Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
October 21, 2000 - Issue 21

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:


Canadian Virtual University, a joint venture of seven Canadian universities, started registering students on Friday. The virtual university will allow students to transfer credits from one member school to another, but students will continue to receive degrees from their home university. Students will have the flexibility of picking and choosing the courses they want, says Dominique Abrioux, president of the virtual university. Although virtual university students will not pay fees that are normally required when students take courses from universities that are not their home institution, they will be required to pay tuition to the university that provides the course. Participating institutions include Athabasca University, Brandon University, University of Manitoba, Laurentian University, Open University, Royal Roads University, and University of Victoria. (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 3 October 2000)

Marching Band Theme Criticized

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- A high school marching band's rendition of "The Death of Custer'' may be dropped after drawing criticism from an American Indian student.

The Lewis and Clark High School band uses the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn as the theme for a halftime extravaganza. The show includes students acting out scenes in which Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer is killed with an arrow and Indians perform a war dance.

Vickie Countryman, director of equity for Spokane School District 81, said only one complaint was received but that is enough.

"Respect of staff and students is our top priority,'' Countryman said. "No matter what we do, it needs to be respectful of everybody.''

Congressional Journal Honors School District

Wellpinit, Wash. _ The Wellpinit School District was honored earlier this month in the Congressional Record for using computer technology to increase test scores in its school on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

An article in the Congressional Record, the official journal of Congress, notes Sen. Slade Gorton presented the district one of his "Innovation in Education" awards for achievements that include being the highest-scoring Indian reservation school in the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Gorton credited the school board and Superintendent Reid Riedlinger for developing a computer-oriented curriculum for all the district's 440 students, 95 percent of whom are American Indians or descendants. Computers allow students to get individual instruction in all their core subjects.

"The K-12 school has already far exceeded any other rural school in Washington state with its efforts to boost the use of technology in the classroom," Gorton wrote in the Congressional Record.

He noted that Family PC Magazine named Wellpinit one of America's Top 100 Wired Schools.



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