Archives For Education

1. Decolonizing Means Starting to Think Like an Indian

2. Chairperson Kenneth Meshigaud: NMAI’s Meet Native America Series

Kenneth Meshigaud, tribal chairperson, Hannahville Indian Community.

3. Incommensurate Indigenous Rights?

4. Moon in the Red on Tax Day for First of Four Total Lunar Eclipses

The moon will turn red as soon as its last sliver is consumed by Earth in a total eclipse. In an astronomical rarity, there will be a total of four lunar eclipses, one every six months, this year and next.

6. 5 Native Scholars Who’d Make Great TV News Pundits



1. Facing Off: Man in Redface Goes Toe-to-Toe With AIM Member


2. Video: Reconnecting With the Sacred Water of Mde Maka Ska, Lake Calhoun

YouTube/Courtesy John Gwinn
Native students reconnected with the water at the Mde Maka Ska Gathering of Canoe Nations.

3. What the US Is Likely to Contribute to the UN HLPM State-Outcome Document

4. Notes From a Single Mom: Teach Your Children That Hard Work Is the Root of Money

Lynn Armitage, ICTMN contributing writer who lives in Northern California, and enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.

5. Interior Announces First Transfer to Cobell Education Fund for Native Students

Christina Rose
Jazmine Good Iron (Standing Rock), left, and Adonica Little (Ogalala), right, sit in front of Oglala Lakota College in Rapid City, South Dakota.

1. Taking Her Place Within the Circle of Women

2. Tipi, Models in Skimpy Faux Native Garb at California Gaming Conference

Women dressed in faux Native American attire at the gaming developers conference in San Francisco stand outside a tipi as part of their marketing campaign

3. Transnational or Indigenous?

A portrait of Terri-Lynn Swain and the Vancouver skyline by photographer Nadya Kwandibens. Kwandibens’ ‘Concrete Indians’ series of photos depicts Natives in urban settings.

4. Video: Man on the Street: Do Native Americans Pay Taxes?

5. Mashantuckets Give $40K to Help Stop Diabetes

6. MTV Blog Picks Supaman, Crow Dancer and Rapper, as Artist of the Week

Quadruple threat: Christian ‘Supaman’ Parrish raps, dances, drums, and plays the flute..

7. Oneida Nation Says ‘Redskins’ Efforts to Discredit its Leadership Will not Work

8. Putting the Yurok Tribe First; Red Reflects on Her Career

Courtesy Abby Abinanti
Abby Abinanti, Yurok Tribal Chief Justice: “We’re creating a professional class of lawyers and advocates.”

9. At Least 108 Missing in Landslide Near Stillaguamish, Sauk-Suattle Territories

An aerial photo shows a chunk of earth missing from the hill facing the Stillaguamish River where a landslide swept away homes and people on Saturday March 22, 2014.

10. 10 Foods and Spices That Fight Diabetes

Flickr Creative Commons/pulaw
Fish cooked in apple cider vinegar with ginger, peppers, onions and garlic.

Group calls for changes in education system

BOSTON — A Massachusetts business group is calling for changes in the state’s education system in light of a report that shows more than two-thirds of the state’s employers report difficulty hiring appropriately skilled employees.

The report by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education scheduled for release Monday says bolstering the state’s public schools is viewed as a critical step in producing more workers with the right skills to succeed in a technology driven economy.

The Boston Globe reports that the survey, part of which is included in the 120-page report, found that 69 percent of the 334 employers who responded said they experienced difficulty hiring employees with the appropriate skills, while 84 percent said school systems require moderate to major changes.

The survey was conducted by MassINC Polling Group.

College launching gap year program

MEDFORD, Mass. — A new Tufts University program hopes to remove the financial barriers keeping cash-strapped students from taking a year off after high school to travel or volunteer, offering an opportunity to explore different communities before starting college.

This “gap year” program launching this fall will pay for housing, airfare and even visa fees, which can add up to $30,000 or more.

Students selected for Tufts’ 4+1 program can defer their admission for a year while remaining tied to the university through video chat and email. Tufts will work with volunteer organizations to create packages that fit students’ financial needs.

Holly Bull, president of the Center of Interim Programs, says students are able to see the world beyond the bubble they grew up in and get a better perspective of their future.

1. Be Smarter About Education! The Ph.D Crisis in Indian Country

2. Bad River Ojibwe Tribe Reclaims Amnicon Bay

Mary Annette Pember
Clock is ticking down for the Amnicon Bay Association, a group of 18 non-Native people leasing land from the Bad River Ojibwe Tribe of Wisconsin. The lease is up in 2017 and the tribe says it will not be renewed.

3. 3 Studies: Poverty Is Toxic to Childhood Learning

4. H-Bomb Guinea Pigs! Natives Suffering Decades After New Mexico Tests

Los Alamos National Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons
Trinity Site explosion, 0.016 second after explosion, July 16, 1945. Note that the viewed hemisphere’s highest point in this image is about 200 meters high.

5. Tiwahe Foundation Awards 13 American Indian Family Empowerment Fund Grants

6. What the NotYourTonto Twitter Storm Looked Like [24 Images]

HipPocketSoul @IndigeniusIdeas

#tcot This right NOW on #NotYourTonto

7. Standing Against GMOs Is Standing for Sovereignty


8. Barrel-Racing Navajo Woman Still Chasing Rodeo Success

Courtesy Patrice Yazzie
Yazzie during a barrel-racing competition

9. Shoni Schimmel Eyeing the Final Four, Then the WNBA

University of Louisville
Shoni Schimmel, second from right, is flanked by her teammates and graduating seniors after being honored on Native Appreciation night at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. The Cardinals lost to UConn, 68-48.

10. Cherokee Nation Industries Earns Global Accreditation

 in Aerospace Manufacturing

11. Flame On! Watch Kenny Dobbs Dunk Over a Man Who’s on Fire


12. Shoshone-Bannock Tribe Hosts National Basketball Tournament

13. ‘Not in Vain’: Family Vows to Finish Murdered Inuit Student’s Research on Violence

Sharon Armstrong, of Ottawa, takes part in a vigil on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, for Loretta Saunders and to call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

1. Mohawk Andra Rush on Building Three Business, Revitalizing Detroit and Tribal Ties

Courtesy Detroit Manufacturing Systems
Andra Rush told Reader’s Digest: “Driving the truck is something guys do—it’s rough, but it isn’t something a woman can’t do. But running a trucking company is much more than picking up and delivering; it’s marketing and tracking and organization. Women are wired to multitask.”

2. Talking Stick 2014: Drama, Dance, and the Electric Powwow in Vancouver

A performer on stage at the 2013 Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver, Britich Columbia. The 2014 edition of the fest is now underway.

3. Running for Native Youth

Millie Titla
Mary Kim Titla, San Carlos Apache and executive director of UNITY, Inc., at the start of the 26.2 mile course.

4. Indigenous Leader Acquitted of Weapons Charges Connected to Protest

Courtesy CICA
Rio Blanco community members and COPINH protest the hydroelectric dam project, May 2013.

5. Winter Fun, Native Style: Play Snowsnake at New York’s Finger Lakes
Participants enjoy a game of snowsnake (Courtesy Kevin Vickers)

6. Video: Octopus Not Ready for Its Closeup Wrestles Camera Away From Diver

Octopus attacks!

7. AMERIND Risk Increases Customer Base with Small Tribes, Gaming Enterprise

Courtesy AMERIND Risk
CEO Derek Valdo in front of AMERIND Risk’s headquarters on the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico. His higher mission is to create affordable and sustainable insurance products that foster economic development in Native communities.

8. Sage-Burning Student Who Was Smoked Out of Classes May File Human Rights Complaint

Aboriginal People’s Television Network
Eleventh-grade student Stephen Bunn tells the Aboriginal People’s Television Network about being threatened with suspension for smelling like smudge.

9. We’re In the Funding, White House Confirms Full Contract Support Costs

Alask Rep. Don Young: “Tribal health programs have always been underfunded, and it is time for our federal government to hold up its end of the bargain.”

10. Chickasaw Softball Legend Considered ‘Unhittable’ Named to Okla. Hall of Fame

Chickasaw Nation
Vernon Straughn was honored in the Oklahoma Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in January.

11. Destroying Sacred Sites for Coal



When is enough, enough? By Felina Silver Robinson

Pressure: a constraining or compelling force or influence: the social pressures of city life; financial pressure.

Each of us, adult and children alike, face daily pressures.  It’s not easy for any of us. But imagine the struggle of an undeveloped adolescent mind swarming with hundreds of thoughts through their academic day. Did I get it right? How can I stand up and talk in front of all of my peers when I can’t even talk to my best friend? Do they make fun of me when I’m not looking? Why don’t they like me? Why does my teacher pick on me all the time? Why can’t I talk to my teacher? Why do they give us so much homework? Will my parents be mad at me if I can’t get everything done? Will my teacher punish me if I can’t finish the work? Everyone of these questions are ones that I’ve heard first hand from my own children, their friends, or children that I’ve listened to during other school related activities. We’ve all been there. It just seems that it might be harder now than it use to be. Expectations are so much higher now because not only has life changed so much, but curriculum as well as the expectations of teachers and the Board of Education.  In the New York Times article “Expecting the Best Yields Results in Massachusetts” it is stated that “If Massachusetts were a country, its eighth graders would rank second in the world in science, behind only Singapore”.  If you think that’s something what do you think about the fact that Massachusetts eighth graders also did well in mathematics, coming in sixth, behind Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. The United States as a whole came in 10th in science and 9th in math, with scores that were above the international average. If you were a school aged child at this time, wouldn’t you feel a lot of pressure to keep up?  Not every child across the board is good at math or science.  In fact, I know that my three youngest children struggle a lot with math.  They all love science though and work hard to do their best at it.  Is there best good enough though? It seems that there is more emphasis within the school systems to push forward the children that are strong in Math and any other area of academics. But not enough effort is spent on children that are not as good. There is a nice one hour math tutoring program where high school students come and “help” with math.  But the help that is given isn’t necessarily the help that is needed.  Many parents don’t have the finances to send their children to private tutors so they fall through the cracks.

The biggest pressure I find is “homework”.  Every child from 6th – 8th grade is swimming in homework.  6th graders suffer the most because they are the least ready.  In 5th grade they spend so little time doing homework that by the time they reach 6th grade, they are shocked by all that must be done. The day is a long one for all kids, but once homework comes into the picture everything changes. Each kid has at least 5 subjects of homework, with an expectation of no less than 30 minutes for each subject.  So that is at least 2.5 hours of homework every day.  However, the majority of assignments take at least 1 hour to complete.  Most children don’t want to leave things undone because they know it will have to made up somewhere down the line.  So then the 2.5 hours of homework turns into the realistic amount of 5 hours. When you think about the fact that our kids have a 6.5 hour school day coupled with 5 hours of homework, mixed in with a school play practice here, and a sports activity there, and don’t forget enrichment classes.  Where is the time to socialize or just have some breathing space? Often when a child needs help or didn’t get to finish the homework, they are punished by having to stay indoors and there goes the only real time they may have had to socialize for the day.

So our kids end up coming home tired, overworked, picked on and frustrated because there was not enough time to have any worthwhile fun.  Add all of this up over time and you get kids with emotional breakdowns, kids who feel like they just can’t take it anymore, kids who feel they have no friends because they are always being picked on an no one ever does anything about it. This often leads to kids wanting and feeling the need to “commit suicide”.  The recent article about the 3 Teen Suicides in Newton. Really floored me and I realized that I really don’t want that too happen to any of my children.  Heck, it shouldn’t happen to anyones children.  So what are we going to do to fight this battle? What can we do? Reading about what you can do, what you can say, and how to understand what our children are feeling can really help.  But more than that, letting our children know that they are not alone and there is someone around that understands what they are feeling and going through really helps. Boston Children’s Hospital circulated the following information: Suicide and Teens, Just so you know, children all over the world are feeling the stresses of homework.  Read: Homework overload is stressing our children who need more time to chill-out and relax.  We need to arm our children and ourselves with ways to deal with all of life’s pressures so that we are prepared to face all that life has in store for us. I found another article helpful titled: “Resolving Student-Teacher Conflicts“. This article helps your child build the necessary skills to feel comfortable approaching an adult that they may not be so comfortable trusting or relying in.  Everyone faces and interacts with people everyday that makes them uneasy and causes them to be fearful.  Having the right tools to help them work through their feelings are key to having successful relationships throughout their lives. I find it best to face problems head on as they arise for it becomes emotionally dangerous to hold onto things that cause fear or pain.

I will say one more thing about homework, which is my personal resolution to the homework issue. We are all aware of the fact that homework is used as a method of testing what our children are being taught in the classroom as well as an extension of what there isn’t enough time to finish teaching in the daily classroom.  My feeling is that since there are 5-6 subjects in elementary school, that homework is rotated so that there are never more than two subjects of homework per evening and never more than 45 minutes worth of work per subject.  Reading of course would continue to happy nightly, but within reason. For example: Monday’s and Thursday’s – Science and Social Studies, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s – English and Math and Friday’s – Health and Spanish.

Aside from the regular pressures, then there is the peer pressure thing. If you’re different, the kids are always going to let you know about it.  No matter how much time you spend on anti-bullying, it’s always going to happen and their going to be afraid to tattle on the bullies.  If you’re a cool different, all is well and the kids will shake your hand or hug you.  If it’s a bad or awkward different than kids just come out and tell you about it and they don’t care if it hurts your feelings, and they will pick, pick and pick on you and at you. Please make sure that you always check in with your kids about bullying. Read: How to talk to your kids about bullying.

We need our children to be as well rounded and level headed as possible. If they are overwrought due to stress and other things then they aren’t really the children we know and love. We see aside of them that we shouldn’t have to see.  Children are supposed to be given an opportunity to live as children until they are meant to face young adulthood, which is truly once they reach high school.  High School prepares our children for College life and that is another story altogether. They are children once and should not grow up not knowing what being a child is. Don’t hold them back from what they are ready to face, but don’t push them forward unprepared.

I leave you with a last note.  What you can’t handle on your own, reach out for a helping hand. Those with knowledge and experience are always willing to share it. But often don’t know their services or expertise are required. The child you help today may be the adult that ends up helping someone else tomorrow.



Dudley police chief pushing to change law for almost a decade

DUDLEY, Mass. — A Team 5 Investigation uncovered teachers taking sexual advantage of students and now a police chief is speaking out about his frustration with Massachusetts law allowing many of those teachers to escape criminal prosecution.

Team 5′s Kathy Curran has more on why efforts to change that have gone nowhere on Beacon Hill for years.

Watch NewsCenter 5′s report

“If you’re in a position such as mine and you get presented with something that should be changed, I feel an obligation to try and change it and try to protect the victims in these cases,” said Dudley Police Chief Steve Wojnar.

Wojnar is calling for Beacon Hill lawmakers to take action after Team 5 Investigates exposed how many teachers caught in sex scandals with their students can’t be prosecuted if the student is 16 years old, or older.

“It’s extremely frustrating. If you’re in a position of authority over minors under the age of 18, you certainly have a direct amount of responsibility and impact on their future, in some way, shape or form, so you have to refrain from any of these types of relationships,” he said.

In 2004, the Dudley Police Department began an investigation into 31-year old Amber Jennings, an English teacher at Shepard Hill Regional High School who had an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old former student.

Wojnar says prosecutors couldn’t charge her with sexual assault because the law doesn’t prohibit sexual relationships between students and teachers.

“When you found out did you just shake your head?” asked Team 5 Investigates’ Curran.

“Yes, and this is the reason why I’ve been trying to work on something for almost eight-10 years now because something really needs to change in that vein,” said Wojnar.

Wojnar is backing legislation introduced by Sen. Richard Moore of Uxbridge that’s intended to bring Massachusetts in line with other states, making it a crime for people in positions of authority to misuse their authority for sexual purposes.

“The legislation basically covers anybody, either a private or public institution of any type, it could be teachers, social workers, it’s anybody in a position of authority over minors,” Wojnar explained.

One example is Leominster High School teacher Molly Crane who surrendered her teaching license after records showed she allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. She even went as far as giving the student a cellphone and setting up a Facebook page so she could communicate in secret, forcing the student to continue the relationship through intimidation and coercion.

Crane couldn’t be criminally charged either and she denies the allegations.

“Do you think it should be a crime if a teacher uses his or her position to take advantage of a student?” asked Curran.

“Absolutely, it’s very troubling when anybody takes advantage of their relationship with students to take advantage of those students,” said Mitchell Chester, commissioner of the Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

But attorney Alice Peisch, chair of the Legislature’s joint committee on education told Team 5 Investigates she isn’t so sure. “Whether or not losing one’s job is a sufficient deterrent to that activity is something I’d have to give more consideration to,” said Peisch.

“Why do you think this legislation hasn’t been passed?” asked Curran.

“I have no idea. I’d be willing to talk to anybody who has a problem or issue with it in any way, shape or form,” said Wojnar.

The legislation won’t be taken up by the judiciary committee at the earliest until March. Critics tell Team 5 they believe too many defense attorneys in the Legislature are preventing it from passing.

1.  Idle No More Lives On: Rifles vs. Songs

2. Circling Raven Golf Club Director Named PGA ‘Merchandiser of the Year’
Circling Raven Golf Course in Worley, Idaho

3. 6 New Year Nomination Battles for Obama’s Native-Focused Nominees

Pictured clockwise, from top left, are: Brad Carson, Michael Connor, Keith Harper, Yvette Roubideaux, Vince Logan, and Diane Humetewa.

4. New Congressional Budget Reimburses Tribal Contract Support Costs

5. To Finance a Community Farming Project, Michigan Tribe Taps Indian Land Capital Company

6. Devery Jacobs, Cara Gee Lead Native Nominees for ‘Canadian Oscars’

Devery Jacobs photo by Thosh Collins; Cara Gee photo courtesy Gary Goddard Agency
Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, left, and Cara Gee are nominated for Canadian Screen Awards.

7. IHS Confused Whether Indian Diabetes Funding Faces Another Sequestration

8. Tester, in Line to Be SCIA Chair, to Introduce Indian School Language Bill

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) is introducing the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act.

9. ‘Stop Racism’ Headdress Stirs Appropriation Debate at Fashion Week


10. Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall to Visit Canada in May

Associated Press
Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles

11. Native Innovation Delcares Tech Lawsuit Dismissal a Victory

Native Innovation/Facebook
A community member listens to Jerome Tsosie as he explains how the Diné Keyboard works on an Android OS device across social networks and email.

12. ‘Redskins’ Player Says Team ‘Probably Should’ Change Name

Associated Press
‘Redskins’ Cornerback DeAngelo Hall

13. Washington State Bill Would Help Clear Fish Wars Convictions

Ted S. Warren/AP
Nisqually Elder Billy Frank Jr., left, and Quinault member Ed Johnstone display a photo from the late 1960s of tribal fishermen Frank and Don McCloud on the Nisqually River during the Fish Wars. The two are standing on Frank’s Landing, the Nisqually elder’s family home north of Olympia and a hub of the fish-ins of the 1960s and early 1970s.