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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


March 22, 2003 - Issue 83


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Indian Students Raising Money to Help Create Cultural Curriculum

by Great Falls Tribune

HELENA - Students from at least two Indian reservation schools are raising money to help the state create and distribute curriculum for the Indian Education for All program.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Linda McCulloch sought $120,000 over the next two years to create a curriculum council that would develop the curriculum and distribute it to all schools.

The 1999 Legislature had passed a law requiring all schools to teach about the culture of Montana's Native American tribes, and OPI has made it part of the state's accreditation standards, so curriculums would give teachers advise on what to teach.

But Gov. Judy Martz did not include money in the budget for the curriculum development, and a legislative subcommittee also turned down the request.

The senior class at St. Labre High School in Ashland read about the state's failure to fund the program and led a walkathon and penny drive to help.

On Friday, the seniors presented Lt. Gov. Karl Ohs with more than $6,000, including $300 in pennies for the program. Ohs turned the money over to McCulloch for the program, and both officials thanked the students.

The St. Labre student president emphasized that the students weren't trying to show up the state, but just wanted to contribute to a program that they considered important.

Meanwhile, Browning students and school officials have raised about $1,500 so far for the same cause by raffling gift baskets, according to Dorothy Still Smoking, director of Blackfeet and Native American studies for the Browning school district.

"The money is just a drop in the bucket compared to what we need, but they took a stand that was like sending a strong message to the governor and Legislature that Indian kids and communities consider the Indian Education for All program important," said OPI Indian education specialist Lori Falcon.

She said OPI is holding its own fund-raiser dinner for the program and will use the proceeds to support what it can, including the existing Montana Advisory Council for Indian Education.

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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, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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