Youth and Education News
June 23, 2004, Issue 136 Volume 2
"Don't ever make fun of each other. Don't ever put down another Indian person. In this world, we have enough people outside to put us down. We can change that, and the change will come with you young people that are here today." Dave Anderson, Ojibwa
Crow tribe celebrates opening of center
Children on the Crow Indian Reservation will now have computer access, learn how to handle money, and research information on businesses. The center houses a "little people trading post," where children will sell arts and crafts they learn to make. "Some kids are not familiar with money," said Susan Kelly. "This not only teaches them how to make money, but how to take care of it." The center will also begin packaging and distributing roasted coffee. "Black water," as tribal members refer to it, was the first food given to them from the settlers, Kelly said. The center also will offer legal, business and housing advice. The new resource center was partly funded with a grant from Running Strong for American Indian Youth. The Center Pole Foundation will oversee operations.
Boarding schools coming back
Once spurned by rural parents, who hated sending their children hundreds of miles from home for a high school education, boarding schools are making a comeback in Alaska. In 1994, the only boarding school operating in Alaska was Mount Edgecumbe in Sitka. Now full-time residential schooling is offered in Bethel in western Alaska, and in Galena and Nenana in the Interior. "It's not anything like what the boarding schools used to be," said Ralph Lindquist, dean of students at the Nenana school. "I think we're giving a lot of kids and parents an alternative to something they're not satisfied with." About 520 students attended boarding schools full time in Alaska this past school year. That's about 240 more than were enrolled a decade ago.
Liberia: Former Child Soldiers Want Education
In Liberia, the 2,800 former child soldiers who turned over their weapons were promised an education to help rebuild their futures. However, there are not enough operational schools to absorb them. "They told us to give our guns and we will go to school, but we are not sensing anything like that yet. Giving us clothes, food and medicines are not all we need," said 14-year-old David Smith, who fought for former president Charles Taylor. In 1999 when he was only 9-years-old, Smith dropped out of school and picked up a gun. Now he wants to resume his studies. "I still want to learn something in school to become a good person in society," he said. Most former child soldiers are boys, but the group includes girls and teen mothers.
AEL Book on Native Youth Receives National Honors
The Seventh Generation: Native Youth Speak About Finding the Good Path, is among the winners of the Association of Education Publishers' 2004 Distinguished Achievement Awards for Excellence in Educational Publications. The book is written especially for Native American youth by authors Amy Bergstrom, Linda Miller Cleary, and Thomas D. Peacock. Over one hundred American Indian, Alaska Native, and First Nations youth were interviewed about their challenging life experiences and their stories of success and failure. The result is a volume that resounds with the voices of these remarkable young people and reveals how Native youth develop strong identities; cope with troubles in their families, communities, and schools; learn to appreciate their own intellectual gifts and abilities, and stay on the "Good Path" in life.
Lucienne Robillard Announces $35 Million to Bring Broadband to Aboriginal Communities
OTTAWA: Canadian minister Lucienne Robillard has announced that up to $35,000,000 is being made available to selected organizations to provide broadband Internet to 82 Aboriginal communities. "Broadband will help Aboriginal Canadians strengthen the foundations of their communities," said Minister Robillard. "From diversifying local economies to preserving language and culture to offering better access to education and health - this technology can be a catalyst to enhance quality of life"
State Helping BIA Meet NCLB Requirements
Public Instruction officials are working with North Dakota BIA schools on the state's assessment and standards. State instructors will score the tests and provide graduation and attendance rate information. Then the BIA will apply their own guidelines and issue reports about BIA schools' yearly gains. The federal No Child Left Behind act requires all states to be accountable, outline what students should know, measure student knowledge, and report student gains. BIA schools are treated like a separate state and are required to create their own plan.
The Bismarck Tribune
Complaints prompt probe into BIA education
Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell wants an investigation into charges that changes within the Bureau of Indian Affairs is hurting the education of Indian children. Campbell, who is Chairman of the Senate's Indian Affairs Committee, has received many complaints about the changes which include forced retirements, unfair firings, mismanagement of funds, and ethics and civil rights violations. "We have no way of knowing, in the committee, if these accusations have any merit or not and maybe they don't. Maybe some are just disgruntled employees," Campbell (R-Colorado) said. "But I don't take them lightly." After discussing the issue with Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the vice-chairman of the committee, both agreed that a General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation is needed. "Anything that hurts our Indian children and prevents them from being [in] a safe and healthy education environment is a great distress to both of us," Campbell said.
UO Education school aims to address multicultural crisis
Eugene OR -- The University of Oregon's College of Education is being accused of cultural insensitivity and incompetence. This has led the student and faculty diversity committee to recently declare a "multicultural crisis. "Jim Lyda from the school's Ethnic Diversity Affairs Committee, said students of color have experienced cultural insensitivity from some faculty members. He said local schools also have raised concerns that the college produces teachers who lack multicultural skills. "That's kind of what we term a crisis," Lyda said. The committee has proposed a list of recommendations to college deans including: the creation of a 5-year plan to address the issues; standardized and enforced procedures for handling complaints; and diversity training for staff and faculty.
National Association for Multicultural Education LISTSERV
House restores funding for tribal college
BISMARCK, ND The U.S. House of Representatives has restored funding for United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck. UTTC, which is run by North Dakota tribes, has had its federal funding cut from the budget for three consecutive years. It was restored in the past two years by Congress. The $3,000,000 for the Bismarck school still needs Senate approval.
Woman Interprets Navajo Sign Language
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Coreen Barbone is one of about 10 Indian sign language interpreters in the country. She is first American Indian to graduate from Santa Fe Community College's interpreting program and has a trilingual ability - English, Navajo and American Sign Language. For deaf and hard-of-hearing Indians, Barbone is helping fill a desperate need. ``We do need more interpreters because of the fact that our culture is unique... The more knowledge an interpreter has about a culture, the more efficient they can be at communicating the dialogue,'' said Damara Paris, President of the Intertribal Deaf Council. Barbone, who is Navajo, is headed to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she'll be the first American Indian in the university's interpretation program. There she hopes to earn her bachelor's degree and go on to graduate studies. ``Other people, they see deaf people as a disability, as a handicap,'' Coreen said. ``I don't see it that way, and I'm trying to get that out.''
Former rodeo star shines in academics
Tamara Eskue, 21, has been awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship for Community College students wishing to transfer to a four-year school. The Choctaw woman once competed as a professional rodeo rider in the women’s barrel-racing event. She also took care of horses. Eskue hopes to become a doctor in rural Texas.
Tribes recognized at Gonzaga Law School
Representatives from nine tribes and confederated tribes gathered at Gonzaga University’s College of Law for a tribal seal unveiling ceremony on April 2. Mounted on the wall in the Barbieri Moot Courtroom were nine bronze seals, each representing one tribe. It’s Gonzaga’s way of recognizing the sovereignty of native nations, each with its own court system. The nine tribes represented include: Confederated Salish and Kootenai, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, Spokane, Yakama, Coeur d’Alene, Colville Confederated Tribes, Nez Perce, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, and Kalispel.
Indian Country Today
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