Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
September 9, 2000 - Issue 18

School News
gathered by Vicki Lockard

The information here will include items of interest for and about Native American schools. If you have news to share, please let us know! I can be reached by emailing:

Nebraska Native Class Worth Try for Students' Sake

The Native Scholars course at Lincoln High School is an experiment worth trying.

The goal of the first-time class at Lincoln High School is to boost American Indian students' success by bringing them together in class for one period a day.

The course will cover contemporary and historical issues relevant to Indian Country. Students will find answers to questions like: How did Sitting Bull really die? What role has the American Indian Movement played in native issues?

Lincoln Public School officials hope that a prime benefit will be to provide a support system for native youths, who tend to have the highest dropout rates and lowest academic achievement rates of all student groups.

In essence, Lincoln school officials are hoping to work with local American Indian students to develop a positive peer attitude toward education, a formidable task in a world where the predominant culture is often oblivious
to their unique challenges, and where high-achieving American Indian students sometimes feel resentment from members of their own race.

Sequoyah High Seeking Nominees for Gifted and Talented Students

TAHLEQUAH—Cherokee Nation’s Sequoyah High School announced that nominations are now open for the school’s gifted and talented (GATE) education program. Students currently enrolled at Sequoyah may be nominated for the program in the areas of critical thinking, creativity, intelligence, academic aptitude, leadership, and aptitude in visual and performing arts. Parents, community members, club or youth group leaders, educators, employers, mentors, friends or students may make nominations.

Those interested in nominating currently enrolled Sequoyah High School students or obtaining more information on the GATE program should contact the school at 918-456-0631, extension 249, or at 888-467-4746.

College Adds Indian Studies Program

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Northern Arizona University will offer a new academic program this fall that will allow students to earn a bachelor's degree in American Indian studies.

The Applied Indigenous Studies program is partly intended to give tribal governments a pool of graduates prepared to assume roles on the reservation that require knowledge of tribal traditions, conditions and issues.

Studies will include courses on American Indian art and literature, stereotypes, and tribal governments. Some departments will offer related courses in anthropology, economics and history as well.

Many of the instructors will be American Indians.

"It's an innovative concept which has widespread support on campus and it promises to be an exciting and challenging program for the students," said Ron Trosper, the program's interim chairman.


Contact with other cultures has brought dramatic changes for the Inuit. These changes have raised many questions about what is best, how to live, and what it means to be Inuit today. Traditional beliefs and values are still felt to be important to the communities and the elders would like to see them revived through the schools. Many dedicated educators have tried to incorporate these concepts into the schooling of Inuit children, but without the support of an Inuit curriculum and Inuit input, however, this presented a real challenge.

When the schooling history in the north first started, many Inuit took it for granted that they would continue to maintain their Inuit language. As time went on, this was no longer the case in some places. Surveys indicated that Inuit educators needed materials in Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun and Inuvialuktun, that elders felt the younger people needed to learn more about their culture and parents stated it was important for their children to be strong in both their language and English. There became a need to find creative ways to preserve the language, knowledge and skills of Inuit. Inuuqatigiit is one of the successes that shares what Inuit think is important for the students to learn.



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