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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America



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Favorite Sites


collected by Paul and Vicki

Web Resources for Dakota/Nakota/Lakota

University of Minnesota American Indian Studies Department Sponsored Links

Mnisota Dakota Iapi Owayawa
The Department of American Indian Studies maintains a free interactive Dakota language website where users can access lessons on a variety of topics, sound clips, dialogues, recordings of fluent speakers, and online activities and games.

Due to the critical point of language shift we are experiencing with Dakota in the state of Minnesota, classroom time may be one of the few opportunities language learners have to hear and use the language. We hope that this website will help some people acquire a little bit of conversational ability in the language, but it cannot replace a real teacher. It is only meant to supplement the teachings of living people!

To access the site, enter:
User Name: wounspekuwa
Password: d4k0t4

If you have any questions, please contact Beth Brown at

Dakota Language Program
Interactive course website including lessons, dialogues, activities, and more.
User name: wounspekuwa
Password: d4k0t4

Dakota Font
Download for Mac or PC.
(Installation instructions at

Dakota Dictionary Online
Search for words in English or Dakota (must have Dakota Font installed).

Dakota-net Listserv
Dakota-net ( is a free Internet email listserv created to serve as a venue for making announcements about Dakota language activities and for distributing information about Dakota language resources and programming in the region.

Other Interactive Websites
AISRI Dictionary Database
A dictionary database of six Native languages, including Dakota, Lakota, and Assinboine. Developed by the American Indian Studies Research Institute at the University of Indiana - Bloomington.

Dakoteyah Wogdaka - Talk Dakota!
An interactive audio program with basic words and phrases of the Dakota language. A project of Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center (NAWHERC), South Dakota.

Loneman School Lakota Immersion Computer Programs
Multimedia computer programs designed for use within elementary schools on Indian reservations. They are interactive and feature narration, music, stories, and vocabulary building exercises. Both entertaining and educational!

Native Languages of Saskatchewan
Information on language history, grammar, alphabet and sound systems, common phrases, bibliography and other resources for Dakota, Lakota, Nakota/Nakoda.

Dakota-Nakona Language Lessons
Interactive lessons from Fort Peck Community College.

Books, CD's, and other Materials
Association on American Indian Affairs
View AAIA's catalog of Dakota language materials for children including books, music, and CD-Roms.

Lakota Language Consortium
A nonprofit organization dedicated to the complete revitalization of the Lakota language. LLC trains teachers, produces language materials, sponsors community and educational events, and directs other efforts in Lakota language revitalization. Materials offered include books, flashcards, audio cds, and posters.

Aboriginal Languages of Manitoba
An organization dedicated to promoting the retention of Manitoba's Aboriginal languages, including Dakota. Language resource materials can be purchased from their catalog.

Dakota & Lakota Texts
A variety of texts digitized by Jan F. Ullrich.

Lakota Dakota Information Homepage
Links to resources for Dakota and Lakota art, history, language, and more.

Community Programs and Organizations
Wicoie Nandagikendan Language Immersion Program (Minneapolis, MN)
An early childhood language immersion program dedicated to raising a new generation of fluent Dakota and Ojibwe speakers. A project of the Alliance of Early Childhood Professionals. Contact

Dakota Iapi Okodakiciyapi - Dakota Language Society (Minneapolis, MN).
A non-profit group dedicated to the revitalization of the Dakota language through resource development, community events, and other projects. Contact

Dakota Wicohan (Granite Falls, MN)
A regional non-profit language support organization headquartered in Granite Falls, MN. Its primary goal is to build community through Dakota language renewal. Contact

Tusweca Tiospaye (Pine Ridge, SD)
A Native 501(c)(3) that is devoted to the promotion and strengthening of the Lakota language on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Tusweca Tiospaye hosts a yearly Lakota Dakota Nakota Language Summit in November, as well as a summer culture camp.

Dakota Iapi Teunhindapi Consortium (Pipestone, Manitoba, Canada)
A consortium dedicated to to assisting communities in creating a network of human resources and resources that will produce future speakers of Dakota, Nakota, Lakota.

Montana is the only state in the nation with a constitution commanding respect for its American Indian heritage in its public schools.

Yet for decades after that goal was drafted, little was done to introduce its tribal nations to mainstream culture. That changed two years ago, when education leaders launched the Montana Tribal History Project.

After years of reporting on Indian education in Missoula schools, reporter Rob Chaney received a fellowship from Columbia University's Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media to explore the issue on a statewide level. He traveled more than 3,000 miles, visiting all seven of Montana's Indian reservations and their tribal colleges. He met with community elders, historians, students and teachers to learn about a groundbreaking tribal history project that will be coming to the state's public schools next year.

These tribes made history by gathering history. In collecting their stories and archives and interviews, the tribal historians changed the way their communities viewed themselves. They've also opened a window for the rest of Montana to confront its own legacy of white-Indian relations. For seven days beginning Sunday, the Missoulian will investigate how these tribal histories came to be and how they'll affect everyone in Montana.

CLICK HERE to see the complete Native Stories, Our Stories series and interactive map.

IndianCountryTV is streaming a Medium High Density Broadcast of Television and Video content. If you have dial-up, or share your Internet Upload with other users, you computer may not be able to load this content, or may experience the digital player starting and stopping, a sign that the streaming of our content may not work.
We are in the process of upgrading our studio and programming process. In the near future, you will be able to find a complete index of programs that we have available. Please bear with us as we continue to organize our Television Station into a more traditional platform.

Valentine Poems

This week I set out to find if there's more to kid-friendly Valentine's Day poems than "Roses are red. Violets are blue." The answer, thank goodness, is a resounding "Yes!" As proof, I present the following batch of sites. Happy Valentine's Day! Valentine's Day Poetry houses several dozen poems that can be read aloud or included in homemade valentines. Although not all the rhymes are attributed, some of the well-known authors include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where."), Robert Louis Stevenson, and Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr. (known for penning the rhyme "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue/And found this land, land of the free, beloved by you, beloved by me.")
Bethany Roberts: Friendship Poems by Kids
"Today as Valentines go out / To people near and far / This one I'm sending right to you / To say how nice you are." Children's book author Bethany Roberts has a huge Valentine's Day section which includes poems illustrated with animated graphics, stories, songs and links. Just scroll about half way down this page for the Valentine Poem pages with names like " Valentine Poems," "More Valentine Poems," and (yup) "And More Valentine Poems!" Unfortunately many of the offsite links have gone bad.
Brownielocks: Silly Valentine Poems for Kids
Brownielocks presents a compilation of poems (attributed to a variety of authors) and a collection of original valentine rhymes written by Brownielocks herself. "Popsicles are cold / Cocoa is hot / I'm sending you this incognito / because I like you a lot." I got a big chuckle out of these rhymes, which Brownielocks calls "silly, corny, dumb." She also calls them limericks, but because they do not have an a-a-b-b-a rhyming pattern, they are not.
Love Poems: Valentine Poems
"Celebrate St Valentines Day with Shakespeare, Keats, Shelley and Lord Byron love poems. What can be more romantic than a Valentine poem or message using the words of a great poet?" Although most are probably too sophisticated for elementary students, these classic love poems will make great Valentine's Day reading in high school English class or to spark a conversation around the dinner table at home. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate." William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18.

Poem Source: Kid Valentine Poems
Not just another compilation site, Joanna and Karl Fuchs share their original poetry with us at Some of these poems are for kids to give to family members (moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) and others are for giving to kids. "Valentine I see you / A lot when we're at school / And every time I see you / I think you're very cool." The Fuchs generously allow personal use of any of their poems, but do ask for attribution that includes their URL. For more of the Fuchs' Valentine's Day rhymes, follow the link to the main valentine page near the bottom of this kid-specific page.

Stephenie Meyer, an Arizona mother of three, woke up June 3, 2003 with a vampire dream fresh in her mind. The dream was so vivid, that she decided to write it down so she wouldn't lose any of it. As the weeks past, she continued to flesh out her dream story, and within three months it had grown into a full-length young adult novel. A mere three months after finishing her first draft, she signed a book deal with Little, Brown and Company, and The Twilight Saga began.
Bella and Edward
This fan site was started by Michelle (no last name given) who concocted the idea for the site during her Digital Imaging class on October 7, 2006. It is chock full of fan art, fan fiction, book summaries, polls, quizzes, puzzles, and printable bookmarks (one of which I printed to stash in my borrowed copy of "Twilight.") Community components include a forum (which requires free registration) and a Facebook group with over nine thousand fans.
The Official Website of Stephenie Meyer
Managed by her little brother Seth, Meyer's official website includes both an official short bio, and a longer unofficial one written in first person: "I filled the ‘Jan Brady' spot in my family – the second of three girls." But the best reason to visit, is to read the rough draft of "Midnight Sun," the fifth (and still unpublished) book in The Twilight Saga.. After it was distributed illegally on the Internet, Meyer decided to post the 264-page partial draft on her own site, along with her thoughts about how upsetting the theft of her book was, and her musings about whether or not she will ever be able to finish the book.
Twilight Lexicon
True to its name, Twilight Lexicon is a collection of character bios, places, timelines, and vampire and werewolf mythology compiled by webmasters Alphie and Pelirroja. Much of the material comes from the books themselves, but there is also an archive of email Q&A between the site owners and Meyer, in which the author shares additional details about her characters. "Edward's full name is Edward Anthony Masen Cullen. His mother's name is Elizabeth and his father's name is also Edward. His human life in Chicago was fairly happy and uneventful."
The Twilight Saga is the official website from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, the publisher of Meyer's books. Best clicks are the printable reading group guides for "Twilight", "New Moon" and "Eclipse" (with promises for one for "Breaking Dawn") and a four-page printable trivia quiz ("What kind of vehicle did Charlie buy for Bella?") that also covers the first three books. Also of note are an asset builder where you can assemble custom desktop wallpaper or a Twilight avatar to represent you in the forums.

Twilighters Anonymous
Visit Twilighters Anonymous to get your fix of Twilight news, fun Twilight facts, oodles of video, a photo gallery of actors from the Twilight movie, and best of all, a user-edited Twilipedia. What's a Twilipedia? "Twilipedia, is our Twilight Series version of Wikipedia. If you're not familiar with Wikipedia, it is basically an online encyclopedia that is a collaborative effort of online editors. If you have extensive Twilight Series knowledge and writing skills, you can contribute to any section!"

The Great Depression of the 1930's had many causes, but it is commonly agreed that it began with the Wall Street Crash of October, 1929 when the U.S. stock market fell rapidly on huge trading volume. It is common to hear people comparing today's economic problems to the Great Depression. Are these comparisons legitimate or ridiculous? Learn more about the Great Depression and decide for yourself.

America in the 1930's
From the American Studies Program at the University of Virginia, America in the 1930's is a compendium of the decade's visual arts: film, print, radio, murals, paintings, posters and architecture. Don't miss the multimedia timeline, which color-codes events into four categories: Politics and Society, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, and World Events. Many of the items are linked to additional audio or video media, and each year is summarized with a Year in Review video.

Modern American Poetry: The Great Depression
In addition to a depression era art gallery and photo essay, Cary Nelson of Modern American Poetry offers an illustrated narrative about the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl disaster. "For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North. The simplest acts of life – breathing, eating a meal, taking a walk – were no longer simple. Children wore dust masks to and from school, women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile attempt to stop the dirt, farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew away."

The New Deal Network
Published by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and Teachers College at Columbia University, the New Deal Network is my pick of the week because of the depth of its collection. "At the core of the New Deal Network is a database of primary source materials – photographs, political cartoons, and texts (speeches, letters, and other historic documents) – gathered from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Library of Congress, and other sources. Currently there are over 20,000 items in this database, many of them previously accessible only to scholars."
PBS: Riding the Rails
"At the height of the Great Depression, more than a quarter million teenagers were living on the road in America, many criss-crossing the country by illegally hopping freight trains." This site, a companion to the PBS film of the same name, tells the story of why they left home and how they struggled to survive. Best clicks are the three Special Features (don't miss Striking a Chord: Railroads and their Musical Heritage) and the timeline which neatly summarizes the depression years of 1929 to 1940.
Posters from the WPA: Collection Highlights
I really enjoyed this vintage poster collection from the Library of Congress. I hope you will too. "These examples demonstrate the breadth and depth of the collection and the styles and content used by the WPA [Works Progress Administration] to advertise varied programs and campaigns." Because this collection features thumbnail graphics, it is much easier to browse than the rest of the online exhibit. The sample posters are organized into seven categories: Health and Safety, Cultural Programs, Travel and Tourism, Educational Programs, Community Activities, Federal Arts Programs, World War II.

Jigsaw Puzzles
Today's collection of interactive jigsaw puzzles vary from easy to ridiculously difficult: something for every age group and skill level. But, be very careful. They are addictive!!

Crazy 4 Jigsaws
Start with the Daily Jigsaw, or cruise to the gallery for jigsaws organized by topic. For toddlers and wimpy grownups (like me) puzzles start with the twelve-piece classic, but pros can choose from ten puzzle cuts including the 63-piece tessellation, the 154-piece squares and triangles (yikes!) or the 192-piece classic. At Crazy4Jigsaws you can play as a guest, but registered free members get to create jigsaws with their own images and send jigsaw e-cards. There is also a premium membership (for a monthly fee) that offers full screen play and the ability to save puzzles in progress.

Jigzone is the oldest of today's jigsaw puzzle sites, with a huge inventory of Java puzzles for all levels of play. For example, start with their puzzle of the day. Is the sixty-seven piece classic a tad too difficult or perhaps too easy? Click on Shapes and choose your own level of difficulty from among thirty-two choices, ranging from a six-piece classic (preschool easy) to 247 triangle pieces (for serious puzzle enthusiasts only!) In addition to being able to upload your own photos to make a custom puzzle, Jigzone also offers a variety of embedding options that allow you to put puzzles on your own site or blog.
In addition to a huge gallery of puzzles, what's unique about JSPuzzles is their leaderboard of solution times. When you are finished with your puzzle, JSPuzzle will tell you how fast you were, and the fastest time recorded for that very same puzzle. If you are good enough, your score will be entered on the leaderboard. I, unfortunately, am not. Peruse the images via topic, or from their list of most popular puzzles. All are available in difficulty ranging from nine pieces to 100 pieces.

Just Jigsaw Puzzles
Just Jigsaw Puzzles is my pick of the day because of the huge variety of options. To customize any of the 1800 puzzles, simply slide the difficulty indicator from easy (six pieces) to hard (150 pieces) and the puzzle will change before your eyes. Other options include your choice of six puzzle cuts. More choices, such as brightness, background, and whether to display a win animation (a little dance the pieces do when you've finished a puzzle), are hiding under the Options button that appears in the upper right-hand corner after you've started to play. Any choices made here are stored in a browser cookie, so they will still be there when you return to the Just Jigsaw Puzzles on another day.

The Kidz Page: Jigsaw Puzzles
These puzzles are perfect for younger kids because with a click of the mouse, you can preview the picture (use Picture Hint) or the shapes of the pieces (use Shape Hint). Difficulty ranges from six to forty pieces, and there is a nice variety of photos and cartoon images. In particular, their holiday selection really stands out, with dozens of puzzles for New Year's, Valentine's Day, St.Patrick's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas.

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Students And Teachers Against Racism announces their new website that offers insight into the Native American perspective to teachers and educators.

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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, 2004 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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