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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

Welcome to Indians of the Midwest, Past and Present
When the American public is presented with media accounts, public policy, and school curriculum concerning Indian people, the reaction may be curiosity, confusion, and even skepticism. How can we obtain a better understanding of such information? This site addresses this question by highlighting recent research of scholars who have provided new insights about the cultures and histories of Indian peoples in the Midwest. Academic research can show how modern-day issues have roots in regional history and culture and provide necessary background for understanding contemporary issues.

All My Relations Arts
All My Relations Arts honors and strengthens relationships between contemporary American Indian artists and the living influence of preceding generations, between artists and audiences of all ethnic backgrounds, and between art and the vitality of the American Indian Cultural Corridor.
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Lunch Notes
Although encouraging notes from home, folded into a sack lunch, are not a new phenomena, it is a trend that is exploding. In fact, some moms are buying cutesy stationary and pre-fab note cards to slip between the peanut butter sandwich and apple. Today's sites, however, all offer free lunch note templates you can download and print yourself.
Buttoned Up: Free Printable Lunchbox Notes
Buttoned Up (started by three sisters and a best friend in 2004) is a site dedicated to living an organized life. On this page, they have two sets of lunch notes. The first is for kids seven and under, with simple text and big illustrations. The second is for kids eight and over. These use a wordier approach, and can be used to remind kids to take out the trash when they get home, or remind them of a babysitting obligation.
Cap Creations: Free Printable Lunchbox Note Cards
"Hope you are having a great day!" "Where did you get all that cuteness?" Cap Creations is an online jewelry store with an associated blog filled with all sorts of crafty, mommy things: these colorful lunch notes among them. To print them out, click on the image, then right-click to open in a new browser tab, and print. In addition to these notes, there are also lunchbox joke cards and bible verse notes. Look for those links (in green) right after the photograph showing these note cards cut and on a platter.
Chickabug: School Lunch Notes
Chickabug is an Etsy store featuring personalized paper and party goods. These free printable lunch notes are offered on their blog. There are four pages of them: two in boyish colors, and two in girly colors. Each pair includes one set with pre-printed messages, and the other completely wordless so you can craft your own message. "You make me smile when ..." "I am proud of you because ..."
Pinterest: Lunch Notes
Pinterest calls itself an "online pinboard" and is a cross between a micro-blogging platform, photo sharing site, and social bookmark manager. This collection of hundreds of lunch notes was created by dozens of users. You will notice there is some repetition, but even so, there are lots of good links to be discovered. Click on the thumbnail to visit the pin. From there, you will be able to click through to the bookmarked site.

Reading Rockets: Lunchbox Notes
"Small love notes tucked inside a lunch box or book bag can really bring a smile to your child's face. In addition to reinforcing reading skills, you're also modeling the power of writing. " These beautiful note papers feature artwork by well-known children's book illustrators, such as Julia Denos, Henry Cole, and David Small. They are fun and whimsical, and will surely be a hit with your young reader.

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What is Halloween?
Boo! Happy Halloween! It's that time of year again, when goblins and witches roam our streets in search of trick-or-treat candies. But, what exactly is Halloween? This week's sites explore the origins of the holiday and how Halloween celebrations have changed over the years.
Halloween History
This two-page mini-site lacks illustrations, but has a spooky-looking design that suits its subject. This article covers the story of the Jack O'Lantern ("The term is not particularly common outside North America, although the practice of carving lanterns for Halloween is.") and the history of Halloween costumes. "Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in America in the early 1900s, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States."
Halloween is Here: Halloween History
Halloween is Here tells the story of Halloween, including why we bob for apples, wear masquerade masks, and why witches ride on broomsticks. "The witch is a central symbol of Halloween. The name comes from the Saxon wica, meaning wise one. When setting out for a Sabbath, witches rubbed a sacred ointment onto their skin. This gave them a feeling of flying, and if they had been fasting they felt even giddier." Other sections of the site offer rancid recipes, ghost stories, costume ideas and safety tips. Halloween
"Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts." presents Halloween with links to related topics such as History of the Jack O'Lantern and full-length video episodes about monsters, vampires, and Dr. Frankenstein.
Pumpkin Patches and More: The History of Halloween
Although the font makes this Pumpkin Patches and More article look as though it is only for young kids, it is appropriate for all ages, as it is well-written and includes a bibliography of sources and references, including one from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Celtic Studies. "Since much of the history of Halloween wasn't written down for centuries; some of it is still sketchy and subject to debate. But the most plausible theory is that Halloween originated in the British Isles out of the Pagan Celtic celebration of Samhain. It goes back as far as 5 B.C. It was believed that spirits rose from the dead and mingled with the living on this day."

True Ghost Tales: The History and Origins of Halloween
For older students and grownups, True Ghost Tales focuses on the spooky side of Halloween with stories about ghosts, vampires, ghouls, witches, and monsters. This article about the origins of Halloween, tells about its Celtic origins, and also explores (see the links at the bottom) the history of trick or treating and the wearing of costumes. "Halloween's origins go all the way back to Ancient times with the Celtic festival of Samhain. This was the Celt's version of a New Years Eve celebration honoring the end of summer and harvest time, and marking a period of cold, darkness, and death of winter. Celts believed that this end of the year time marked the time in which the barrier between the living and the dead became thin."

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History of the Internet
On October 29, 1969, the first transmission over the ARPANET computer network was sent from UCLA to the Stanford Research Institute. Although the system crashed after sending just two letters (first "L" then "O") this was the beginning of the communication revolution that became to be known as the Internet.

Computer History Museum: Internet History
This illustrated time line from the Computer History Museum (of Mountain View, CA) starts in 1962, and continues until 1992. In the sixties, the AT&T Picturephone (imagined in 1939, and displayed at the New York World's Fair in 1964) is the phone company's vision of the future of communications. "But the four-year old Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense, a future-oriented funder of ?high-risk, high-gain' research, lays the groundwork for what becomes the ARPANET and, much later, the Internet."

Online MBA: History of the Internet
Although this infographic doesn't convey the detailed information available at the other sites, its visually appealing format makes the data easy to understand. Scroll down for a snapshot of major events in the Internet's history, such as the launching of Hotmail in 1996, and the standardization of Wi-fi technology in 1999. The infographic can also be embedded in your own website or blog. Just grab the code at the bottom of the page.

Sean McManus: A Short History of the Internet
Sean McManus, a British technology author, gives us a one-page time line of the Internet's development that takes us from 1969 ("The first node is connected to the internet's military ancestor, ARPANET.") to 2010 ("In February, Facebook announces it has 400 million active members. That's larger than the population of the US and UK combined.") Related blog posts include A Short History of File Sharing and A Short History of Bands Online.

Six Revisions: The History of the Internet in a Nutshell
This one-page Internet history is also in time line format. It's spiced up with illustrations, and published by Six Revisions (a blog for web developers). At the bottom of the post are links to related content that includes The History of Web Browsers (an infographic) and links to external sources for more research into the history of the web. "In 2003: Skype is released to the public, giving a user-friendly interface to Voice over IP calling. Also in 2003, MySpace opens up its doors."

Walt Howe: A Brief History of the Internet
"When the late Senator Ted Kennedy heard in 1968 that the pioneering Massachusetts company BBN had won the ARPA contract for an 'interface message processor (IMP),' he sent a congratulatory telegram to BBN for their ecumenical spirit in winning the 'interfaith message processor' contract." Walt Howe, webmaster and librarian, tells an "anecdotal history of the people and communities that brought about the Internet and the Web," and answers the frequently asked question: Did Al Gore invent the Internet?

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Columbus: Hero or Villain?
In recent years, a variety of groups have argued that Christopher Columbus was responsible for genocide against Native Americans, and semantically, didn't "discover" anything at all! Check out the following websites for arguments both for and against the celebration of Columbus Day, and then ask yourself the question, "Was Columbus a hero or a villain?"
Ayn Rand Center: The Christopher Columbus Controversy
This letter-to-the-editor, by Dr. Michael Berliner of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, has been published in a variety of newspapers. In it he argues that honoring Christopher Columbus is akin to honoring Western civilization. "It was Columbus' discovery for Western Europe that led to the influx of ideas and people on which this nation was founded ? and on which it still rests. The opening of America brought the ideas and achievements of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and the thousands of thinkers, writers, and inventors who followed."
Bio: Christopher Columbus Biography
This two-page Columbus biography includes a section (on page two) about his status as a hero. "Columbus' legacy is a mixed one. He has been credited for opening up the Americas to European colonization as well as blamed for the destruction of the native peoples of the islands he explored." The transfer of ideas, people, plants and diseases between the New and Old World had both benefits and downfalls. The European horse allowed Native Americans to switch from a nomadic lifestyle to a hunting model, but Old World small pox killed millions of Native Americans. Columbus Day
In this online debate, Contender won against Instigator (by a vote of 49 to 44) with his defense of the celebration of Columbus Day as a national holiday. You can follow their debate rounds, which include links to articles and YouTube videos, but the debate is over, and voting is no longer allowed. In response to Instigator's charge of genocide, Contender replied, "My opponent again must prove malicious intent in celebrating Columbus Day. Even if a hundred genocides occurred, if he cannot prove harmful intent in celebrating the holiday, then he cannot win the round." Columbus Controversy
"There are three main sources of controversy involving Columbus's interactions with the indigenous people he labeled 'Indians': the use of violence and slavery, the forced conversion of native peoples to Christianity, and the introduction of a host of new diseases that would have dramatic long-term effects on native people in the Americas." This article concludes that Columbus Day "continues to be an important way for all Americans to learn more about the Age of Exploration and the enormous transformations it provoked."
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Human Evolution
The science of human evolution is called physical anthropology or paleoanthropology. These scientists study ancient fossils in their search for what makes us human. The first discovery of modern paleoanthroplogy was the skull of a Neanderthal man in 1856 in a valley east of Dusseldorf, Germany.
BBC: Human Beginnings
"Just over three million years ago, an ape in Africa began to walk on two legs and took the first step on the long road to civilization. Along the way, we discovered flint tools, fire and farming. But what is it that makes us truly human?" BBC has a great collection of articles (just click your way through the section headings to find them) as well as games and quizzes (look in the left-hand column under Prehistoric Life and in the right-hand column under Related Links.)
Becoming Human
The Institute of Human Origins is a research and education institute now associated with Arizona State University. Start with the Interactive Timeline feature, that takes you back seven million years to explore evidence found by paleontologists all around the world. The oldest discovery on the time is the skull nicknamed Toumai, and found in 2002 by Michel Brunet and his team in Chad. For printable classroom handouts and online games, visit the Learning Center.
PBS: Evolution
Built as a companion to the seven episode 2001 PBS television series, this site still has lots of valuable content. Whether you explore via the "For Students" link or jump into any of the episodes from the front page, you'll reach the same videos and related web activities. For a newer version of the website (which includes full video from more recent shows), click on the "Visit NOVA's new evolution site" banner. Be sure to watch Early Humans in Pop Culture. "For 150 years, pop culture has offered distorted images of our ancestors."
Smithsonian: Introduction to Human Evolution
"Human evolution is the lengthy process of change by which people originated from apelike ancestors." From the National Museum of Natural History, this mega site is chock-full of goodies for both students and teachers. This page is a short introduction to human evolution and paleoanthropology. Other great clicks are the Mystery Skull Interactive, Fun Facts ("While other primates are furry, human skin is exposed to the elements.") and a clickable human evolution glossary.

UC Berkeley: Understanding Evolution
"The central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor, just as you and your cousins share a common grandmother." Understanding Evolution is a collaboration between the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education. It includes an online course (Evolution 101), a searchable archive of articles and tutorials, and teaching materials for grades K-12 and college undergraduates.

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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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