Kathleen Sebelius: New Initiatives To End Bullying

bullyingSource: Indian Country Today Media Network

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the following statement about new initiatives to end bullying in schools across the country.

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month—when individuals, families, schools and communities across the nation help to raise awareness about bullying prevention. Bullying remains a widespread problem with nearly 30 percent of adolescents in the U.S. reporting some experience with bullying, whether as the victim, the bully or both. An infographic developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration highlights important facts and information about bullying prevention. We know that there are a number of emotional effects that can result from bullying such as depression and anxiety. There are also physical effects as well, like headaches and stomachaches, and sleep problems. In a special supplement of the Journal of Adolescent Health supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, we see how researchers continue to investigate the complex relationship between bullying and suicide.

But help is available. I am very pleased to highlight a number of exciting activities and initiatives that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be launching during Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention

Media coverage of social issues can have a widespread impact on how communities understand and address problems. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has developed media guidelines conveniently located in the newsroom of stopbullying.gov. This guidance offers help to journalists, bloggers, and others to engage in responsible reporting on this important topic.


Later this month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will release a mobile app for parents to help start conversations with their children about bullying. This app will be available for both Android and Apple platforms.

Bullying Prevention Training Center

This revamped section of stopbullying.gov provides a one-stop-shop for training materials for educators and community leaders. These new materials, developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be available in late October in our training section on stopbullying.gov.

Successful bullying prevention can’t happen alone! We work closely with the Departments of Education, Justice, and Agriculture, and others, through the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention; including supporting stopbullying.gov, which continues to be an excellent resource for bullying prevention information.

We are collaborating with these offices to support youth engagement. Across the country, youth are encouraged to talk about bullying by organizing bullying prevention social and educational events through youth organizations in their communities. Youth can report back on these activities through our Tumblr page.

The Department of Education has issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague letter that provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to address bullying of students with disabilities.

With all of these resources available, it’s a great time to consider how you can help raise awareness about bullying and take action to stop it. Find out the latest policies and laws that are in your state. Teens can find inspiration by visiting our Tumblr site. Tell us what you are going to do by engaging on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And follow along with Bullying Prevention Awareness Month Activities at #StopBullying13.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/21/kathleen-sebelius-new-initiatives-end-bullying-151850

List of schools that changed Native American nicknames

(Photo: Seth Perlman, AP)

(Photo: Seth Perlman, AP)

Source: USA Today

Debate over whether the NFL’s Washington Redskins should change their nickname (see: Christine Brennan’s column) continues to grow.

Here is a list of notable colleges that changed Native American mascots and/or nicknames in recent history:

– Stanford University – Indians to Cardinal (1972)

– Dartmouth – Indians to Big Green (1974)

– Siena – Indians to Saints (1988)

– Eastern Michigan – Hurons to Eagles (1991)

– St. John’s (N.Y.) – Redman to Red Storm (1994)

– Marquette – Warriors to Golden Eagles (1994)

– Miami (Ohio) – Redskins to RedHawks (1997)

– Seattle University – Chieftains to Redhawks (2000)

– Louisiana-Monroe – Indiana to Warhakws (2006)

– Arkansas State – Indians to Red Wolves (2008)

– North Dakota – Formerly dropped Fighting Sioux in 2012. No nickname currently.


– Illinois – Removed Chief Illiniwek as official mascot in 2007. Athletics teams are still called Fighting Illini.

– Bradley and Alcorn State – Both schools stopped using Native American mascot but have retained their Braves nickname.

– William and Mary – Adjusted Tribe logo to remove feathers to comply with NCAA. Athletics teams are still called Tribe. (2007)

Of note: Utah (Utes), Central Michigan (Chippewas), Florida State (Seminoles) and Mississippi College (Choctaws) all appealed successfully to NCAA after being deemed “hostile and offensive.”

Each cited positive relationships with neighboring tribes in appeal.

Area students named to Dean’s List at U.W.


Source: The Marysville Globe

Students from the Marysville/Tulalip area have been named to the Dean’s List at the University of Washington for Spring 2013 Quarter.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must have completed at least 12 graded credits and have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (out of 4). Students are notified that they have achieved this distinction when they receive their grades for the quarter.

The students are listed alphabetically by hometown.


Vicente Aberion, junior

Dominic Alhambra, freshman

Angela Ament, senior

Jake Blackman, sophomore

Blaine Bowman, senior

Casey Brown, senior

Stephen Calkins, freshman

Courtney Coombs, junior

Kyle Daggett, junior

Thomas Esser, senior

Mathew Featherstone, junior

Katelyn Frazier, senior

Claudia Furmanczyk, junior

Gabriel Gribler, senior

Alyssa Grisham, sophomore

Jade Hanson, senior

Nicholas Harris, sophomore

Reed Headrick, sophomore

Brian Hecox, senior

Samuel Hipp, senior

Tara Howes, senior

Eric Huswick, senior

Sam Josephsen, junior

Mikko Juan, sophomore

Emily Krueger, junior

Mikaela Lance, junior

Alicia Malavolti, senior

Aleksandr Melnik, senior

Taylor Olsen, senior

Gerard Pascual, sophomore

Cierra Purdom, sophomore

Joshua Rasmussen, senior

Brian Ronk, senior

Andy Sandhu, senior

Tyler Smith, senior

Zachary Smith, junior

Minh Ta, sophomore

Riley Taitingfong, senior

Ashley Tande, freshman

Nina Tran, junior

Alex Troupe, junior

Lakrista Vantrece, sophomore

Kate Vavrousek, junior

Hailey Zurcher, junior


Amanda Koerber, senior

Nicholas Marshall, junior

SMCF grant will help fund study of Native American education

GRAND RONDE — The education status of Oregon’s Native American youth will be the focus of a new, one-of-a-kind study thanks to a grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.

Aaron Newton, Polk County Itemizer Observer

Kathleen George

Kathleen George

GRAND RONDE — The education status of Oregon’s Native American youth will be the focus of a new, one-of-a-kind study thanks to a grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.

The Chalkboard Project, a Portland-based education advocacy group, received a $71,000 grant from SMCF to study the state of education among Oregon’s Native American population.

The sweeping study will look into the achievement outcomes of K-12 students, graduation rates and higher education status in eight of the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon.

This spring, the Chalkboard Project approached SMCF for a grant and SMCF staff saw it as an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

“This was an unusual and exciting request for Spirit Mountain Community Fund,” SMCF Director Kathleen George said. “After discovering it and looking into it, we saw that really this would be the first-of-its-kind study in the state.”

The Chalkboard Project, partnering with Pacific Northwest-based consulting firm ECONorthwest, has conducted similar studies — most recently publishing a report on Oregon’s K-12 education system — but none solely focusing on Oregon’s Native American tribes.

The eight tribes involved in the study are spread across Oregon, from Coos Bay to Burns and Klamath County to Umatilla County.

The divergent nature of Oregon’s tribes and its relatively low population has led to the general inattention when education is concerned, George said.

“I think they’re largely out of sight and out of mind for the education leadership of our state,” she said. “Our kids are widely dispersed across the state. You’ll have several hundred Warm Springs kids; maybe a hundred, maybe less in Burns Paiute.”

The Chalkboard Project’s goal for the study is to inform each tribal government on their students’ progress and achievements in the public school system.

Reports will be provided specifically for each tribe, with only data on their students, and a master report will be prepared for Oregon legislators at their 2014 session.

The study is now under way, but sifting through the data to produce quantitative information is where the trouble lies, said Dr. Andrew Dyke, economist with ECONorthwest.

“The big hurdle is figuring out who the population is, because of confidentiality concerns it’s not as simple as going to the tribes and asking who their kids are,” he said. “The next step is to quantify the high level outcomes and take that information back to each tribe for feedback.”

Will Endangered Seattle School Murals Be Saved?


Courtesy Andrew Morrison

Richard Walker, Indian Country Today Media Network

SEATTLE – For months, murals depicting Chief Joseph, Chief Seattle, and Natives in regalia and on horseback have been threatened with demolition—but a grassroots effort to save them may yet prove successful.

Supporters say the murals on the outside walls of the Seattle School District’s Wilson-Pacific Building are more than art. They are symbolic of the indigenous presence in the Pacific Northwest’s largest city.

Artist Andrew Morrison, Haida/Apache, painted the murals to honor the area’s Native peoples and historical leaders, such as Chief Si’ahl, the Duwamish-Suquamish leader for whom the City of Seattle is named.

Since 1974, Wilson-Pacific has been the home of American Indian Heritage School, now called American Indian Heritage Middle College High School. The school is located in Seattle’s Licton Springs neighborhood, which takes its name from the Lushootseed word “Liq’tid” (LEEK-teed), for the reddish mud of the springs that are still visible today.

So when the school was threatened with demolition to make way for construction of a new elementary and middle school—and Indian Heritage School students moved to a classroom at a nearby mall—the indigenous community rallied.

As of this writing, it appears their voices are being heard. Construction of a new elementary and middle school will still happen, but there’s a chance the walls containing the murals will be incorporated into the new school buildings. The project architect, Mahlum, has a reputation for engaging communities in the design process and incorporating into the final design those things that are important to the community. Mahlum’s previous Native-community projects include the Puyallup Tribe’s Chief Leschi School.

“The district wants to honor this work and has reached out to have ongoing discussions with the artist on how to preserve the murals,” Seattle School District project manager Eric Becker told ICTMN through the district’s public information office. “It is the district’s intent to honor the murals. Art historians have suggested several ways that this might happen. We will continue to work with the artist, design team and community to determine which option will be selected.”

Regarding how the campus’s role in Native education and racial integration might be represented in the new school buildings (as Wilson-Pacific School, it was one of the first integrated schools in Seattle), Becker said, “The School Design Advisory Team, comprised of district staff, the architect and community members, will meet to discuss all aspects of the new [elementary and middle school].”

Superintendent Jose Banda wrote in a May 10 letter to Indian Heritage School families, “a design team will be formed to look at future uses and design of the campus.” In addition, he invited applicants for a new Native American Advisory Committee to advise the district on implementing Native American education in local schools.

Tracy Rector, a filmmaker and mayor-appointed member of the Seattle Arts Commission, participated in the rallies to save Indian Heritage School and the murals.

“Andrew has rallied and inspired people to come around and support this sacred historical space for Native American families,” said Rector, Seminole/Choctaw. “It’s been powerful. It sounded like the school district was bent on tearing [the school and murals] down. This has changed the game quite a bit.”

Morrison, his brother and sister attended American Indian Heritage School, one of five local schools in which students receive more individualized attention and can take community college courses. In addition, Indian Heritage School offers culturally-based classes, and hosts an annual pow-wow, Native Youth Conference, and Native basketball tournaments. Morrison remembers the school being “the nucleus of the community.”

According to Morrison, “By 1992, the success of Indian Heritage [School] could not be denied. Not only did Indian Heritage graduate every student, but graduates also enrolled in post-secondary or vocational school.” When the school celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1994, it was noted that every student that graduated from Indian Heritage School in the two previous years enrolled in college.

In 2001, after his freshman year of college, Morrison volunteered at the school and painted the first of his 25-foot murals, often enlisting the help of students and community members.

The controversy began last year, after the district proposed a tax levy to replace the 60-year-old Wilson-Pacific buildings with a new middle school and elementary school. The Urban Native Education Alliance and the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation called for the district to renovate Wilson-Pacific, rather than demolish it, in so doing ensuring the Indian Heritage School would continue and the murals would be preserved.

The tax levy was approved by voters. The school district made plans to move Indian Heritage School students to the middle college program at Northgate Mall for the 2013-14 school year, and proposed making digital images of the murals so they could be replicated later. Morrison wouldn’t consent to the replication of his work. On March 6, the school board approved the contract for construction of a new school and recommended only a Native American honoring of Wilson-Pacific prior to its demolition.

On May 15, an Idle No More rally was held at school district offices. At the school board meeting that followed, Urban Native Education Alliance chairwoman Sarah Sense-Wilson, Oglala Lakota, said the district has withdrawn resources and removed Native instructors from Indian Heritage School over the years, “rendering the program a shell of what was once a vibrant, successful, visible program.”

Sense-Wilson said merging Indian Heritage School with the middle college program at the mall would be an act of institutional racism and classism, “assimilating Native learners and further distancing them from their cultural identity, heritage and connection with the Native community, and ultimately a poignant loss of a distinct, unique Native-focused program, which at one time bridged culture, tradition, history, Native perspective and connection with the community.”

She asked that Indian Heritage School be moved to another campus. “We do know there is space at various schools,” she said.

Dr. Carol Simmons, a retired Seattle educator, alluded that destroying a Native school program and Native art on a historically indigenous site would be a continuation of the “historical devastation and destruction of Native culture and the mistreatment of Native students in our schools.”

She said, “These murals must be preserved with dignity and not disrespectfully digitized. This important school must be treasured and not demeaned by placing it in a shopping mall.”

Other speakers included former state Sen. Claudia Kauffman, Nez Perce, who also asked that a permanent home be found for Indian Heritage School. “This is more than just an educational institution. It’s [a place] for the community in which we gather together.”

Banda said he met the day before with concerned residents about Indian Heritage School. He said he will continue to meet with Native American families and a new coalition “to discuss the next steps” regarding the school. “We truly value our relationship with our Native American families and we look forward to working with our families and community members to more effectively support our Native students,” he said.

He referred to the murals as “artifacts” and said the district will work “to ensure we protect those artifacts.”

On May 22, Morrison and Banda had a conversation and made amends; their relationship had been strained by months of protests and press coverage. Morrison is creating a portrait of the late Bob Eaglestaff, principal of Indian Heritage school in the 1980s and ’90s, as a gift to the school district. He’s also offered to paint, at his own expense, mural portraits of Geronimo and Sitting Bull at the current Indian Heritage School campus.

“Chief Seattle, Chief Joseph, Chief Geronimo and Chief Sitting Bull will complete our four directions and this will solidify a commitment between the Seattle Public Schools, the Native American community, my family, and me,” Morrison said.

For more of the story, visit andrewmorrison.org.

Artist Andrew Morrison talks to Native Youth Conference participants about the murals he painted at American Indian Heritage Middle College High School. The conference was April 16-18 at the school. The walls with the murals may be incorporated into the new school that is proposed to be built at the site. Photos courtesy Andrew Morrison.
Artist Andrew Morrison talks to Native Youth Conference participants about the murals he painted at American Indian Heritage Middle College High School. The conference was April 16-18 at the school. The walls with the murals may be incorporated into the new school that is proposed to be built at the site. Photos courtesy Andrew Morrison.


Courtesy Andrew Morrison.
Courtesy Andrew Morrison.
Courtesy Andrew Morrison.
Courtesy Andrew Morrison.
Courtesy Andrew Morrison.
Courtesy Andrew Morrison.


An Idle No More rally was held May 15 at the Seattle School District offices. Photo by Andrew Morrison.
An Idle No More rally was held May 15 at the Seattle School District offices. Photo by Andrew Morrison.
Photo by Andrew Morrison
Photo by Andrew Morrison
Students hold signs calling for the Seattle School Board to move American Indian Heritage Middle College High School to another campus. Photo by Andrew Morrison.
Students hold signs calling for the Seattle School Board to move American Indian Heritage Middle College High School to another campus. Photo by Andrew Morrison.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/05/28/will-endangered-seattle-school-murals-be-saved-149569

Federal TV project a $10M boondoggle

An ELKNet terminal. Photo from ELKNet Site Operator Training Manual.

An ELKNet terminal. Photo from ELKNet Site Operator Training Manual.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – When it comes to the annals of government waste, the Enhanced Learning and Knowledge Network ranks up there with the best – or worst – of them.

“Somebody dreamed this up and just went charging down the road and spending all this money,” said Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM. “In this case, a significant amount of money that could have helped very needy individuals has been wasted and that’s what’s very unfortunate here.”

Called “ELKNet” for short, the project was an educational television network that broadcast – albeit briefly – from studios in Albuquerque to about 200 Bureau of Indian Affairs-run schools across the country. The federal government spent an estimated $10 million on the project, operated it for just 21 months, then abruptly and unceremoniously pulled the plug about a year ago.

Today, the expensive equipment sits idle in Albuquerque and in remote school closets all across Indian Country in New Mexico and the United States. And, according to a Larry Barker investigation, students received zero benefit from those millions of taxpayer dollars.

“I hear about great ideas all day long, and they are all wonderful,” said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM. “But not all of them are cost-effective and not all of them can be implemented.”

The basic goal of the project was to use digital technology to bring the latest in high-tech, interactive learning to some of the most remote schools in America. To that end, the Department of Interior – which spearheaded the program – spared no expense.

For example, the government bragged that its multi-million-dollar broadcast studio in Albuquerque “rivals any commercial TV network,” according to government materials promoting the project. That facility included robotic high-definition cameras, a control room, a production studio and editing suites.

The Department of Interior spent $2.4 million to install satellite receivers, 42-inch LCD monitors and DVD recorders at those 200 BIA schools. Programming was transmitted via a $650,000 satellite uplink, while the government spent another $500,000 a year on satellite transponder fees.

Finally, ELKNet’s payroll exceeded $1 million a year.

The network premiered in 2009, and featured programming like President Barack Obama’s back to school message in September of that year. In March 2010, ELKNet broadcast a program entitled “Why They Should Graduate,” while September 2010 featured a “Youth Listening Session.”

The network’s swan song was a discourse by professional golfer Notah Begay in April 2011 about healthy lifestyles.

Then, 21 months after it began transmitting, the Department of Interior pulled the plug on ELKNet. The announcement ending the program, made by email, said, “The government no longer has a need for the satellite … and will no longer have the funds for the system.”

And just like that, the government’s experiment in educational TV for Native Americans was over.

Morris Gaiter, distance learning coordinator for the network, said the project left him with the bitter taste of disappointment.

“I’m a taxpayer too,” he said. “That’s my money, too, that’s going, and I felt like it just wasn’t being utilized the way it should.”

According to News 13’s investigation, only a handful of students at the 47 BIA schools in New Mexico watched the ELKNet broadcasts. Some programs had no New Mexico participation.

“We’ve never had instructions on how to use the equipment,” said Dr. Tamarah Pfeiffer, superintendent of the Alamo Navajo School located north of Magdalena. “In three years, it’s just been equipment standing in a room.”

It was the same story at the BIA’s Wingate Elementary School outside Gallup.

“At Wingate, to be honest, there was no long distance education yet,” said Charlotte Begay, former principal. “We were just barely getting into that when it was shut down.”

The expensive ELKNet equipment at Borrego Pass School, another BIA institution, was used, said Rebecca Vesely, head of the school. However, it was used to help students keep up on current events by watching the news on CNN and other news channels.

News 13 attempted to find someone to take responsibility for the multi-million-dollar federal government boondoggle. And it was only after threatening to take the matter up with then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that the department trotted out BIA Director Mike Black for an interview.

At first, Black said ELKNet achieved its goal.

“My perspective would be, yes, the program was a success,” he said. “It was basically … it comes down to a budget and resource issue.”

However, when asked how spending $10 million on a program that achieved zero participation could be characterized a success, Black changed his tune and admitted he didn’t know about the participation rate, and was surprised by those facts, which his agency supplied to News 13.

“Not knowing the full facts and everything that’s there, yes it would surprise me,” Black said. “I didn’t know that, sir. Nobody’s made me aware of that, no.”

Today, ELKNet studios in Albuquerque is empty of people, though the pricey technology remains. At Tse’ll’Ahi Community School – also known as Standing Rock – near  Crownpoint, the equipment is used to play DVDs. The Borrego Pass equipment is stored in a closet, while at Alamo, the LCD monitor acts as nothing more than an expensive message board.

Udall admitted that government isn’t supposed to work this way.

“Somebody got a great idea,” said Udall, who serves on the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee. “They said, ‘Let’s take a couple million dollars and spend it on all this equipment and get everybody inter-linked.’ But then nobody wanted to come and look at it. That’s not a very good use of taxpayer money.”

Lujan Grisham, who serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said government agencies need to be more careful about spending taxpayer money on grandiose and unrealistic plans.

“The lesson to the Department of the Interior is they have to be better-prepared to manage these ideas,” she said.