Youth and Education News
January 25, 2006 Issue 163 Volume 2
"We're still here. We still speak our language. We still hear the drum. We still dance." Melvin Francis, Passamaquoddy
book brings Shoshone tale to life
Utah: When Helen Timbimboo was growing up, she remember youth gathering around their elders at night to listen to stories. "Haa Hoo," Timbimboo recalls elders would say. "That means 'wide awake.' As quick as somebody goes to sleep, the story teller stops." Timbimboo, 77, says today's Shoshone youth don't listen to story-telling as she did. But with her tribe's new project, "Coyote Steals Fire, " Helen has faith the stories will continue to be told. "Coyote Steals Fire" is a collaborative effort from Shoshone toddlers to elders. The book, which includes a CD narrated by Timbimboo, tells of how "Itsappe," or Old Coyote, stole fire from the people of the south. "I think many times people don't understand us," Timbimboo said. "Maybe we can help them understand what we're all about." Proceeds from the book will go directly to cultural programs, she said, including a tribal library, a singing project and a language revitalization program.
Lakhotiya Woglaka Po! Speak Lakota!
The Lakota Language Consortium has released "Lakhotiya Woglaka Po! Speak Lakota!" Level 2 textbook. The Level 2 textbook follows the successful Level 1 textbook and continues the language teachings. The textbooks are now used by over twenty schools systems across North and South Dakota. Both of the textbooks are valuable for adult self-study at the beginner level, as well.
Visit LLC at: www.lakhota.org or www.languagepress.com
Puerto Rico Still Has No Reading First Funds
Puerto Rico: Nearly four years after Reading First was authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act, federal officials are revising the plan for Puerto Rico's schools. Nearly 80% of the country's 600,000 students live in poverty. With some 1,600 schools, and a lower per-pupil expenditure than that of any state, Puerto Rico could benefit from the cash. But worries about criteria have created an impasse between the schools and the federal Education Department. According to Yolanda Vilches from Puerto Rico's academic services, the proposal did not reflect the island's unique status and culture. Two criteria being opposed are:
A reference to students' being taught to read in both Spanish and English by grade 3;
A suggestion that teachers could be effective only if they were fluent in English.
Ms. Vilches says many teachers find this insulting, given the historic fight in Puerto Rico to maintain Spanish as the native language.
Quileutes host tsunami ceremony, drill
Washington: Since 1952, The Quileute Tribe has been locked on a one-square-mile reservation surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and Olympic National Park. Children attending Quileute Tribal School , Head Start Center, and Day Care Center are in as much or more danger from a Tsunami as any children's facilities in the continental United States. With its schools and tribal office in the highest tsunami danger zones, and with no higher lands on which to build, everyone is worried. "Last year, we saw what a terrible thing a Tsunami can be," Chairman Russell Woodruff said. "We have laid out evacuation routes and we have drills, but every one of us worries about what will happen to the over 50 children in the school when this happens." The Quileute School recently had a traditional memorial ceremony for children killed in 2005's Asian tsunami. They formed a traditional circle, and had drumming and singing. The names of the countries devistated by the tsunami were read. Following the ceremony, students took part in an evacuation drill. Warning sirens were sounded, and the children from the tribal school, daycare and Head Start were taken in school buses to a tribal building on ground high enough to survive an earthquake and a Tsunami. Other tribal members also left their homes and workplaces to evacuate to higher ground. Tribal members have only 15 minutes to reach safety in the event of an earthquake or Tsunami.
Indians Seek Ed Board Representation
Idaho: In it's 117-year history, the Idaho State Board of Education has never included an American Indian. Idaho lawmakers and leaders from four tribes recently discussed that issue in a Statehouse meeting. "We would like to see somebody appointed to the State Board of Education because we are not represented there," Lapwai High School Principal Brian Samuels said. Samuels said the board needs someone who understands Indian history, the treaties, the trauma. "If you have educators that do not understand the sensitivity issues for those students, they'll become dropouts or low achievers," Samuels said. The council welcomed the suggestion. Tribes have been invited to recommend candidates for two state board openings coming up in March. Nez Perce Tribe Chairwoman Rebecca Miles asked that the person who fills such a position be "not just a vision of an Indian educator in a position but someone who has a direct affect on the outcome."
Lewiston Morning Tribune
New program aimed at American Indian college students
South Dakota: The Gear-Up program is designed to help American Indian students earn degrees and adjust to college life. Gear Up prepares middle school and high school students for classes. It also gives high school seniors a 6-week experience at a university during the summer. "What we're hoping is these kids will feel comfortable heading off to college," said Keith Moore from South Dakota's Indian Education office. South Dakota will offer the Gear Up program this summer. Its based after a similar program on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation which has helped increase the number of their students receiving college degrees. South Dakota received a $6,900,000 matching federal grant to implement the program for 6 years.
Eastern Illinois University and Native American Educational Services will enter into an historic partnership
Illinois: NAES, the only private Native American college level program in the U.S., will EIU's Bachelor of Arts Degree in General Studies. The program will be offered both on-line and in the classroom and begins spring semester, 2006. American Indian people living in Chicago, other cities and reservations across the U.S. have access this unique degree program. The Native American Educational Services was established in Chicago in l974. It's mission is to strengthen the leadership within Native communities. It also works to ensure that tribal knowledge, traditions and values play a major role in the higher education of Native students.
H-American Indian Listserve
Professors help Cayugas regain land
New York: The Cayuga Nation has purchased a 70-acre farm from the
non-profit group SHARE (Strengthening Haudenosaunee-American Relations
through Education). SHARE was begun in 1999 with help from Jim and Julie Uticone.
Months later, professors Brooke Olson and Jack Rossen hopped aboard SHARE.
In 2001, the professors and SHARE members purchased a $200,000 farm and held it
until the Cayugas could afford to buy it. The land is very important to the
Cayuga people. "It's right near the largest Cayuga settlement -
which was Cayuga Castle - that had 50 longhouses," Rossen said.
"And the farm is right next to a place called Grape Gully, where some
Cayugas hid while [American] troops were burning villages in 1779."
Olson and Rossen also educate others about the Cayuga Nation and often take
their college students to public schools for presentations. "People
need to realize the Cayugas are still here, and they've been waiting to
come home for over 200 years," said Olson.
Deborah Cavett Named Executive Director of White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities
Washington, DC: Deborah Cavett is the new executive director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. Her job is to ensure that the nation's 35 Tribal Colleges and Universities are supported and have full access to federal higher education programs. Cavett will also serve on the President's Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities. President Bush created WHITCU in July, 2002. WHITCU serves more than 30,000 full-time and part-time students. It offers vocational certificate programs and associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. These institutions are often the only post secondary institutions in America's poorest rural areas. They serve a variety of students, including young adults, senior citizens, American Indians and non-American Indians.
The White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities: http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/list/whtc/edlite-index.html.
CNN DONATES $50,000 TO NAJA'S SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
South Dakota: CNN has pledged $50,000 to the NAJA [Native American Journalists Association] scholarship program for broadcast students. "This is good news," NAJA President Mike Kellogg, Navajo, said. "NAJA awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships last year, and each year we see more requests from students. We're delighted that in the coming years we'll be able to help more of our future broadcasters." In addition to a seminars, internships, and trainings, CNN has pledged support for NAJA's 2006 and 2007 conventions The network was also a major sponsor of the 2005 annual convention in Lincoln, Neb. Both organizations will continue working together to increase the numbers of Native Americans in broadcast journalism.
Native American Journalists Association
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