her doctoral dissertation,  "Tribal College Student Retention."  Heavy Runner states, "I see myself working for tribal colleges and communities for years to come. They continue to be my passion."

Teachers get Closer look at Tribal Life
Nebraska: Fifteen Nebraska teachers spent two weeks this summer visiting Southwest Indian tribes to learn about their homes and how the tribes lived years ago.  The trip, part of the Nebraska Partnership for American History Education, was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Susan Wunder said the group met with experts, guides and members of the Apache, Hopi, Navajo and Ute Tribes.  "We've learned a great deal about rich native oral tradition, as well as how to include that in our study of history," Wunder said. Another teacher, Tom Scott, will incorporate what he learned into his lessons for high school students. He hopes to invite Sicangu Lakota members living on the nearby Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation to share their tribal histories with his class.
Omaha World-Herald

Columbus' story getting native voices in curriculum

Massachusetts: About 100 public and private teachers in the Boston area may be using a new curriculum about Christopher Columbus. The curriculum pulls Indians from the margins of history and looks critically at "the perspective from the shore," said teacher Stephanie Rossi, adding that the Arawak and Taino Indians on present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a different story. Curriculum developers say lessons are grounded in research and historical documents -- such as Columbus' own diaries. They will also use journals from Bartolome de las Casas, a priest who witnessed and wrote about the treatment of Indians in the West Indies. The curriculum, which will be available to schools this fall, uses a framework designed by the Massachusetts-based Facing History and Ourselves to examine moral choices made in history. Creators hope the lessons will become a national model.

No Reservations
American Indian author and Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac shares a new tale of an ancient American people and their progress in the current issue (September 2004) of National Geographic magazine.  To write the piece, Bruchac started traveling about 16 months ago, making brief trips over a six-month period to reservations and places of importance to Indian culture.  'In some cases it was reconnecting with old friends, and in others it was meeting new people and trying new things, like wild ricing with the Chippewas," he said of his experience in Minnesota where he harvested grain into a canoe using the ancient Chippewa technique. Maggie Steber, who is of Cherokee ancestry, was the photographer for the article.
Read part of the story:
More from National Geographic
Joseph Bruchac audio stories
Listen to traditional American Indian stories as told by author Joseph Bruchac.
Maneuver around a U.S. map to get a snapshot of Native Americans today.
Photographer Maggie Steber
Photographer Maggie Steber talks about how Native Americans are defining their future.
What should the U.S. government do to compensate Native Americans?
Including one of an Apache man, made "in Arizona away back in 1879 & 80."

WSU Agrees To Sell Camp Roger Larson
Washington: Washington State University will sell Camp Roger Larson to the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe for $1,400,000. "We are looking forward to working with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe to develop educational opportunities and programs that enrich the lives of tribal members and contribute to the well-being of the tribal community,"  said WSU Provost Robert Bates.  The sale includes 40.55 acres on Cottonwood Bay on Lake Coeur d'Alene near Worley, Idaho.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

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