Native Village Youth and Education News
October 1, 2008 Issue 190 Volume 2


“Indian Landscape” Ca. 1971
Wayne Pushetona,

 "A lot of folks don't realize that Indians still exist in their ancestral homelands east of the Mississippi. That's really the product of an educational system that essentially taught a version of history that excluded who we are. There was a method to that madness -- it didn't happen accidentally. It happened because those folks who approved textbooks and the curriculum of the schools told it their way. The fact that people in [Virginia] didn't realize we existed wasn't happenstance. It was all part of a systematic process to disallow American Indians' existence." 
                                  Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy



The Government of Canada Supports Inuktitut Language Preservation
Nunavut: The Canadian government is giving $216,050 to the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to fund Pigiarvik, an Inuktitut language project for the younger generations of Inuit. The Pigiarvik Project has three components:
Katiqsuiniq Qaujimajaujutuqarnik -- traditional knowledge interviews, knowledge, and stories that preserve the regional variations of Inuktitut;
Katiqsuiniq Innarnik Apiqsuutivinirnik - - the digitization of traditional knowledge;
Pivut and Kaakuluk -- Inuktitut magazines for Children and Youth.
"Here in Nunavut, we are striving to fully integrate the Inuit language into the school curriculum, libraries, and the workplace," said Thomasie Alikatuktuk from of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. "This process is still in its infancy, and much work is required. This funding from Canadian Heritage will help kick-start the process." The funding is provided through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative which is part of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program.

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed
with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

As written in the Inuktitut Syllabary:



As read in the Inuktitut language
"Inuujulimaat aniqtirijulimaat inuulaurmata isumarsurlatik ammalu ajjiuqatimiiklutik
nirsuangunikkut ammalu pijunnaititigut. Isuqaqtuqartitauvalirput
pijjutiqarnikkuut qatangmutimiittiariqaqnikullu."


Clink to listen to the INUKTITUT LANGUAGE:
Inuktitut syllabary:

OHA gives $1M to Na Pua Noeau program
Hawaii: The Na Pua Noeau program at the University of Hawaii/Hilo has received  $1,004,000  from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Na Pua Noeau provides educational enrichment opportunities for K-12 Native Hawaiian students. The grant will help fund statewide operations for the program, which is in its 19th year.  Na Pua Noeau staff conducts events at UH Hilo, UH Manoa, Kauai Community College, Maui Community College, Molokai Education Center, Lanai High and Elementary School and the UH Center at West Hawaii.

Traditional pursuits credited with keeping Déline youth out of trouble
Northwest Territories: Many northern Canadian communities face rising rates in youth crime. But more than 200 youth live in Déline, N.W.T.,  and they have very few run-ins with the law.   Irene Betsidea credits traditional teachings and programs for keeping kids out of trouble.  "We teach them how to make dried fish, and take them out to historical sites, and gather traditional medicine [and] work on moose hide and caribou hide," said Betsidea, a local justice co-coordinator.  Betsidea said Déline youth who do commit vandalism or petty theft are sentenced to hard community labour like shoveling snow or gathering wood for local elders.  The RCMP and justice and wellness worker also visit the school to promote good behaviour and warn of the effects of a criminal record.  "Keeping kids busy and interested is one of the best ways that we can get them through those years where they're doing things that we'd rather they weren't doing," said Judge Lydia Bardak.

Lummi Tribe opens boarding school to support students, strengthen pride
Lummi Nation Reservation, Washington:  When she was a child, Lummi elder Fran James was forced to go to a series of boarding schools that forbade her to speak the Lummi language."It was survival," said James, 84.  But James shed tears of joy when her tribe recently opened a residential academy on the Lummi Reservation. It was build to help tribal youth receive support and academic success.  "This is a dream come true," said James, 84.  The academy will serve as many as 40 kids in grade 8-12.. 26 students have already enrolled including kids from the Cowichan First Nation in Canada and the Swinomish and Nooksack tribes. Families are invited to join their kids for dinner and help with homework. Kids may live at the academy year-round. They receive free room and board, around-the-clock mentoring and support, academic advising, mental-health counseling, and cultural and spiritual support. All will live by the school's motto: hard work; healing; love; trust; respect and fun.  Heather Leighton, Lummi Nation Youth Academy principal,  already sees a difference in student performance,  Program director Darrell Hillaire agrees.  "Our kids are smart. Our kids have dreams, " he said.
Slideshow of Lummi Youth Academy:

Teaching native language helps reach Indian students, educators tell summit
Utah: Throughout Utah, tribes and school districts are using native cultures and languages to better reach students.  In the Nebo School District, three Navajo women spent years building a year-long program that offers Native youth academic tutoring along with Native art and culture. Eileen Quintana, the Title VII director, said the results are encouraging:
  Nationally, only 49% of Native students graduate from high school. Nebo's graduation rate rose from 37% to a high of 94% percent in 2006.  For 2007 and 2008, the stats were 88%.
   The program began with 99 students. It now serves 265.
    Math and English scores rise as proficiency in Navajo increases. “We're saying, 'Hey, if language can do that, we're keeping it,'” said Clayton Long from the San Juan School District  
It's now a San Juan School Board policy that students will be taught Navajo language and culture.

Diné teen has crowded speaking calendar

Navajo Reservation, Arizona: Two years ago, Garrett Yazzie came in 7th in a televised national science project competition. Today, the 16-year-old is a coveted speaker on the Native science circuit.  Yazzie's latest invitation is to speak at October's "International Polar Year: Global Change in Our Communities," in Salt Lake City.  He may be sharing the podium with Al Gore.  "I didn't really know who Al Gore was until I saw 'An Inconvenient Truth,'" said Yazzie, who was only 9 when Gore completed his second term as vice president.  "Now I'm excited to meet him."  Yazzie said.  Yazzie will talk about his winning science project - a solar space and water heater - and the importance of "living green and not polluting the air." Yazzie's past and future projects include:

A stint on the television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
Speaking at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society
Featured at the IGNITE camp for Native American engineering and science students
Speaking at Red Mesa middle and high schools
An interview on the NBC affiliate in Tucson, AZ
A pending invitation with the Seminole Tribe in Florida

Yazzie worries that too many speaking engagements may interfere with his school work at St. Mary's Academy, the school he attends in Michigan while living with a foster mom.  But she says not to worry.  "I tell him, 'Hey, this is your way of paying back for all the things that have happened to you,'" she said.  "'If even one kid sees you up there and decides to stay in school and do something he never thought of doing, it's all worth it.'"

Made-in-Nunavut senior high curriculum meets university standards

Nunavut:  Inuit youth struggle with self-identity. and educators hope a curriculum will be of help. Nunavut education officials have created a new high school curriculum the meets university entrance standards while teaching Inuit values, healthy relationships and personal wellness.  "We've sent it to 25 universities in the south and they've accepted it … as meeting their entry requirements," said Cathy McGregor, a curriculum and school services director.  The Aulajaaqtut curriculum for Grades 10-12 replaces an Albert curriculum which Nunavut high school students had to pass in order to graduate.  It allows them to take the principles and values from their ancestors that are relevant today, both in their own community and the world. " The curriculum will be implemented in 2010.  Aulajaaqtut — an Inuktitut word for a formation of flying geese — will be taught by educators who are Inuit and long-time northerners. The Education Department plans to develop more curricula for lower grades.

Textbook guides teachers on author's racial messages
Flathead Reservation, Montana: A textbook for teachers, “Sherman Alexie in the Classroom,” is helping educators explore Native Americana in modern times through the books of  Sherman Alexie.  Alexie, who is of Spokane and Coeur d'Alene heritage, often explores racism in his stories while allowing his characters to be funny.  The text examines Alexie's provocative body of work, ranging from poetry and novels to film scripts. "Sherman Alexie in the Classroom"  authors say the text will help non-Native teachers and students “work through their white guilt and develop anti-racist perspectives.”  The guidebook is part of a high school literature series published by the National Council of Teachers of English.   Recently, Carla Hinman's freshman class at Hellgate High School read  "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from “Part-Time Indian.”  Each student group agreed on a recurrent theme: prejudice and racism.  Also drawn into Alexie's books are Native Youth. “My students respond to them,” said Anna Baldwin, a teacher at Arlee High School on the Flathead Reservation. “The books are so contemporary - and it's the whole reservation culture that is embedded in the books. Sherman Alexie's work is like a door for some kids to get into literature.” She said if not for Alexie, some of her students would never have read a book from cover to cover.
Sherman Alexie in the Classroom:

Indian Schools Face Unique Challenges, Witnesses Tell Education Subcommittee
\Washington, D.C.: Witnesses before a House Committee say the Bush administration should do more to improve academic standards for students attending BIE (Bureau of Indian Education) schools. They said the U.S.  must work more closely with tribes to develop accountability systems under the No Child Left Behind Act. "Our success in the 21st century economy is directly tied to our ability to produce a high quality labor force," said Chairman Dale Kildee. "And that ability is, of course, directly tied to our ability to meet the challenge of providing every child – including every Indian child – with a world-class education. We must ensure that Indian tribes – which are sovereign entities who best understand their children’s needs – are full partners in that process.” The U.S. provides K-12 education and educational assistance to Indian children through federally-funded schools or assistance to public schools. 90% of Indian students attend public schools, while 10% attend BIE schools. BIE schools are subject to NCLB with limited exceptions. 

H-Amindian Listeserve

Rose Duhon-Sells Program Award Goes to Penn State Program
Pennsylvania:   A Penn State outreach program, "Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing Among the Ojibwe" has received the 2008 Rose Duhon-Sells Program Award. The Duhon-Sells Award is given by NAME (The National Association for Multicultural Education) for contributions to multicultural education. This is the second national award for the Ojibwe Knowing program  “This course immerses students in Ojibwe culture where they learn Ojibwe life ways and world view from more than 25 Ojibwe educators, political leaders, spiritual leaders and traditional knowledge holders,” said Dr. Bruce D. Martin, lead faculty member. “This award should be shared by the sovereign Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth nations.”  Students are immersed for almost 16 days in the history, culture and life ways of the Ojibwe.  “Our students continually tell us that the course has been a powerful experience,” said Kathy Karchner. “The students return with a deeper appreciation and understanding of Native America.” David Stanley attended 2007's Ojibwe Knowing program and said the trip was a profound experience.  "Not a day goes by that I don't think about that trip,” he said. “It had a tremendous effect on my life and I'm so glad I took part in it.” The Ojibwe (aka Chippewa or Anishinabe) were, and remain, a large and powerful Great Lakes tribe. They currently have reservations in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana and parts of Canada. "Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing Among the Ojibwe"  is offered every spring. The next session is May 17 - June 5, 2009.
Learn more/register for: Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing Among the Ojibwe:


Miami University Presents Myaamiaki Iisi Meehtohseeniwickiki

Miami homelands, Ohio: The Miami Tribe's original homelands covered large parts of the midwest including Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois.  Several rivers such as the Big and LIttle Miami and Maumee have been named after them.  The tribe's forced removal to western lands in the 1800s  was a deep cultural loss to the area. However, Miami University of Ohio and the Miami tribe now offer Miami studies and language programs on it's Oxford, Ohio campus. Their most recent project is an art exhibition called "Myaamiaki Iiši Meehtohseeniwiciki"  (How the Miami People Live).  Darryl Baldwin, Julie Olds, and others worked with MU, tribal members, and the Smithsonian to enable the exhibit which includes Miami art and artifacts from across the world.  Attending the recent Grand Opening were tribal members from the the Miami Indians of Oklahoma and the Miami Nation of Indiana.   Myaamiaki Iiši Meehtohseeniwiciki runs through December 13.
Learn More:

NCGLNAC  (National Center for Great Lakes Native American Culture)

Haskell degree opportunities expand
Kansas: Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of North Texas have signed an agreement to steer more American Indians to the environmental science field.  This agreement ties  Haskell undergraduates to UNT's postgraduate studies in environmental studies.  UNT President Gretchen Bataille said Native students committed to environmental research and education are critical for sustainability within tribal culture.  The Environmental Protection Agency also signed the agreement.

Let's hear it for Google scholarship winners
Across the world, the participation of women and minorities in computer science is at an all-time low. According to studies by the National Science Foundation, the annual graduation rate for students in computer science is:

Women 22%,

Hispanic 6.5% African American 4.8%  American Indian: 1%  

Google hopes to increase diversity in the industry with scholarship programs tied to the United Negro College Fund, the Hispanic College Fund and the American Indian Science & Engineering Society.  Each program encourages students to excel in their studies and become role models and leaders. 

The 2008 Google American Indian Science & Engineering Society Scholars:

Erik Bennett - New Mexico Tech
Kaylei Burke - University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Cory Cornelius - Dartmouth College
Daniel Jachowski - Stanford University
Denise Martin - Capella University
Mitchell Martin - University of Texas, San Antonio
Melanie Prevett - Oklahoma State University
Thomas Reed - University of California, Santa Barbara
Delbert Willie - Colorado State University

American Indian Science &Engineering Society:

artwork and graphics:

Page Background: Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

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