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Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 15:20:30 EST
Subject: Fwd: [rezlife] Some Indian news

Grant pays for computers in Blackfoot classrooms

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (AP) _ Two new computer centers aimed at bridging the technology gap 
will open at Stalker and Fort Hall elementary schools here in mid-February.

The schools will split $900,000 from a U.S. Department of Education grant over the 
next three years.

School children will use the centers during the day. After school, children and their 
parents will be able to use the Internet and computer software for improving job and 
English skills. They can use the evening times to do homework together, too.

The centers will be open on Saturdays to accommodate adults having to work during the 
week and children working on weekend homework.

Stalker principal Doug McCombie said nearly half the children at the school are 
Hispanic or American Indian. Both groups tend to score below national averages on 
standardized tests. Programs like this aim to improve those scores. Being given access 
to computers and the Internet will help them flourish in school and in the job market, 
he said.

McCombie said his school will add 10 computers to the computer lab by mid-February. 
After that date, it will put in 10 more computers each year and eventually expand into 
a neighboring classroom.

Fort Hall elementary principal Ray Boyd plans to undertake the same projects as 
McCombie with his school's center.

Boyd said he is looking forward to seeing more community members in the school. "It is 
getting some use now, but not all that much," he said.

He said while he will have the hardware and software for the center, he worries that 
he will not have the funding to maintain it after the grant money runs out.

Superintendent Dewane Wren said there is no commitment to keeping the centers running 
when the grant ends. He said the district will evaluate how successful the centers 
have been and work from there.

"We will do our best to keep them running," he said.

 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Spearfish student goes nationwide with plea to save buffalo

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) _ A Spearfish girl's attempt to restore buffalo to American 
Indian reservations has landed her an interview on "Nick News," a show on the 
Nickelodeon children's channel.

Katie O'Donahue, 8, has led a letter-writing campaign that started when she read a 
newspaper story about Indian children trying to bring back the buffalo to the 

She studied the topic and learned the historic importance of buffalo to Indians in 
terms of food and clothing. She also was spurred to action when she learned of the 
slaughter of buffalo leaving Yellowstone National Park.

"I had never realized that they were that good, so I decided to try to help bring them 
back," O'Donahue said.

She wrote to first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, to state and U.S. government officials 
and even to a few actors and actresses to seek help. Her brother Dan drew a buffalo on 
the outside of each envelope, and he, Katie and their mother, Connie, all colored the 

All told, O'Donahue sent out 1,100 letters, starting Easter weekend.

Several lawmakers have responded, and some supporters have sent donations, which go 
directly to the Inter Tribal Bison Cooperative. The group is supporting the girl's 
efforts. Among the celebrities who have written back is her favorite actress: Drew 

O'Donahue was a little taken aback the day of the interview.

She arrived at home one day to find a "Nick News" crew in the family's living room.

"They were there when I got home from school, and I didn't really know what I was 
supposed to do," Katie said. She overcame her nerves, however, and told her story.

The "Nick News" special is to air on Nickelodeon sometime this month.

 The Associated Press. All rights reserve

Federal government to protect tribal insignia

The federal government now has concrete steps on how to protect official American 
Indian tribal insignia, such as the Zia sun symbol.

Prompted by a law passed last year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been 
asking Indians to suggest how to establish a list of official insignia that would be 
protected from trademark.

The patent office, based on suggestions from groups across the country, put together a 
report recommending how the federal government can go about protecting the tribes' 

The report was released this week by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

"Some of the recommendations outlined in this study are good, concrete steps we can 
take to better protect official tribal insignia," Bingaman said.

The report recommends the patent office create a comprehensive database containing the 
official tribal symbols of all state and federally recognized Indian tribes.

It also affirms that the Trademark Act protects tribal symbols from being trademarked 
in a way that falsely suggests a connection with a tribe, or disparages a tribe's 

While Bingaman is pleased with some of the recommendations made in the report, he's 
disappointed it was not recommended that tribal insignia be added to the list of 
flags, coats of arms and other official symbols that are protected from trademarking.

"I believe adding tribal insignia to this list would put more weight behind the law, 
and ensure trademark legislation squarely on the side of Native American tribes who 
want to protect their insignia," he said.

The senator said he intends to write to the director of the patent office pressing for 
the addition of tribal insignia to the list of other official symbols.
 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Tribal colleges try to bring back the buffalo
By Wayne Ortman

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) _ The tribal college at Eagle Butte is preparing a two-year 
degree program that mixes a scientific study of the bison with its place in American 
Indian culture.

Si Tanka College, formerly known as the Cheyenne River Community College, is located 
not far from the Cheyenne River Tribe's 1,500-head buffalo ranch.

The associate of science degree program in bison production and marketing is part of a 
broad effort by tribes and tribal colleges in the northern Plains to bring bison back.

"In order to understand who we are, we have to understand where we've been," said Bull 
Bennett, who heads the science and natural resources department at Si Tanka. "The 
cultural components of our lives are as important as formal education. This is an 
opportunity to ingrain both."

Ten tribal colleges in the Dakotas and Nebraska are part of the Northern Plains Bison 
Education Network. All offer bits and pieces of bison management in their curriculum.

On the larger scale is the Intertribal Bison Cooperative, which represents 45 tribes 
in 16 states and works to restore bison for the tribes.

"We deal with issues of getting bison back on the reservation in a spiritual manner, 
but a lot of tribes see the economic way of doing things as well, because they 
realized long ago it was part of their economies. Not it can be that way again," said 
Trudy Ecoffey, of the bison cooperative in Rapid City.

Tribes may someday commercially sell bison meat, which is considered by some as a 
healthy alternative to beef.

"It could bring a healthy diet back to reservations, where heart disease and diabetes 
are major issues," said Ms. Ecoffey.

There are spinoff industries _ meat processing, tanning hides, or selling byproducts 
for art work, she said.

The college courses can be a stepping stone to four-year degrees, or jobs on the 
reservation in bison management, land management or other natural resources 

Part of the education effort involves helping students find jobs, either on or off the 

"The bison and bison world are so new we don't want them out there looking and hunting 
for jobs. We almost have to help them invent the jobs," Ms. Ecoffey said.

"What we realized early on is, it's great to have students take the course, but if 
there's no job at the end of the tunnel, it's for naught."

The growing interest in raising bison could lead to domestication of the animal if 
producers handle it like cattle, said John Phillips, an Extension Service specialist 
for the Cheyenne River Tribe.

"They'll run it in feedlots, cut off the horns, castrate it and use hormones and 
antibiotics. As that happens, the composition of the meat changes," Phillips said.

"What tribal colleges are doing is trying to show that bison can be handled in their 
natural wild state, both for cultural reasons and livestock production," Phillips said.

Bennett said he hopes to have the bison management class available for the fall 2000 
semester. A few students have expressed interest, but recruiting will increase as the 
program develops, he said.

"It will be more of an ecological program, not just a science of the animals but of 
ecosystem management, an understanding of range management, range concepts and 
wildlife ecology and the ties to the range and then the ties to the cultural 
component," Bennett said.

The bison program is one of four new degree programs being developed in Si Tanka's 
department of science and natural resources. The others are in general science, 
environmental science, and computer science, he said.

Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine 
of international copyright law.
           Tsonkwadiyonrat (We are ONE Spirit)

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