Youth and Education News
January 21, 2004, Issue 126, Volume 2
"When I thought about who we are as Indian women, I had to take a good look at myself...I was reminded about how life, to me, is a never ending learning process, a journey of discovering ourselves, what we are capable of and what we are not, what we hold in the endless sea of our soul...who are you?" Roxanne Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo
UNICEF presses for education for all children
The United Nations children's agency, UNICEF, says the best way to help children cope with a dangerous world is for all governments to provide them with a basic education. "By making sure that all boys and girls get a basic education, we will not only give them a chance of growing into independent adults who can protect their own health and rights, but we will give the next generation of children a better chance of escaping a life of poverty and hardship," said UNICEF director Carol Bellamy. UNICEF's five top concerns for children in developing countries are: child survival, AIDS, war, child exploitation and insufficient investment in children.
Nearly 11,000,000 children die before age 5 each year. The biggest killers--measles, malaria and diarrhea--are all preventable or treatable;
More than 50% of the world's new AIDS infections occur in people under 25;
14,000,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS;
11,000,000 AIDS orphans are in sub-Saharan Africa;
War has killed more than 2,000,000 children;
Since 1994, war has driven 20,000,000 from their homes;
More than 300,000 children in over 30 countries, some as young as age 8, are used as soldiers;
About 246,000,000 children are obliged to work, often in dangerous conditions.
New Lummi school to open in September
In September, Lummi school children in grades K-12 will attend a new school five times larger than their current building. The students will name the new school designed to include elements of their culture. "We want a place of education where our children, their parents and relatives will feel a sense of pride, a sense of culture and a sense of history," Lummi Vice Chairman Perry Adams said when school design was approved. Lummi received a $21,000,000 grant from the BIA for construction of the school. "We worked 10 years to obtain the grant," Thomas said when the grant was awarded. The new school will be open to Lummi and non-Lummi students with an expected enrollment of 750 students.
McDonald's Minority-Scholarship Program Omits American Indians
Ahtna Atathabaskan tribal member John Smelcer recently found a good scholarship lead for his daughter. While waiting in line at McDonalds, Smelcer picked up a brochure about minority scholarships offered by the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Smelcer never doubted this would apply to her--until he discovered American Indians are not eligible to receive the award. "Of the four officially recognized minority groups, African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics, only American Indians are not eligible," he said. Smelcer wrote several letters to the McDonald's corporation and eventually received a reply confirming that American Indians are not included among scholarship recipients. Debbie Stone, an official at Ronald McDonald House Charities, wrote that the charity "must prioritize how we spend the dollars that we have for scholarships."
Indian Country Today
Kayenta teacher receives award
Patricia Saganey-Wayn , teacher at Kayenta Middle School AZ, has won the National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation. Criteria for the award include: outstanding instructional practices, professional and policy leadership , and inspiring and motivating those around her. Saganey-Wayn will receive a $25,000 check
Prentice-Hall to publish undergrad American Indian perspective History textbook
Prentice-Hall, publisher of academic and reference textbooks, is putting the Indian perspective in the forefront. They have signed Dr. Laura Graves as senior author for the nation's first undergraduate American history textbook written from an American Indian perspective. The text will focus on ordinary people, rather than traditional figures of political and economic influence. Dr. Graves will write the first half of the book from prehistoric times through 1900.
Also helping with the book are:
Ken Townsend, a professor at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, S.C., who will serve as second primary author, writing the second half of the textbook;
Dr. Vickie Sutton, director of the Texas Tech University School of Law and a member of the Lumbee Indian tribe (from South Carolina), who will cover Indian law;
Lomayumtewa Ishii, a Hopi Indian, who will represent the Indian voices in the book.
American Indian Resource Center
Fort Lewis students remember MLK
Fort Lewis College [CO] students paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. with community-service activities and an all-day film series at the college. FLC student Cara Kropp, who grew up in Missouri, said she has learned a lot about the American Indian culture since arriving in Durango - something she didn't learn about in Missouri. Respecting all cultures is important, she said ."America has become like a melting pot," Kropp said. "No one is the same, but our government tries to keep it the same. Diversity is a celebration of different cultures, and if we lose that, we won't really learn anything from other people. Everything will remain the same - stagnant."
One Nation, One Protest
Demonstrators from across Oklahoma, including many Native American college students, gathered in Oklahoma City to protest One Nation, a national organization opposed to tribal sovereignty. One Nation’s goal is to "push back against the massive expansion of tribal authority and the various disruptions and inequities created by sovereignty-based policies ... (and) to correct inequities created by virtue of special treatment afforded businesses and industries owned by Native American tribes.” Rick Abraham, the environmental consultant for PACE International Union, was present at the demonstration. "I’m down here today representing myself and the PACE International Union because of the policies of the Farm Bureau and One Nation,” Abraham said. “They are anti-union, anti-environment, and I think they are certainly anti-Native American. The fact that they want to take away the sovereignty rights of Native Americans is outrageous" Lindsay says. “When are we going to end the disputing and honor the peace treaties that we signed?” One Nation is sponsored by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and many other companies and individuals. Its Web site claims One Nation is “currently representing more than 200,000 people.”
One Nation Web site http://www.onenationok.com/
Tribe to offer internships with new cultural center
Central Michigan University students will have new internship opportunities when the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways opens this spring. Students will help run the facility and assist in other areas such as business, history, art, administration, food service, and library studies. “It’s customer service, doing research and taking care of the artifacts themselves,” said director Bonnie Ekdahl. “We are looking to take care of the (Saginaw Chippewa Indian) Tribe’s important historical documents.” The center will have a permanent exhibit detailing the story of the Anishinabe people, temporary exhibit space for art and artifacts, a retail store, food service, meeting rooms and offices. Tribal Chief Audrey Falcon said the facility has great meaning to the tribe. “It’s the first time we’ve been able to tell our story,” she said. “It’s done in a positive manner and is truly reflective of how we feel, so the people will be fascinated.”
Native American coordinator to recruit students from reservations
To help Utah State University's Native American students, a new position has been created: Native American coordinator. The new coordinator, Sam Curly, offers support for USU's Native Americans students. He also recruits new students. Curly, who is Navajo, has helped Native American and other students in New Mexico for decades. At USU, Curly's ideas include creating new campus activities, traveling to area reservations to promote the importance of higher education, and recruiting new students. As a Native American, Curly also said that in their society, "education has a great priority."
Indian tribe claims it owns part of Notre Dame campus
Michigan's Upper Peninsula is suing the University of Notre Dame for a tract of campus land and for rent dating back to 1842. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Hannahville Indian community Tribe of Potawatomi Indians. The tribe seeks ownership and damages for the "unlawful trespass" by the university, which was founded in 1842. In an 1826 treaty, the Potawatomi Tribe was given a 100-wide strip of land from Lake Michigan to the Wabash River for a road and land tracts along each mile of road. The lawsuit alleges that the government later transferred those same lands to the state of Indiana, which then passed on part of it to Notre Dame without proper title. The Hannahville Potawatomi are one of seven bands of the Potawatomi Nations. The tribe is an ancestral sibling of the Dowagiac, Mich.-based Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. The tribe has about 600 members living on or close to a reservation in Wilson, Mich.
Horne speech offends Indians
Indian leaders are upset with comments by Arizona's school superintendent for describing peoples without written languages as a "herd of savages incapable of knowledge or reflection." Superintendent Tom Horne said: "Without some species of writing, no people has ever preserved the faithful annals of their history, ever made any considerable progress in the abstract sciences or ever possessed, in any tolerable degree of perfection, the useful and agreeable arts of life." The passage shows insensitivity to the accomplishments and vibrant cultures of Indians living in Arizona, said Tohono O'odham Chairwoman Vivian Juan-Saunder. She said the Indians' oral traditions and achievements should not be dismissed. "He needs some educating about our state and the rich history of the Native American cultures that were here prior to any European contact and are still here and continue to survive," she said. "Arizona has 21 Indian nations -- we are one of the few states that have a large population of tribes with a very rich history. Our ancestors were mathematicians, scientists, astronomers, and were able to accomplish so much without modern technology."
"Moment of History" For First Nation
Paul Martin became the first Canadian Prime Minster in two decades to visit a Saskatchewan First Nation. "This is a tremendous, tremendous day for me," said Martin, speaking to about 150 band members, elders and political leaders of the Gordon First Nation. "To walk up the road with the horses and all those children waving in the window was absolutely wonderful." Martin visited the George Gordon Education Centre, a former residential school that now has a unique partnership with the federal government. Martin said the school visit symbolizes two of the most important issues his government has to deal with; providing opportunities for First Nations people and promoting education.
Largest prime number ever is found
A 26-year-old graduate student in the US has made mathematical history by discovering the largest known prime number. The new number is 6,320,430 digits long. It took just = two years to find using a distributed network of more than 200,000 computers.
Generation E.A.: Ethnically Ambiguous
Ambiguity is chic, especially among today's Generation Y, the under-25 members of the most racially diverse population in the nation's history. 7,000,000 members of Generation Y are under 18, and their teen market is changing the fashion and entertainment industry. "Today what's ethnically neutral, diverse or ambiguous has tremendous appeal," said Ron Berger, chief executive of a successful New York trend research company. "Both in the mainstream and at the high end of the marketplace, what is perceived as good, desirable, successful is often a face whose heritage is hard to pin down." Such a transition is in line with the current argument that race itself is a fiction. This theory has been advanced by prominent scholars like K. Anthony Appiah, Princeton, and Evelyn Hammond, Harvard. In a PBS broadcast, Ms. Hammond said race is a "concept we invented to categorize the perceived biological, social and cultural differences between human groups." More and more, that thinking is echoed by the professional image makers. "Some of us are just now beginning to recognize that many cultures and races are assimilating," said John Partilla, the chief executive of a marketing agency. "If what you're seeing now is our focus on trying to reflect the blending of individuals, it reflects a societal trend, not a marketing trend. For once, it's about art imitating life."
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