Please see attached:
From Confederated Umatilla Journal, Volume 24, Issue 8
Education is our tradition, get your kids to school
The most precious gift Creator may give to us is children. Children perpetuate our existence and as the saying goes, they are our future. Our future is dependent upon a well-educated people.
Since time began for humans our personal development and education has allowed us to not only survive, but also to prosper in our homeland. From the moment a child enters the world we teach them how to be a good human. We do our best to teach them right from wrong. We teach them how to eat and what to eat. We teach them to respect their parents and elders. We teach them language, our stories and culture. We teach our children how to hunt and gather foods and medicines. We teach them life skills that will allow them to take care of themselves and those around them.
Yet, I hear from our children that miss school, chronic absenteeism, that education is just not part of their family’s tradition. I say, quite to the contrary, education is Our Tradition. Withouth a good education, we cannot provide for our families or ourselves. The skills we attain that allow us to hunt and gather are as important as the skills of reading, math, science, and history. The formal education a child receives in secondary and post-secondary schools will allow a child to grow and become a productive member of our society. A secondary and post-secondary education strengthens all of us as a People.
Data gathered by the National Indian Education Association tells us there continues to be an achievement gap, starting around 8th grade. Native children are struggling with reading, but have improved their mathematic scores in the past ten years. high School graduation rates across Indian Country are at 82% compared to 94% for white students. In a recent report from ECONorthwest titled “The Condition of Education for Members of Oregon’s Indian Tribes,” there were 3,210 federally enrolled Native students in Oregon with a high school graduation rate of only 55%. This is 27 percentage points below the national average. When looking at the leading factors that cause such a dramatic decrease in graduation rates we need to look no further than the fact that 33% of our students are chronically absent from School. This means these students are missing more than one in 10 school days per year.
Who is at fault for allowing our children to miss school? The child? The parents? The teachers? The principal? The government? it all begins and ends at home. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure their child goes to school. It is the responsibility of the government to provide a safe environment, such as a school, for the child to learn. It is the responsibility of the school staff to provide the teaching. It is the responsibility of the child to attend and take part in their learning process. All together we are responsible for building a thriving society.
August marks the waning days of summer and school will begin this month. Now is the time to talk to your student about the importance of going to school. Now is the time to set expectation and standards for your student. Our history has shown the more hunting and gathering skills a child learns, such as map reading, understanding weather, terrain, animal habits, plant cycles, and land management, the stronger they become. We know that the better education our young have the better off they and we will be in the future.
Education is Our Tradition.
From “Remember Native Americans” website:
Native Student Success Convening
Communities Sharing their Stories of Success
This week’s Native Student Success Convening is a wonderful and rare opportunity for all the program grantees to get together and share their experiences.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continues to partner with Potlatch Fund through Native Student Success and by providing funds that can be re-granted based on community-identified needs – this allows us to reach more families than by direct grant-making alone. In this expanded role, Potlatch Fund acts as an “intermediary” between the foundation and our Native American tribes and Native nonprofits, administering the funds and facilitating collaboration by sharing best practices and providing grantees with direct technical assistance. Grants are also awarded to programs that contribute to student outcomes and wellbeing, provide opportunities that empower students, and include school-to-career pathways that provide Native students with educational opportunities.
Now in its fourth year, Native Student Success continues to support Tribes and Native nonprofit organizations providing culturally relevant programs that improve the quality and alignment of early learning and early elementary education for children and engage parents, families, and elders in a way that leads to increased support of their children’s education.
For more information about Native Student Success program and to see the list of 2015 Grantees visit the Potlatch Fund website www.potlatchfund.org/grants
Photo Courtesy of The Piegan Institute.
Cuts Wood Academy is nationally recognized as a successful and effective model for Native language immersion with a multi-generational approach. The Academy’s mission is to use the Blackfeet language as the tool (not object) of instruction within a local context to produce fluent speakers of the language.
The Piegan Institute
Potlatch Fund Board and Staff raise their hands to Language Preservation and Education grantee The Piegan Institute that recently hosted a two-day Blackfeet language summer camp for 50 plus community youth, ages 6-12.
The camp celebrates the Cuts Wood Academy 20th Anniversary and kicked off the North American Indian Days Celebration, which happens each year on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
The two-day camp features five rotating components.
Potlatch Fund congratulates The Piegan Institute on a successful summer! For more information about The Piegan Institute please see their website www.pieganinstitute.org
1942 Indian Warrior
Photo Courtesy of Joel Romero
|2015 Silent Auction Native Artist Profile
John Romero is an Eastern Shoshone artist who actively donates artwork, time and expertise to Native non-profit organizations. Since his early years growing up and living on the Wind River Reservation in Ft. Washakie, Wyoming John has been creating different types of media.
He attended several schools while moving frequently as a youth and developed his own style and techniques choosing to use acrylic media while maintaining his skills with pencil, ink, and limited water color and oil. He also has recently developed skills in jewelry making as well as creating basic dancing regalia.
Although attending some formal schooling for the Arts, he is mostly self-taught. John enjoys creating images with a story line and directing attention to life struggles and positive teachings. “I outline in my mind what I want to say on the canvas and create the image that best represents the story. Although I mostly paint images of the Plains and Southwest, I have been introduced to a whole new life force in the Northwest and enjoy the various water creatures and The Great Journey of the Coastal Clans and Families.”
John has collaborated with Tachini Pete on several drum projects. This year they have donated a drum that Tachini made and John painted. This beautiful piece (shown to the left) will be featured in the 2015 Fundraising Gala’s Silent Auction.
For more information about John’s art and work check out his website http://jrsarts.wordpress.com
For more information on providing art or cultural experiences, please use the new email address: email@example.com to contact staff organizing the event.
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