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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 22, 2001 - Issue 45


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Devils Lake Educators Awarded Humanities Grants


 by Grand Forks Herald-September 15, 2001


DEVILS LAKE -- "Lake Region State College and Devils Lake Public Schools have received $35,000 in grants for a project about Native American life and a project about Native American, Germans from Russia and Norwegian cultures.

Project directors for the grants from the National Endowment to the Humanities are Devils Lake educators Sam Johnson and Teresa Tande.

The first project, "Native Voices: A Study of Native American Life and Literature," received $25,000 to create a study group of 15 middle school, high school and college teachers of humanities, language arts and social studies.

Johnson said the Native Voices Study Group would spend a year studying important literature written by or about Native Americans to gain understanding of Native life and culture and to explore ways to teach the

Visiting scholars and authors will give presentations to the group, which also will be open to the public, including:

  • Dorreen Yellow Bird, journalist and columnist for the Grand Forks Herald, "An overview of Native American life and culture in North Dakota."
  • Vance Nelson and Rhonda Greene, historians, program coordinators for the State Historical Society, "Reservation life and Indian boarding schools."
  • Carole A. Barrett, professor of Indian Studies, University of Mary, "Native American spirituality."
  • David Treuer, award-winning author, professor of English and creative writing, University of Minnesota, "Being Native, writing Native."
  • Jim McKenzie, professor of English, UND, "Contemporary Native American novelists."
  • Greg Gagnon, professor of Indian studies, UND, "Indians in children's literature."

Johnson said plans are to develop a Web page featuring reading lists and resources, as well as author and scholar profiles. Guest scholar presentations also would be taped to play on local-access channels.

The second project, titled "North Dakota Prairie Cultures," received a $10,000 humanities scholar-in-residence grant developed by Johnson and Tande, a Devils Lake Central Middle School teacher who also will direct the project.

The program will have several visits by a guest humanities scholar who will lead four middle school language and social studies teachers. They will examine and discuss important books and resources relating to Native
Americans, the Germans from Russia and the Norwegians.

"The team will explore the question of how each of these groups have shaped who we are today, thus connecting our past to our present by exploring the basic humanities question of who we were and who we are," Tande said.

Other project team members are Susan Swiontek and Sheri Olson, seventh-grade language arts teachers, and Dennis Flynn, eighth-grade American studies teacher.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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