Native Village 

Youth and Education News

January 26,  2005,  Issue 145 Volume 2

“Why have we as a people been able to continue to exist? Because we know where we come from. By having roots, you can see the direction in which you want to go." Joênia Wapixana

Routine that headmaster found on Internet sparks global interest
England: Dyslexic students have shown dramatic improvements in their development thanks to a physical exercise programme that stimulates the brain. The programme, called DDAT-- Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Attention Disorder Treatment-- is based on 10 minutes of simple and fun exercises before and after school.   One school tested the program on 40 moderate to severe dyslexic students between ages 7-10.  Those children were divided into two groups: those on the DDAT program, and those who weren't. The exercises, which include balancing on a wobble-board or standing on one leg and tossing a beanbag, are designed to stimulate the brain's cerebellum, which is responsible for learning. The exercise group showed such swift improvement that teachers believed the parents were doing their children's homework.  After six months, the control group was also introduced into the exercise programme. The researchers re-screened the children after the treatment and all were shown to be free of dyslexic symptoms. Remedial help in school was no longer necessary.
DDAT website:

Native Language Programs Running Afoul Of No Child Left Behind
Alaska: Some Alaska schools which teach and preserve Native languages and cultures are having trouble meeting testing requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act.   Native language programs are used in over 30 rural public schools, and the city of Anchorage has more than 93 languages spoken by students. These students are expected to pass tests centered upon non-native cultures and written exclusively in English. For instance, mathematics to American children is based on units of 10, where increments of 20 are used in Yupik math.  In addition, numerous English words have no Yupik counterparts. Adapting tests to meet uniform federal law is very expensive and conflicts with Native cultures and the local control of rural villages.  "I feel strongly that our kids should speak Yupik fluently," said state Rep. Mary Kapsner, of Bethel. "I really feel this isn't just an academic issue about benchmark tests, but about cultural and social well being."
The Associated Press

National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Responds To Needs Of Aboriginal Youth
Canada's National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation will partner with Sunchild E-Learning Community to deliver a new education series called Industry in the Classroom. IC will create career opportunity awareness and recruit Aboriginal youth for the Canadian workforce.  "The Sunchild E-Learning program Industry in the Classroom is a fantastic example of industry and support organizations working together to better the futures of Aboriginal youth," said NAAF CEO Roberta Jamieson.  "Aboriginal youth can accomplish anything they set their minds to..."  The Sunchild E-Learning Community, a non-profit organization, operates a cyberspace high school education program with graduation rates of 80%,  compared to reservation graduation rates of 20%.  The  National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation is the largest non-governmental funder of Aboriginal education and disburses approximately $2,000,000 across Canada each year.  NAAF also produces the annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards broadcast nationally on CBC and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.
Canada NewsWire

Pawnee Nation Academy set to open doors
Oklahoma: The Pawnee Nation Academy, an institution of higher learning on the Pawnee Indian Agency in Oklahoma, will open in the Fall of 2005. The academy will offer courses in several areas of study, including:

American Indian Studies, (Leadership & Management)

American Indian Studies, (Cultural Studies, and Artistic Studies)

American Indian Studies, ( Engineering and Construction Trades)

Business  Computer Applications

Health, Human and Public Services

Both high school (grades 11 and 12) and adult students will be encourage to attend classes at the Academy. All will receive high school (elective) or college credit or training certification.
For information regarding the Academy, contact Dr. Todd Fuller, Interim President at (918) 762-3621.

University Of Oregon's Many Nations Longhouse Lauded By Native Community
For Native people on and off the University of Oregon's campus, the Many Nations Longhouse is much more than a building.  "I don't see a building like other people see a building.  I see a place of peace and opportunity," said Gordon Bettles, the project's steward and a member of the Klamath Tribe.  "I was raised in the longhouse culture.  I've seen and been in many longhouses in the Northwest throughout my life.  I feel the same sense of home in this building that I've felt in other homelands." At 3,000 square feet, the Many Nations Longhouse is part of UO's  long-term outreach program that aims to increase American Indians' presence on campus.

Take a tour of the Many Nations Longhouse:
Daily Journal of Commerce

Northwest Indian lawyers award scholarships
The Northwest Indian Bar Association recently awarded $6,500 in scholarships to Northwest Native law students seeking a legal education. “NIBA is excited and grateful to be in a position to support Northwest Native law students, financially and otherwise,” said NIBA President Lael Echohawk, counsel for the Tulalip Tribes and a member of the Pawnee Tribe. “The Indian Legal Scholars Program awards acknowledge the students’ demonstrated commitment to Indian Country and showcase the Northwest tribal bar's pride in our future Indian lawyers.”  In December 2004, the following Native law students were awarded scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000:
  Marvin Beauvais (Navajo/Crow), a third-year student at Gonzaga Law School and President and Co-Founder of the school’s Native American Law Students’ Association (NALSA) chapter;
Michael Douglas (Haida), a second-year student at the University of Washington School of Law and Treasurer of UW’s NALSA chapter, who will be interning with the Native American Rights Fund this summer;
  Malena Pinkham (Grand Ronde), a second-year UW law student and Vice President of UW NALSA, and alumnus of the Pre-Law Summer Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico;
  Lisa Koop (Delaware), a third-year student at Seattle University Law School and former member of the Canadian National Women’s Basketball Team;
  Brooke Pinkham (Nez Perce), a first-year UW law student and former social worker for the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation;
  Nicole Royal (Athabascan), a first-year UW law student from Alaska and former intern for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee; ;
  Ryan Gunn (Colville), a second-year UW law student and alumnus of the Pre-Law Summer Institute.

Aboriginal Students Master Web In Pilot Program
EDMONTON: Shelley Collins, 23, has been a traditional Metis dancer since she was eight.  Now she's learning new ways of sharing her knowledge of Metis traditions: studying web design, photography and animation in an intensive 50-week program at the Heritage Community Foundation. "It's really cool to be a part of a pilot program," Collins said.  "I've learned so much already."  Soon, Collins and her fellow students will be producing real websites with real content including Elders Voices, a website featuring the stories and insights of aboriginal elders from across Alberta.  The multimedia site will contain audio, video, photos, graphics and text.
The Edmonton Journal

Tribes seek funds for non-Indian school costs
Subsidizing non-Indian students attending tribal colleges is a financial strain for schools that receive most of their money from the federal budget. Tribal colleges will soon ask the House Education Committee to help pay for more than 400 non-Indians, also called nonbeneficiary students, attending the seven tribally controlled colleges in Montana. "Each of the tribal colleges in Montana tries to serve the whole population," said Joe McDonald, president of Salish Kootenai College on the Flathead Reservation. "Our mission is to provide education for Indian students, but we keep it open to everyone and it gives us some diversity on our campus besides."  Nationally, non-Indian students make up about 20% of the students attending more than 30 tribal colleges. At Salish Kootenai College, 35% of  the students are non-Indian.

D-Q University: End of the Road?
California: D-Q University, California's only tribal college, has lost it's accreditation due to financial mismanagement, unstable leadership and declining enrollment.  This means the two-year college can no longer grant degrees or offer course credits that students can transfer to other schools.  D-Q official, James H.  May, was vague about the school's future.  "I don't know if the school will have to shut down" he said.  D-Q was founded in 1971 when American Indian and Chicano activists jumped a fence to occupy an old Army center and demanded that the land and buildings be made a college for indigenous people.  One former trustee said that sort of drastic step may be necessary again.
Sacramento Bee

BIA cuts scholarships for college students
The Navajo Nation will be forced to deny scholarships to even more college students due to a $407,000 cut by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The tribe was told it would only receive $10,750,000 for scholarships. No explanation was given by the BIA, a tribal official said. The Bush administration cut college scholarships in its 2005 budget. It was part of a $79,000,000 cut sought by the White House despite pledges to support Indian education.

Native American doctorate holder ponders culture, science
Timothy Bull Bennett is the first Native American to earn a doctorate from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  "I'm not a scientist. I'm an Indian man who practices science," Bennett said. "I am very comfortable with who I am as an Indian man, strong in my convictions. I am also a believer in science and the scientific method and know how to apply it."  Bennett, who is a member of the Mi'kmaq Tribe from northern New England and eastern Canada, is now the science education coordinator for five North Dakota tribal colleges.  He is working to increase the number of Indian students enrolled in higher-education biomedical research programs. "We are very connected to the land and the resources around us. Our society is built on that. Our sense of space is what drives us, as opposed to the sense of time that drives Western societies...  There's a contingent of very talented and intelligent people within American Indian communities. They bring a diverse knowledge of who they are. They can make great students of science, if opportunities were provided."

Urban Aboriginal Atlas To Aid Planners
Saskatchewan: As of the 2001 national census, almost 50% of Canada's native population were urban dwellers.  University of Saskatchewan professor Evelyn Peters and student Oksana Starchenko have designed a new online atlas of Canada's Urban Aboriginal Peoples. The atlas enables city planners, communities, and First Nations to more effectively plan services for the people. "More aboriginal people are moving into the middle class," said Peters, who noted that while many aboriginal people live in the poorer city areas, most move to more affluent areas as their incomes rise. "If we think of aboriginal people living everywhere, we don't think of social challenges as 'aboriginal issues.’ "Aboriginal people are very much connected to the future of our communities."
The Leader-Post

Donation To Help Make Archival Material More Accessible
Public History Inc., a historical research company, will donate $20,000  to Library and Archives Canada. The donation will fund the digitization of approximately 100,000 historical images and help ensure the files are readily accessible through ArchiviaNet, LAC's online research and consultation tool. "Instead of having to go to the national archives, you can just go online wherever you are," said Fred Hosking, president of Public History Inc. The files will cover the government administration of aboriginal affairs in Canada between 1872 and 1964.  In total, the files consist of nearly 400 microfilm reels and more than 350,000 images, of which 100,000 will be digitized.
The Ottawa Citizen

A new home for Indian history
Illinois: Nearly 30,000 American Indians live in the Chicago area. By early next year, those people -- and their history -- will have another home. The American Indian Center of Chicago will open a museum and art gallery Feb. 1 in the building once occupied by the Chicago Athenaeum, an art and architecture museum. The latest center will provide learning opportunities for area youth, a market to buy native art and exhibits on American Indian culture.  "We want kids to know there are hundreds of different tribes and different  traditions," said Joe Podlasek, the  American Indian Center's executive director.  "We're not just about teepees."

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