Saturday, May 23, 2009

Courses In Indigenous Language Education and Revitalization: University of Arizona

Are you interested in taking courses about Indigenous language education and revitalization? Enroll in two courses at the American Indian Language Development Institute at the University of Arizona. Receive 6 credit hours in four weeks!*

*June 8- July 2, 2009*

*AM Courses include:*

- LING 102/ 500 - Linguistics for Native American Communities
(Instructor: Stacey Oberly)
- LING 497B/ 597B - Morphology: Exploration of Ingenuity of Languages and Development of Materials (Instructor: Akira Yamamoto)
- LRC 480/ 580 - Native American Children's Literature in the Classroom
(Instructor: Angie Hoffman)
- SPH 441 - Introduction to Native American Language Immersion
(Instructor: Jennie DeGroat)

*PM Courses include:*

- LRC 410/ 510 - Indigenous Language Policy and Politics (Instructor: Mary Carol Combs)
- LRC 412/ 512 - Language and Youth Culture (Instructor: Leisy Wyman)
- LRC 428/ 528 - Curriculum & Instruction in Bilingual & Second Language Settings (Instructor: Lucille Watahomigie)
- LRC 560 - Documentary Filmmaking for Endangered Language Communities (Graduate level only and experience with computers required!) (Instructor: Phil Cash Cash)

Course descriptions are posted on-line (undergraduate<> or
graduate <>)!
Syllabi will be posted as it becomes available and will be downloadable by clicking on the appropriate course title. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 520.621.1068.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

American Indian Teacher Education Conference at Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University’s College of Education to host an American
Indian Teacher Education Conference on June 12-13, 2008

The Campaign for High School Equity, a coalition of leading civil
rights organizations focused on high school education reform, reported in
November that less than half of American Indian and Alaska Native students
graduate each year, compared with more than 70 percent of all students
nationwide. U.S. Department of Education data indicate that more than 70
percent of American Indian and Alaska Native twelfth graders read below
grade level, compared with 57 percent of white twelfth graders.

Northern Arizona University’s College of Education is hosting a
conference on what kind of preparation Indian Nation’s need and want for the
teachers of their children to help accomplish the goal of closing the
achievement gap between the academic performance of American Indian students
and the rest of America on June 12 and 13, 2009.

Conference keynote speakers are Dr. William Demmert and Dr. Thomas
Peacock. Dr. Demmert (Tinglit/Sioux) is one of the founders of the National
Indian Education Association and was the first U.S. Deputy Commissioner of
Education for the U.S. Office of Indian Education. He has also served as the
Director of Education for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and been Commissioner
of Education for the State of Alaska. Dr. Peacock is a member of the Fond du
Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and Associate Dean of the College of
Education at University of Minnesota Duluth. He is co-author of Collected
Wisdom: American Indian Education and The Seventh Generation: Native
Students Speak About Finding the Good Path.

A central concern of educational improvement is how to get teachers to
appreciate and respect traditional tribal values while at the same time
giving their students a world-class education that prepares them to live and
work in any society they choose. An ideal teacher for American Indian
students needs content knowledge about mathematics, science, history and
other subjects, and knowledge of teaching methodologies, including
methodologies that are congruent with how their Indian students learn to
learn at home and acknowledge tribal forms of learning.

The Navajo and other Indian Nations have rejected the historically
common educational policy of devaluing tribal cultures. For example, the
Navajo Nation’s “Diné Cultural Content Standards [for schools] is predicated
on the belief that firm grounding of native students in their indigenous
cultural heritage and language, is a fundamentally sound prerequisite to
well developed and culturally healthy students.” Empowering values of the
Diné individual to be taught include being “generous and kind,” “respecting
kinship,” “being a careful listener,” and “having a balanced perspective and
mind” as well as not being lazy, impatient, hesitant, easily hurt, shy, or
mad. Diné individuals are to respect the sacred, have self-discipline, and
prepare for challenges.

Two innovative schools working to improve student learning are the
Tséhootsooí Diné Bi'ólta' in Window Rock and the Puente de Hózhó dual
language school in Flagstaff that seek to revitalize and maintain the Navajo
language while providing their students with educational excellence. Part of
their success is based on parent buy-in as well as students learning
traditional values that include respecting their teachers and working hard.
Without parent buy-in the chance for success of any educational program is
very limited.

However, parents often have a very limited knowledge, based on
their own youthful school experiences, to judge what educational approaches
will help their children the most and can believe that traditional values
are best left behind. Educators must be both responsive to what parents want
while at the same time helping them to better understand what we know about
how to make schools better.

We need to develop teachers who can engage their students in a
rigorous study of local issues that tribal communities face, ranging from
diabetes and other health issues to issues of economic development, while at
the same time broadening their students’ horizons and engaging them to learn
more about both our nation and our world. And we won’t get or keep these
teachers we need unless we respect them and teach our kids to respect them.

More than ever, particularly during these hard economic times, we
need teachers who are committed to innovative and intellectually challenging
approaches to teaching Indian children as well as to an underlying set of
social and tribal values, for their commitment to encouraging Indian
students to act on their values. In addition, we need teachers who can help
students learn how to collect reliable data, to sift through that data for
relevancy, and to draw logical conclusions. We need teachers that motivate
their students not only reason but to act on their values in order to create
a better world for everyone, but especially for themselves and their

Conference co-chairs are Dr. Joseph Martin, NAU Associate Professor
of Educational Leadership and former Superintendent of Kayenta Unified
School District and Arizona State Superintendent of the Year, and Dr. Jon
Reyhner, NAU Professor of Education. Dr. Reyhner’s books include Teaching
American Indian Students, American Indian Education: A History and Learn in
Beauty: Indian Education for a New Century.

To learn more about Northern Arizona University’s Indian Education
Conference visit their website at
or contact Dr. Joseph Martin at (phone 928 523 5933)
or Dr. Jon Reyhner at (phone 928 523 0580).

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

International Conference On Understanding and Interrogating Fourth World Literatures

Nagarjuna Nagar
Andhra Pradesh
India – 522 510


7-9 SEPTEMBER 2009

Deadline for Abstracts: 10. 08. 2009

The Conference will cover the following areas: Native American Studies, Native Canadian Studies,Aboriginal Australian, Dalit, African & South African Studies. The term 'Fourth World' was coined by George Manuel and M. Posluns in The Fourth World: an Indian Reality (1974). This was further analysed in political terms by Noel Dyck in Indigenous Peoples and the Nation State: 'Fourth World' Politics in Canada, Australia and Norway (1992). The emergence of Native literatures such as Native American, Native Canadian, Aboriginal Australian, Maori New Zealandian and Dalit literature of India demands a scholarly probe into the evolution and consolidation of Fourth World people in socio, economic, political, literary and cultural aspects of life. The objective of the conference is to introduce and espouse Fourth World Identity that would interrogate the discourse of conventional epistemology.

Abstracts of Papers for presentation focusing on the above areas with inter disciplinary approach exploring diversity, multi culturalism, Inter Culturalism, History, Anthropology, Sociology & Economy of Natives/Aboriginals/Dalits/Africans/South Africans are welcome from colleagues all over the world. Abstracts should meet the approximate word account of 250-300. Abstracts may be submitted by email to the following address: or

Registration Fee

Local Delegates: Rs. 600.

Non Local Delegates: Rs.800

Foreign Delegates: Rs. 5000

The Registration fee covers accommodation, Break fast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Tea/Coffee for three days and the Conference Kit. The registration fee has to be paid through Demand Draft drawn infavour of Dr. Raja Sekhar, director International Conference payable at SBI (Nagarjuna University Campus Branch No:4793), Nagarjuna Nagar. Guntur.

*** Acharya Nagarjuna University is located in between Vijayawada & Guntur, the two popular cities in coastal Andhra Pradesh. The University is 17 K.M. from Vijayawada and 15 K.M. from Guntur. The nearest local airport is in Vijayawada and the International airport is in Hyderabad. The University is surrounded by world famous tourist places like Undavalli caves, Bhavani Island, Durga temple, Krishna barrage in Vijayawada. The world famous Buddhist site Amaravathi is 30 K.M. from Guntur.

For mailing abstracts and inquiries:

Dr. P. Raja Sekhar,
Director, International Conference
Dept. of English
Acharya Nagarjuna University
Guntur. India. 522510
Mobile : + 91 9704464829
Email :,


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 13-19, 2009: Five Key Indigenous People's Issues

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues for the Week of May 13 - 19, 2009

Taiwan: Head of Council of Indigenous Peoples Comes Under Fire

Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) Minister Chang Jen-hsiang (章仁香) came under fire from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators yesterday at the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee, who called her leadership style “arrogant and passive.”

KMT Legislator Kung Wen-chi (孔文吉), a Sediq who authored the bulk of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) policies promising to improve basic infrastructure for Aborigines, said that after one year in office, the CIP had failed to deliver on any of the items included in Ma’s platform and that Chang’s “passive” leadership was to blame.

“Many Aboriginal groups have said the Ma administration bounced its check when it comes to the promises he made them. But the CIP is the government agency that handles the matter,” Kung said.

“What have you done lately besides going to ribbon-cutting ceremonies?” Kung asked, adding that activists had called for Chang’s resignation on numerous occasions over the past year.


Chang, an Amis, said the proposal for budgets appropriation had already been submitted to the Executive Yuan for review, adding that many projects, including improving farm roads, had begun. Read more about the CIP defense here....

United Nations: Widespread Abuse Against Indigenous Peoples Persists, Warns Migiro

Indigenous peoples around the world continue to suffer from prejudice and marginalization, Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose-Migiro told the opening session today of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

“Powerful forces continue to take land from indigenous peoples, denigrate their cultures, suppress their languages and even directly attack their very lives,” warned Ms. Migiro.

“These acts violate every principle enshrined in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” she added.

Some 2,000 participants from around the world converged on UN Headquarters in New York to discuss furthering the implementation of the landmark 2007 Declaration, which gained momentum last month when Australia officially endorsed the document after being one of four countries to vote against it along with Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

The non-binding text sets out the individual and collective rights of the world’s almost 400 million indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues.

It also prohibits discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them, and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development.

“The General Assembly solemnly proclaimed that the Declaration is a standard of achievement to be pursued in spirit of partnership and mutual respect,” said Ms. Migiro.

The Deputy Secretary-General stressed that just raising living standards for indigenous peoples is not enough. “Protecting indigenous communities and their wealth of wisdom will not only enhance their lives, it will serve the interest of all people concerned about a healthy future for our planet.” Read more about United Nation's concerns here....

Australia: Link to Land Boosts Indigenous Health

Indigenous Australians who take on active roles in the management of aboriginal land have dramatically improved health, research shows.

A study taking in almost 300 indigenous adults aged 15 to 54 years in Arnhem Land found those who took part in "caring for country" programs performed better across a range of health factors.

They had more frequent physical exercise, a better diet, less obesity, lower blood pressure, less psychological distress, less diabetes and a lower risk of heart disease.

"These are the principle preventable diseases contributing to the (17-year) gap in indigenous life expectancy," said Dr Paul Burgess from the Menzies School of Health Research.

"Our findings suggest that investment in caring for country programs may be the means to generate sustainable economic development, and gains, for both ecological and indigenous peoples' health in remove areas of Australia."

The programs occur on aboriginal land and sea areas and they include border protection, quarantine, control of invasive weeds and feral animals, fisheries and wildfire management and sustainable commercial use of wildlife.

Dr Burgess said the finding should prompt a re-think of policies that encouraged indigenous people to centralise in large remote townships. Read more about aboriginal links to land here....

Peru: Army Calls For Amazon Protest

Peru's military have been authorised to give support to the police for 30 days in an escalating dispute over Amazon resources with indigenous groups.

The armed forces will intervene to ensure the operation of roads, airports and other essential services, Peru's ministry of defence said.

A day before the protesters said they would begin an insurgency to defend their rights, a threat later withdrawn.

Some 30,000 people have held a month-long protest in Peru's Amazon region.

There have been clashes with the police as the indigenous protesters call for the repeal of decrees passed over the past two years relaxing restrictions over oil exploration and development.

President Alan Garcia has said all Peruvians should benefit from the country's natural resources not just the "small group of people who live there".

"We have to understand when there are resources like oil, gas and timber, they don't belong only to the people who had the fortune to be born there," President Garcia said.

Under Peru's constitution the state is the owner of the country's mineral and hydrocarbon wealth. Read more of the indigenous peoples struggle in Peru here....

India: Dongria Kondh Shocked Over Mine Approval

The government of India has given the British mining company Vendata resources final approval for the controversial bauxite mine on the Niyamgiri Mountain of Orissa, India.

The Dongria Kondh were shocked to learn this on Friday, after receiving a phone call from the UK charity group ActionAid. It was the first time they heard of the decision.

“It has happened in a very underhanded way,” says Kumti Majhi, a leader for the Kondh.

Simply put, “this ruling will mean the complete destruction of the tribal groups – there’s no doubt about it”, says Babu Mathew, ActionAid’s director in India.

However, there is still some hope, following yesterday’s election results, that the project will tossed aside, or at least put on hold. Read more about the Dongria's struggle here....

Last weeks Five Key Indigenous People's Issues can be found here.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recognition and Reconciliation Legislation: B.C. First Nation Sessions

Regional Sessions on the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Legislation (May – July 2009)


TO: BC First Nations
From: BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), First Nations Summit (FNS) and Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC)
Date: May 11, 2009
Re: Regional Sessions on the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Legislation (May – July 2009)

Purpose of Regional Sessions

In February 2009, the First Nations Leadership Council and the Government of British Columbia released an outline of the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Legislation. This outline was discussed at the All Chiefs meeting on February 25, 2009, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs meeting on March 2, 2009 and the First Nations Summit meeting held March 4-6, 2009. The First Nations Leadership Council received a considerable amount of valuable feedback at those sessions and through subsequent meetings and correspondence with First Nations.

Following the discussions and resolutions at the assemblies, the First Nations Leadership Council requests and invites further First Nations input and direction on this important initiative at each stage of the process. We are therefore holding regional sessions over the next three months to seek advice and direction from First Nations on the key issues of “indigenous nations” and “comprehensive agreements”. These issues are important, as one of our main objectives is to establish a framework for the negotiation of comprehensive agreements that fully implement BC’s commitment to recognition of Aboriginal title and rights in the legislation.

In particular, the First Nations Leadership Council would like your advice on:

• Who should the BC government negotiate comprehensive agreements with?

• What should be the elements of comprehensive agreements? In particular, what provisions should be included with respect to shared-decision making and revenue and benefit sharing?

• What should be the role of an indigenous nations commission?

The First Nations Leadership Council will be presenting a number of options and considerations for review in relation to each of these questions. The advice provided by First Nations during these regional sessions will be used to inform the further development of the legislative proposal. Following the regional sessions, the First Nations Leadership Council intends to bring the legislative proposal to an All Chiefs meeting for review by the Chiefs.


Dates of Regional Sessions on the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Legislation

Regional Session #1:
Date: May 28, 2009

Location: Prince George Conference Centre

Regional Session #2:
Date: June 16 & 17, 2009 

Location: St. Eugene Mission Resort, Cranbrook 

Regional Session #3:
Date: June 24 & 25, 2009 

Location: Terrace, Location TBC

Regional Session #4:
Date: July 8 & 9, 2009

Location: Campbell River, Location TBC

Regional Session #5: 

Date: July 15 & 16, 2009

Location: Vancouver, Location TBC

Regional Session #6:
Date: July 29 & 30, 2009 

Location: Fort St. John, Location TBC

If you wish to participate in this process but you are unable to attend the regional session being held in your area, please feel free to attend a session held in another region.

We hope you can join us at these important sessions. Please do not hesitate to contact any of our offices if you have any questions.


The UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

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Monday, May 18, 2009

When Indians Play Indian Symposium: Texas Tech University

The work of Native American/cultural scholars such as Philip Deloria has demonstrated that from the Boston Tea Party, to the Camp Fire Girls, to the hippy movement, non-natives have appropriated Native dress from nearly the first moment they encountered them. However, that appropriation always reflected (and still reflects if the current Native American Mascot issue is any indication) a rather distorted and static view of Native people on the part of the dominant culture. Likewise, other work, some of it also by Deloria, has demonstrated that Native people have throughout the twentieth century lived outside the stock images of their culture held by whites. From their involvement in filmmaking, music, sports and their adoption of technology, Native Americans have, controlled their own interactions with the modern world in the same manner as the rest of society. Yet, society’s persistence in viewing them as relics frozen in time has often prevented non-natives from seeing this.

Now this symposium, and the edited volume it is designed to produce, intends to push these ideas even further. We intend to examine instances throughout the history of North America in which Native People have purposely “played Indian,” that is to say acceded to the caricatured version of themselves created by whites in order to obtain their ultimate ends from whites. Each paper presented in the symposium and the edited volume will study a specific situation or encounter in which Native People consciously acceded to white cultural expectations of what a “real Indian” is in order to gain the leverage by which to extract from the dominant culture their particular objectives.

Email a 300-word abstract and a brief cv to Dr. Ethan A. Schmidt-Texas Tech University by August 15, 2009 Completed papers should be sent to Dr. Schmidt by October 30, 2009.

Dr. Ethan A. Schmidt
Dept. of History
Texas Tech University
Box 41013
Lubbock, TX 79409


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

10th Annual National Native Title Conference: Australia

The 10th Annual National Native Title Conference will be hosted by the Wurundjeri people in Melbourne on the 3-5 June 2009.

Convened jointly by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and Native Title Services Victoria (NTSV), the conference will emphasise the first principles of Native Title through workshops, speeches and discussions under theme Spirit of Country, Land, Water, Life.

Speakers include Tom Calma, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner, a keynote address by Commonwealth Attorney General, The Honourable, Robert McClelland, NTSV Chairperson Graham Atkinson, Victorian Attorney General, The Honourable, Robert Hulls, Justice Tony North and Marcia Langton. Chairperson of the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA) and winner of the 2008 Human Rights Medal Les Malezer will deliver the annual Mabo Lecture on Friday 5 June.

More information:

Conference contact: 02 6246 1161,

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