Native Village 

Youth and Education News

January 1, 2007 Issue 174  Volume 2

"In school, I learned that my people were savages. But now I see I come from people who were beautiful and intelligent. I see the sacredness of being Indian." Carol Welsh, Sisseton-Wahpeton


Court Upholds School’s Hawaiians-First Admission Policy
Hawaii:  A federal appeals court has ruled that Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools can favor Hawaiian natives for admission.  The 8-7 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an earlier decision saying the schools' policy discriminated against non-Natives.  The 9th Circuit Court ruled that Kamahameha schools "furthers the urgent need for better education of Native Hawaiians, which Congress has repeatedly identified as necessary."   Eric Grant, the plaintiff's attorney, said he would appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing the policy is discriminatory.
Kamehameha Schools:

Associated Press

Alaska Native Charter School Gets Go-Ahead
Alaska: After concerns by Alaska Native parents, teachers, and elders, the Anchorage school board has given unanimous approval for an Alaska Native charter school.  Native children today "have become an MTV, bling-bling generation, and that's not the way of our people," said Liana Engebretson, an Athabascan and Tlingit mother.  "A school like this would be so great to turn that around, and start to teach our children who they are, where they came from, and who their ancestors are." The Alaska Native Cultural Charter School could open by fall 2007.   The K-6 school, open to Native and non - Native youth, would emphasize hands-on learning and involve role models from the Native community.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Lawmakers Address Funding For Reservation School
Wyoming: Lawmakers are discussing ways to help the St.  Stephens Bureau of Indian Affairs school. St. Stephens is a  K-12 school and the only BIA school in the state. It has around around 225 students.  For 3 years, the school has faced steep decreases in federal funding. It gets about $3,000,000 from the BIA but has lost $400,000 in federal funding each of the past 3 years, totaling $1,200,000.   The Legislature's Select Committee on Tribal Relations has endorsed two bills and a constitutional amendment  to help St.  Stephens Indian School:
One bill would have the state and BIA run the school through a partnership;
The other bill would continue to have the state supplement the school's federal funding; The bill would also increase state funding for St.  Stephens from about $370,000 a year to a little over $1,000,000
a year.
The legislative session is scheduled to begin
January 9, 2007.
H-Amindian Listserve

Tribal students honored for calendar art
California: Thirteen Tule River Indian Reservation students have been recognized for their artwork which will appear on a 2007 tribal calendar.  Ranging in age from 3-15, the students were honored at a lunch in the Tribal Center.  Evenly Hunter, who organized the luncheon, said the calendar highlights art skills of tribal students.  “That's not really brought out, especially with all the [budget] cutbacks,” Hunter said. “So we decided to have a calendar and show [their talents].”  Seventy-eight tribal students submitted artwork; all were presented with gifts.

Tulalip Youth Radio Club
Washington:  Robin Carneen, a Swinomish Tribal member, hosts and produces a bi-weekly program called NAMAPAHH First People's Radio.  Now Robin is helping start a multi-media program for 7th-12th graders.  So far, twelve teens have joined Robin to create the Tulalip Youth Radio Club.  The TYRC now has a show on NAMAPAHH and hope to start their own  Internet radio station one day. Some of the teens have also tried their hands at filmmaking. In support, the Tulalip Tribes have just awarded TYRC with $10,000. The Tulalip Tribes are made up of Swinomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Suiattle, Samish and Stillaguamish Tribes and allied bands. 
Tulalip Boys &Girls Club:

Tribe's culinary arts school open
Mississippi: The Choctaw Tribal School's Occupational Training Center is making it easier for students to learn the culinary arts.  A full service Warrior Cafe has opened and is staffed by the students in the OTC's culinary program. Two different classes operate the cafe: the first year beginner class works on baking deserts, while the advanced second year class prepares the main courses. There are also four students in the waitress class who serve the meals to the patrons.  "We are trying to prepare the kids for future careers," said Cathy Cheatham, who runs the program. Cheatham said that the students are really enjoying the program, and their favorite part is when grateful patrons leave tips for the servers and cooks. Two students involved in the program said their favorite part of the process is when customers enjoy their meals.  "It makes us feel good when they do that," one said.  "We like meeting people and it makes us feel good to see them enjoying the food that we prepare."

Tribes plan to refurbish Chilocco school
Kansas: The Chilocco Indian School educated thousands of American Indians from 1884 until it closed in 1980.  Chilocco is the second oldest Indian school property after another school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It sits on 165 acres and includes more than 70 buildings.  Now tribal leaders from the Five Tribes of Chilocco plan to renovate and refurbish the historic Indian school into a living history museum.  "We are looking at doing a master plan and bringing in a major developer such as Disney,"  said Michael Harwell, chairman of the Otoe-Missouria tribe.  The Five Tribes of Chilocco are the Otoe-Missouria, Tonkawa,  Kaw,  Ponca and the Pawnee.

U.S. Department of Education recognizes Brenda Beyal
Utah: The U.S. DOE American Star of Teaching Award has honored Brenda Beyal, Navajo, for her teaching efforts. Ms. Beyal grew up on the Navajo reservation and taught  in the Nebo School District (NSD) for the last 24 years. She currently teaches grades 3-5 in a multi-age classroom. She also taught summer school for the past 8 years.  "From the very beginning, [Ms. Beyal has] been very gung-ho," said Eileen Quintana, who nominated Ms. Beyal.  "She connects with the kids naturally and knows how to draw them in. She’s aware of how Native children learn best and uses state standards in all her instruction.”  Ms. Beyal, who began as a volunteer, helped organize the Title VII summer school program. That program has helped raise American Indian graduation rates from 37% in 1998 to 94% in 2004.

Michigan Man Donates $1 Million To Blackfeet School
Michigan:  Edmund Bott, 93,  is helping American Indians receive a quality education by donating $1,000,000 to De La Salle Blackfeet School.  His interest in helping American Indians led him to pay for the college educations of 13 students.  But when he noticed that many of those students struggled as freshmen, he decided to invest in younger students.  "You sit around and think, `What would I do with a million dollars,' then when it actually happens you think `Now what?' '’ said Brother Paul Ackerman, who runs the private, Roman Catholic school.   Ackerman will  use most of the money to create an endowment that earns interest and eases fundraising pressures.  Some funds will also be used to fix up the school's playground and buy gym equipment.  De La Salle school is located in Browning, Montana.
H-Amindian Listserve

Gates Millennium Scholar
Idaho: Isabelle Diggs-Walker has been awarded a Gates Millennium Scholars award.   The 17-year-old Nez Perce girl, who hoped to receive a basketball scholarship, was surprised by winning the GMS.  “I dropped the envelope in the mailbox and had forgotten the date” said Izzy. The GMS has provided Izzy more than recognition --"it takes a lot of weight off my shoulders, financially,”  she said.   Isabelle graduated from Lapwai High School on the Nez Perce Indian reservation last June. She has already completed her first quarter at Columbia Basin Community College.  Now she plans to complete her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Idaho, then attend Law School at the University of Arizona.  The Gates Millennium scholarships assist youth from low-income families who wish to pursue a higher education. “The best and the brightest students shouldn't be denied an education simply because they can’t afford it,” said Bill Gates.  1,000 students from diverse backgrounds were awarded a Gates Millennium Scholarship. From those 1,000 students, 150 were American Indian and Alaska Native students.
Gates Millennium Scholarships:

Dartmouth President Apologies To Native American Students
New Hampshire: The president of Dartmouth College has apologized for incidents many Native American students viewed as racist.  The Native American Council, a group of faculty, staff and a few students, took out an advertisement in the student newspaper describing a troubling series of events:
Fraternity pledges disrupting a Native American drumming circle on Columbus Day;
The crew team holding a party with a "Cowboys and Indians" theme;
A school newspaper, The Dartmouth Review, giving out T-shirts featuring the school's discontinued American Indian mascot;
A student selling shirts disrespectful of Native peoples. 
Dartmouth's 1796 charter describes the school's mission as educating  "Youth of the Indian Tribes in this Land ...  and also of English Youth and any others."  But only 19 Native Americans have graduated from Dartmouth since it's founding almost 210 years ago.
H-Amindian Listserve

Kotzebue School Wins Design Award
Alaska:  Kotzebue School has won a Lighthouse Award from the Council of Educational Facility Planners International. CEFPI is a professional organization whose sole mission is to improve places where children learn.  CEFPI selected Kotzebue because of "an extensive and inclusive community planning process that addressed age-appropriate learning; school-within-a-school concepts, severe and complex environmental issues and the celebration and preservation of Native American culture."
Kotzebue School:
H-Amindian Listserve

IBM Provides Technology Access and Training to Native People
New York: Native American Family Technology Journey helps native people enrich their lives through computer technology.  Known as "The Journey," NAFTJ explores how computers can help preserve ancient cultures.  It also provides students and their families with technology training so they can access educational, health and other information.  Among this year's projects are workshops, seminars, and interactive demonstrations for Alaska Natives and American Indians in urban, rural, and tribal land settings. Other initiatives have also been launched to help Native Americans preserve their languages and customs and develop marketable skills. The Journey is co-sponsored by IBM and Career Communications Group.

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