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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 Teachers Program gets Support from Tribe

by Ayse Twitt, of the Advance Titan
credits: Judith Hankes, a mathematics education professor, tutors an elementary mathematics class. (

Judith Hankes, a mathematics education professor, tutors an elementary mathematics class. The Oneida Indian reservation gave $5,000 to the Indian Teachers for Indian Children program, which originated in the summer of 1998.

Judith Hankes and fellow colleague Gerald Fast started the program.

The program was generated to bring more Native American students and teachers to the university and to create more opportunities for American Indians. Hankes set up visitations for all sophomores and seniors in area high schools through the guidance counselors and distributed materials about the program. Hankes also met face-to-face with students to get to know them on a more personal level. Students in the program, which takes place in the summer, may continue with it for three years.

The college students in the program work on strengthening the academic skills of elementary children.

ITIC students emphasize their tutoring on math and science skills and try to help other elementary-level students sustain their educational needs.

Students participating in the program are encouraged to tutor students on reservations during the following semesters of school.

The program lacks funding and is only in existence because of anonymous donations and other fund-raising. Hankes’ and Fast’s trips to different high schools come out of personal funding, and the money the program receives does not cover those expenses.

In the past three years, funds from an anonymous benefactor kept the program going, but the funding ended in the summer of 2002.

Hankes visited the Oneida reservation to sustain the project and met with the finance committee to make a request to donate money to the ITIC program.

“Within the next few years other reservations such as Stockbridge-Munsee, Ho-Chunk, Bad River, Lac Courte-Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau and Menominee will also contribute to the program,” Hankes said.

This summer, ITIC will be directing its fourth annual week-long inter-tribal program in collaboration with the college of nursing. They are accepting 25 students to take part and will be providing transportation. Two directors and several professors in the nursing department will be supervising and helping out at this year’s summer program.

“I really liked the program and could really relate to other students involved,” said Charlie Doxtator, a sophomore human services major. “It has helped me realize what I want to do, which is either counseling or teaching.”

Doxtator participated in the ITIC program when he was a senior in high school.

Other students currently attending UW-Oshkosh who are in the program were Desire Barber from Oneida and Arora Connely from Bad River.

The program influenced their choice of schools for college. They said they are both glad to have chosen Oshkosh.

“Everyone has a mission,” said Hankes.

She hopes to help students find that mission and follow through with it.

“The program will reach its goal of having a more diverse group of faculty and students in attendance in the years to come” Hankes said. “Meanwhile, the group also wants to help people have a better understanding of the Indian culture.”

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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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