Tuesday, July 1, 2008

College funding for native american students

If you are an enrolled member of any federally recognized indian tribe, or a descendent of any grandparent who is an enrolled member, and have a batchelor's degree, you can apply for this program for native american students who want to become teachers.

Students who are accepted into the Sapsik'wala program, get all their tuition paid for the year, and they receive a monthly living stipend of $1,775, a book allowance of $250 per term and $1,500 for a laptop. Altogether, the program runs into the $50,000 range. But if the students teach at a tribal or Title VII school, for the same amount of time that they were supported, the federal government absorbs the loan.

Read more about this college aid for native american students

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Makah whale hunt proposal under consideration

Public comments will be accepted until July 8, 2008.

The National Marine Fisheries Service conducted the study of the possible
impacts of Makah resuming gray whale hunts, in response to the nation's
request for a waiver of the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is
accepting public comment on the study until July 8.

NMFS developed alternatives to consider based on Makah's proposal and on
comments submitted at public hearings in 2005. One of the alternatives is
to take no action on Makah's request - essentially, to deny it. But
"divorcing" the Makahs from whaling would erode cultural identity and
increase tensions "between [the] Makah Tribe and others, including [the]
federal government," the study states.

In allowing the Makahs to hunt in the manner they propose, "Makah
whale-hunting rituals, spiritual training, songs, dances and ceremonial
activities could increase over current conditions, and regularly recur,
reinforcing Makah cultural identity," the study states.

Read more about the proposed gray whale hunt

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Native american actor Adam Beach to back new films

Adam Beach, a native american actor from Manitoba, plans to leave Law and Order: SVU at the end of the season to concentrate on new projects.

One of Canada's most prominent First Nations film stars has a plan to get more aboriginal stories into movie theatres and onto the airwaves.

Beach has announced he is setting up a new film company and will take a high-profile role in a new internet cable company.

Read more about Adam Beach's new projects.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Great houses vs. cliff dwellings

Chaco's main draw is Pueblo Bonito, one of the most extensively excavated and studied sites in North America. Center of the Chacoan world and occupied from the mid-800s to 1200s, it was a four-story masonry "great house" with more than 600 rooms and 40 kivas.

As we learned from our college-student ranger-in-training, at the height of its culture, about 1050 A.D., Chaco was probably the ceremonial, administrative and economic center for far-flung communities connected to it by 1,200 miles of roads.

We climbed through the now-deserted rooms, stooping to enter doorways, as he pointed out original wood-beam ceilings and explained how structures were often oriented to solar or lunar events and to cardinal directions. The only restoration has been shoring up a few parts damaged by a rockfall.

The tour was free (Pueblo Bonito is the only site at Chaco where such guided tours are available) and you can also wander on your own, picking up written guides at each of the sites.

Mesa Verde's major ruins are in alcoves set into cliffs under natural overhangs, and that means more huffing and puffing to see them: Many require strenuous climbs on canyon trails and up ladders, through tunnels and down into below-ground kivas.

Mesa Verde's classic period was between 1100 and 1300, later than Chaco's. Cliff Palace is Mesa Verde's largest and best-known site, and North America's largest cliff dwelling, with 150 rooms (you climb five 8-10-foot ladders and can descend into one of its kivas). It was partially restored in an earlier era when people thought it would be nice to fix them up so visitors would get a sense of what they were once like.

Unlike at Chaco, we never had a moment alone at Mesa Verde. To protect the sites and regulate crowds, you must visit most of the sites with a ranger on a timed tour, for $3 per site.
...Read more about Chaco and Mesa Verde cliff dwellings and great houses.