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
Katiqsuiniq Qaujimajaujutuqarnik -- traditional knowledge
interviews, knowledge, and stories that preserve the regional
variations of Inuktitut;
Katiqsuiniq Innarnik Apiqsuutivinirnik - - the digitization of
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
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
nirsuangunikkut ammalu pijunnaititigut.
Clink to listen to the INUKTITUT LANGUAGE:
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
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,
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
Slideshow of Lummi Youth Academy:
Teaching native language helps reach Indian students, educators tell
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:
49% of Native students graduate from high school.
Nebo's graduation rate rose from 37% to a high of 94%
2007 and 2008,
the stats were 88%.
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
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
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
\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
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
traditional knowledge holders,” said Dr. Bruce D. Martin, lead
faculty member. “This award should be shared by the sovereign
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
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.
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:
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
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: http://www.millan.net/