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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

The Cheyenne River Youth Project®: Developing Potential
The Cheyenne River Youth Project® (CRYP), established in 1988, has become an essential youth and family services organization, integral to the Cheyenne River Reservation’s support system, in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Our organization has become vital not only because we provide innovative youth programming and family services, but also because we are a grassroots initiative tailored to meet the needs of our community. With over 369 family memberships reservation wide, CRYP represents local problem solving for critical community concerns.

FIRST NATIONS FILMS distributes and creates award-winning television Aboriginal documentary films and videos for, by and about First Nations people. Our exclusive educational native programs are shared with schools, universities, libraries, organizations and other groups and institutions throughout the world. Please visit our website for a complete list and video highlights from each film. Buy online at the website.
Iroquois Nationals
The Iroquois are the originators of the modern day game of Lacrosse. Shrouded in time, Lacrosse was played among the Confederacy long before the coming of the Europeans to the shores of North America. It can be said that when the Europeans first came to America, Lacrosse was one of the most popular and widespread games played across the continent and with many variations. The long stick game played internationally today belongs to the Iroquois.
Let’s Move! in Indian Country
Let’s Move! in Indian Country is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Sure, this is an ambitious goal. But with your help, we can do it.
About N7
Nike N7 is our commitment to bring sport and all of its benefits to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the USA and Canada. Through activity, competition and play you can unleash the power of your generation. You can grow up active and healthy. Sport gives you self-confidence, enabling you to be a force for positive change in your community.
Join Let’s Move! in Indian Country!
Throughout the history of our Nation, Native communities have provided some of the best examples of healthy lifestyles. To build on the strength of this tradition, and to promote good nutrition and physical activity across Indian Country, the Let’s Move! in Indian Country collaboration was formed as a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative.
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Free Blogging Sites
If you've ever thought about dipping your toe into the blogosphere, there are dozens of free blogging platforms to choose from. I've rounded up my five favorites for your consideration. Blogging can be a tool of self-reflection, or a way to express your talents. There are almost as many reasons to blog as there are blogs. So pick a platform, and explore, but proceed carefully with children, as many blogs are not G-rated.
The free Blogger/BlogSpot platform is owned by Google. It is very easy to use, has great analytics, and excellent photo gallery integration with Picasa. Another feature they offer is the ability to use your own domain name such as "" instead of "" Although Blogger doesn't charge for this, it will cost you an annual fee (around $12 depending on where you purchase it) to own your domain.
"LiveJournal is a community publishing platform, willfully blurring the lines between blogging and social networking." And the social aspect of LiveJournal is its strongest feature, because it is very easy to keep up with recent posts from your LiveJournal friends. But some consider it a gated community that doesn't interact much with the outside world. With a directory of schools listed by country and state, classrooms can reach out to each other via this blogging tool. But my usual note of caution is still applicable, as many blogs that are listed by school are still not child-friendly.
Although Squidoo doesn't offer traditional blogs with time-stamped posts appearing in reverse chronological order, they do offer a free platform for self-expression in the form of one-page micro blogs. First step at Squidoo is getting acquainted with the lingo. Each Squidoo article is called a lens, authors are lensmasters, and each lens must contain a minimum of three modules. When setting up your lensmaster account, be sure to leave Safe Browsing set to G (which is the default.)
Tumblr is a relatively new platform that encourages "reblogging" as a way to build community. About half of the posts at Tumblr are photos. The other half are a mix of text, links, music, quotes, and video. Tumblr has good integration with Facebook and Twitter, supports hi-res photos, and has great tools for mobile and email posting. As with almost all of the Internet, you need to be cautious of age-inappropriate content here, as there is no built-in G-rating filter.

"We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time." is a free online hosting service for blogs, while it's sister site ( provides a downloadable open-source software package for hosting elsewhere. I like their free hosted version for students and other beginner bloggers because WordPress skills learned here can later be applied to any blog running WordPress software. And because WordPress is the world's leading blogging platform, there are millions of them!

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Free Online Classes
What's happening in online education is earth-shattering. If you have the motivation and desire to learn, you can now audit free classes taught by distinguished professors at many of the world's most prestigious universities. In addition to the fly-on-the-wall experience of watching a lecture on video, many of these courses include exercises, reading assignments, and online discussions with other students. And today's selections are not limited to college-level material, as some of these sites also provide middle-school and high-school classes.

Academic Earth
AcademicEarth is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to a "world class education." College-level video classes and supplemental materials (such as exercises and reading assignments) are available from universities such as Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard and Yale. They are listed by subject, university, or instructor, and are also available as Playlists. Playlists are themetic collections of lectures (usually from a variety of colleges) picked by the AcademicEarth editors. Recent playlists included The Sound of Music, Money Makes the World Go Round and You Are What You Eat, with about a half-dozen lectures in each list.

Apple: iTunes U
More than 400 universities (including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, and UC Berkeley) distribute classes and lectures through the Apple iTunes Store. Additionally, you'll also find content from organizations such as MoMA, the New York Public Library, Public Radio International, and PBS stations. And it's not just MP3 audio files, either. Classes can include PDFs, ebooks, slideshows, and movies. To get started, download the free iTunes software (for Mac or PC) or to learn about mobile access, watch the video "Learn how to access iTunes U on your iPhone or iPod Touch."

Khan Academy
Kahn Academy is a non-profit educational organization that began simply enough in 2004 when founder Sal Khan was remote tutoring his cousins in middle-school and high-school math, and found that making YouTube videos to explain the concepts was the best use of his time. Now, seven years and 2100 videos later, Khan Academy has delivered more than five million lessons all around the world. Topics include all levels of math and science, although they are working to expand into other subjects such as history.

Open Course Ware Consortium
The Open Course Ware (OCW) Consortium site is a directory of courses housed at member's websites, so there is a lot of diversity in layout and formats. But the concept is great, and participating American institutions include MIT, Tufts University, and University of Michigan. The mostly college-level courses can be searched by source, subject and language, but there is a warning that not all OCW sites are included in the search database, so if you are looking for a specific class from a specific source, it is better to visit the directory of OCW websites, and search directly from the member's website.

Open Yale Courses
"Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn." Remember the use of the word "introductory" is relative! Classes include Freshman Organic Chemistry, The American Novel Since 1945, and Roman Architecture. Some classes include study groups (an online discussion board with other virtual students) through the third-party site OpenStudy.

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Spiders are eight-legged creatures that produce silk and have venomous fangs. They are found in every continent expect Antarctica, and rank seventh in species diversity among all organisms! Although frequently associated with webs, there are some spiders that do not spin webs. Learn more at today's site picks
Burke Museum: Spider Myths
Spider expert Rod Crawford, Curator of Arachnids at Burke Museum in Seattle, WA, says that nearly all "widespread information about spiders is false." This collection of spider myths, misconceptions and superstitions has grown out of his desire to educate us. The first myth he tackles is that spiders are insects. Spiders, however, have eight legs and belong to the Class Arachnida, while insects have six legs and are in the Class Insecta. "Arachnids are as distant from insects, as birds are from fish. It really is not a trivial distinction!"
Enchanted Learning: Spiders
For young explorers, Enchanted Learning has dozens of spidery crafts, rhymes and printable worksheets. My favorite clicks are the Label the Spider Anatomy printout (with definitions for spider parts such as spinnerets, pedicel, abdomen and cephalothorax) and the Tarantula fact sheet. "The biggest tarantula is Pseudotherathosa apophysis, which has a leg span of about 13 inches (33 cm). These arachnids have a very long life span; some species can live over 30 years."
Kidzone: Spiders
Kidzone has lots and lots of spider activities (worksheets, printable puzzles, coloring pages) plus an excellent Spider Fact slide show and cool, creepy photo gallery. "All spiders are predators and many will eat other spiders. Scientists have found spiders in amber (Did you watch Jurassic Park?) that dates back to about 2 million years. Because spider's skeletons are quite small and fragile it is difficult to find whole fossilized spiders."
Spiderz Rule
"Several families of hunting spiders, such as jumping spiders and wolf spiders, have fair to excellent vision. The main pair of eyes in jumping spiders even see in color." Australian teacher and webmaster Glenda Crew publishes the huge Spiderz Rule site that is chock-full of spider facts, photos, spider bite first aid, spider Q&A, poems, stories submitted by children, worksheets, art projects, and even recipes (for chocolate spiders and spider cookies!) For classroom activities and printable worksheets, look in the left-hand menu for Spider Lessons. Spider Identification
This site provides an identification guide to American spiders from the dangerous and venomous (such as brown recluse and black widow) to low-risk spiders (such as the huntsman and trap-door spiders. In addition to details about each spider's toxicity, physical description, and habitat facts, there is a first-aid page that describes spider bite symptoms and gives illustrated first-aid instructions. also offers free printed copies of their spider chart via mail (if you live in the States.)

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Online Scavenger Hunts
This week's site selection is dedicated to improving search skills. Some of today's sites feature a single daily question (or search challenge), and others offer topic-based research questions often called online scavenger hunts. Good hunting! Question of the Day
These are fun, topical questions, but often very easily answered with a single search. For example, on the day of the royal wedding, the Ask Question of the Day was "Will Kate Middleton become Queen?" To see the answer displayed along with the Ask results, simply click on the question or the "See the Answer" button. Oh, and the answer is "If Prince William does become King, she would be the Queen Consort."
Blackwell's Best: Internet Scavenger Hunts
Vicki Blackwell brings us lots and lots of scavenger hunts. A few have fallen victim to link rot (URLs that no longer work) but there are so many goodies here, I just had to ignore the few problems. The first batch (listed at the top of the page) is hunts created by teachers in the Tangipahoa Parish School System in Louisiana. Next comes a PowerPoint presentation that consists of research questions called "mini-hunts." The third section is a collection of both on-site and off-site scavenger hunts, some from sites such as Education World, Scholastic and Cyberbee.
Education World: Internet Scavenger Hunts
Education World has organized their large collection of printable scavenger hunts (in PDF format) by month. For example, May includes Memorial Day Memories, April Showers Bring May Flowers, Honoring our Veterans and fourteen other topics. In addition to the one-page activity sheets with questions and links to web resources, Education World provides online answer keys.
A Google a Day
"There's no right way to solve it, but there's only one right answer." This fun, daily scavenger hunt from Google is special for several reasons. First, the daily questions are created so as not to be easily found with a single search; it usually will take at least two searches (sometimes more) to find the answer. Another unique part of Google a Day is that it is powered by Deja Google. Calling it a "wormhole inspired time machine", Deja Google is a snapshot of yesterday's Google results, so that other players will not spoil your fun by having their answers appear in your Google results.

Trivia Café: Question of the Day
"What is the name of the metallic alloy composed of copper and zinc?" "At the age of twenty-three, in 1740, she became Empress of Austria. During her forty year reign she had sixteen children, one of whom was Marie Antoinette, future Queen of France. Who was she?" With both daily and weekly trivia questions, along with subject categories (such as Animals, History, Mathematics) there are abundant opportunities for search practice here at Trivia Café.

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Computer Questions and Answers
Oh, the joys and terrors of technology! We've all been through it. Sometimes computers can be so useful, and other times they can be so frustrating. To help with your technology hurdles, here's my personal list of favorite tech gurus, each with a huge online archive of questions and answers. Like the Internet itself, these free websites run 24/7 to help find answers when you need them. Each guru also sends a free newsletter to keep you updated on new topics. I recommend signing up for a few of them.
Ask Dave Taylor
Dave Taylor covers a lot of territory, answering questions about iPhones, Facebook, Unix, Limewire, HTML, blogs, CSS, building websites, Mac OS, and even "D) None of the Above." Site search is located in the right-hand menu, where there is also a listing of popular articles, a category listing, and a big red Ask Dave button. When you get to the Ask Dave page, you have three choices: search his site, post your question at a for-a-fee site endorsed by Dave, or scroll all the way down the page to send Dave a question for free (as long as you don't check the "Help! I need immediate assistance" button, which is fee-based.)
Ask Leo
"Helping people with computers ... one answer at a time." Leo Notenboom is a retired Microsoft software engineer who has been answering tech questions online since 2003. Best way to find an answer is to use the search function (scroll down the front page to see it.) Popular and recent answers are listed in the right-hand column, or peruse answers listed by category (look for the Categories link near the bottom of the page.) Although Leo does cover a variety of Apple topics, and many questions are applicable to all platforms, he fields a lot of Microsoft, Hotmail and Windows questions.
Jake Ludington's Digital Lifestyle
Jake Ludington is a multimedia expert, and answers questions about digital video and podcasting, as well as computer productivity tools, Macs, iPhones, and social media such as blogging and Facebook. His "Ask a Question" form is easy to find (in the upper left-hand corner of every page), as is his site search (upper right-hand corner.) Many of his tutorials include video.
Mac Most
"Get the most from your Mac, iPhone, iPod and Apple TV" with Gary Rosenzweig's huge library of how-to videos, podcasts, and articles. Gary is a computer book author, computer game programmer, and producer and host of the MacMost video series. With more than 550 video episodes on topics such as security, connectivity, backing up and GarageBand, you are very likely to find the Mac answers you need. In addition to using the site search to find your answer, be sure to check out the MacMost forum where you can ask your own question, or help other visitors by answering their questions.

Word Tips
Computer book author Allen Wyatt runs a network of helpful sites focusing on Microsoft Word and Excel. Since the format of this review only allows me to display one URL, I chose the Word Tips site for versions 2007 and later (also known as Ribbon Interface Word.) To access the other sites, mouse over the Tips.Net tab in the horizontal menu near the top of the site.

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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.
Changing Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination, racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.
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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, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.
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The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
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