Youth and Education News
February 1, 2008 Issue 184 Volume 2
"It's important to teach people, both tribal members and other communities, about our history because we want our culture to continue. I think all cultures should share like that; they'd become less intimidating to each other."
Barry Phillips, Potawatomi
Time catches up with Hopi language savior
Hopi Reservation, Arizona: Not everyone can say they wrote their nation's first dictionary and helped revive a language that faced extinction. Emory Sekaquaptewa, Hopi, accomplished that before his death in December. Sekaquaptewa spent 30 years creating a Hopi language dictionary. "He was always putting down words on little cards, and after a while he decided it would be a good idea to put those together into a dictionary," said one friend. Sekaquaptewa's last project was The Hopi Children's Workbook, designed to teach the language to the next generation. Emory was a professor, anthropologist, and judge. In October he received the Heard Museum's Spirit of the Heard award for educating the public on the art and culture of native peoples.
Allegany Indian Reservation, New York: The Seneca Nation Educational Program is offering free Seneca language lessons two evenings per week. “Our doors are open to anyone,” said instructor Marilyn Schindler. “We’re trying to encourage as many Senecas to come down as we can. We try to work around their schedules." Phyllis Bardeau, Seneca elder, developed the Seneca dictionary and alphabet which has eight vowels and 120 consonants. Many sounds are unique to the language and difficult to learn. “It’s easier for us because it’s our native language. We already have the sounds in our throat,” Schindler said, “but for non-Indians, it is difficult.” Schindler said only a handful of people are fluent Seneca speakers. “It’s not our inadequacies,” Schindler said, explaining her tribal history. “[Until 1957, the government] broke up families, burnt our cornfields ... they would take children out of the home, telling the families they were not providing a good home. Can you imagine that? Someone taking your child away and not letting them speak their language?” Currently Schindler is burning CDs with spoken Seneca on them for the students to listen to and study from. The Seneca Nation also offers Seneca language courses in local school systems, teaching both Indian and non-Indian students.
Works for Me: Man teaches 'all ages' about tribe's culture
Pine Creek Reservation, Michigan: Barry Phillips is the education director for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi. Phillips, 60, is a certified teacher making sure Potawatomi youth stay in school and learn about their culture. He administers BIA scholarships, helps youth with college and vocational schools, and is now working with K-12 schools. "...I visit schools and different organizations and teach about our tribal past and culture," Phillips said. " I also do student advocacy. Like, if a parent feels uncomfortable talking to a teacher about their kids' homework or whatever, I speak on their behalf." The tribe recently started a homework night at the community center to tutor and help students.
The Government of Canada Supports Aboriginal Youth Centre Project
Nunavut: The Qikiqtani Inuit Association will soon receive $86,000 in funds to help launch a two-year project at the Pangnirtung Youth Centre. The project will offer Inuit youth opportunities to improve their skills, knowledge, and leadership abilities. "It is important that we help Aboriginal young people reach their full potential," said Minister Chuck Strahl. "Projects like these allow them to engage in their community, and become active participants in shaping their future."
One-third of pupils at T.O. native school suspended
Ontario: The First Nations School of Toronto suspends 33% of its elementary school students every year. In 2007, the entire Grade 3 class could not meet provincial standards in reading, writing or arithmetic. A report released by lawyer Julian Falcone points to the "disturbing realities at the First Nations School of Toronto,' which is made up of native K-8 students. Falconer, who spent two days at the First Nations School, left feeling "crushed" by conditions there. "Despite all the best efforts of its principal, all the best efforts of its incredibly dedicated teachers, the conditions in that school are appalling." Falcone said the Toronto school board has systematically failed to support First Nations School. It lacks teachers with an aboriginal background, a full-time, permanent youth counsellor, and has no aboriginal counsellors. "We have to change the way this board thinks. The system simply has to do better," he said. "These kids need a voice. They are being failed by this school board."
Listen to a podcast about the school and report: http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/podcast/
School Board Faces Native Language Issue
Alaska: Next year Unangam Tunuu language classes may return to the Unalaska City School District. Unangam Tunuu is spoken by the indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands. The classes were eliminated two years ago due to budget cuts. "I feel that this district, in the heart of the Aleutians, has an obligation to do more than give lip service to the traditional culture of its Unangan students," said Superintendent John Conwell. The school district offers other languages, including Russian, Spanish and German. In addition to possible Unangam Tunuu classes, the Museum of the Aleutians is interested in creating an after-school Unangam education program.
Turtle Mountain Band Building Youth Center
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Reservation, North Dakota: The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa believes it takes a village to raise a child. Last month, the tribe opened a new high school. Now they are building a youth center to help students with school performance and to involve them with the Chippewa community. "[We] always believed as a tribe that youth are our number one resource and so we want to take concrete steps to support our youth within a new center, a youth center with something to do," said David Brian, Tribal Chairman.
California Schools Benefiting from Innovative Barona Education Grant
Barona Indian Reservation, California: The Barona Band of Mission Indians has granted $300,000 to schools across the state. Dispersed through the tribe's Education Grant Program, more than 60 schools have benefited. The program is the first grant program in California created and administered by an Indian Tribe.
Schools Nationwide Receive 1,897 Reasons to Celebrate
Arizona: More than 30 U.S. schools have earned national awards from the PTA. Among them is SouthEast Valley Native American Elementary School in Phoenix. Along with all winning schools, SouthEast will receive funds from PTA’s national office to help students and families celebrate" PTA Take Your Family to School Week" in February. This special week enables parents and families to better relate to their children’s school experience.
UNM, Jemez Pueblo Partner to Create Early College for Native youth
Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico: Walatowa High Charter School, The University of New Mexico, and the Center for Native Education in Seattle have partnered to help Native students earn college credits while still in high school. “Our hope is that through this early college exposure, our youth can make a seamless adjustment after high school, be successful in the college and field of their choice, and develop the tools and skills to preserve and protect our culture and language while advancing the interests of our tribe into the future,” said Jemez Pueblo Governor Raymond Gauchupin. The partnership is funded through the Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation and Lumina Foundation.
IndigenousNewsNetwork@topica.com, issue 1035
4 First Nation fellows have connections to Maui County
Hawaii: The First Nations' Fellowship Program is a joint effort between Kamehameha Schools and the Maori of New Zealand. The 1- year, values-based program helps develop "well balanced" Indigenous leaders. Kamehameha Schools created program and partners with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, an organization that manages the Ngai Tahu tribe's collective assets. The Ngai Tahu are Maori people of New Zealand's southern islands. Also involved are Stanford University and the University of Hawaii-Manoa. This year's fellows from Maui county are:
Hokuao Pellegrino, cultural landscape curator at the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai;
Nalani E. Dahl, a Kamehameha School graduate, B.A. in communications from the University of Hawaii-Manoa;
Esther Puakela Kia’aina, Kamehameha Schools graduate, land assets manager, B.A. in political science and international relations from USC, law degree from George Washington University;
Noelani Lee, executive director for Ka Honua Momona International, B.A. from Princeton University, M.Ed. from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, the first person at UHM to dance and chant her master’s thesis.
First Nations Fellowship Program: http://www.fnfp.org/web/guest/fellowship
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota: Oglala Lakota College may become the first tribal college in the nation to be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Education and Graduate Studies departments have both met the preconditions. A site visit will determine if NCATE grants full accreditation. "Nine reviewers will come in March," said Art Fisher, Dean of Education, "and will interview faculty, alumni, teacher candidates, review course work and assess our system." NCATE currently accredits 632 colleges of education and says "nearly 100 more" are seeking accreditation.
Native Ways: College club does everything from tan hides to record DVDs
Nevada: The Native American Club and Great Basin College are celebrating their Native heritage and presence in GBC life. Among their projects:
Hands-on hide tanning class at Te-Moak Colony from expert tanner, Roberta Sam. Roberta learned the craft from her grandmother and female elders;
Maintaining the Great Basin Indian Archives, an online resource with data about ancestry, photographs and other important information;
A visual and oral documentation of elder Paiute and Shoshone people. These recordings are archived on DVDs made available for local schools and research facilities;
Running the GBC Theatre for public screenings of documentaries;
Organizing a February powwow at the school's gymnasium. This is their first fundraiser.
The Great Basin Indian Archives: www.gbcnv.edu/gbia
Tradition_OF_The_Redroad] Digest Number 6398
Emerging Scholars: The Class of 2008
Virginia: Each year, Diverse Education selects their “Emerging Scholars,” saying "we’re always amazed and inspired by the accomplishments of these under-40 intellectuals." The Class of 2008 includes Anna Skop, 35, who has ties to the Eastern Cherokee Nation. Anna is a geneticist whose research on cell division has been widely recognized. She is now an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Each semester, the first thing Skop asks her genetics students is if they know how to cook. “The best advice I ever received was ‘never trust a scientist who can’t cook,’” Skop says. “Cooking is what we do in a lab. Each experiment is a recipe.” Skop is committed to young Native students and often hosts visiting Native high school students in her lab. She is actively involved with the local campus chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, as well the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.
100 Best Values in Public Colleges
Kiplingler has listed and ranked the top 100 colleges in early 2008. They are:
Volume 1 Volume 3
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