Montana To Modify CCSS For Natives (education)

Everyone has seen the Facebook posts with parents frustrated about the complexities of a math problem their child has to solve — and blaming it on Common Core standards, not just in Montana, but nationwide.

Now the Montana legislators are involved. On Monday, the Senate education committee will hear a bill to repeal Common Core standards in Montana, introduced by Rep. Debra Lamm, R-Livingston.

House Bill 377 passed through the House already. If it became law, it would not only repeal the standards in this state, but also eliminate the Smarter Balanced Assessment testing and establish an accreditation standards review council outside of the Montana Board of Public Education.

"HB 377 is basically about local control," Lamm told the Tribune.

Lamm said she's introducing the bill for a variety of reasons: She said experts have shown that the standards aren't as rigorous as they said they would be, it's a one-size-fits-all approach to education and it takes away teacher freedom and creativity when it comes to curriculum and more.

"They were already teaching it and doing a good job, in my opinion," Lamm said. "The curriculum has to stay at the local level."

Full story & video at:

Support for American Indian education 

American Indian leaders on Wednesday called on state lawmakers to increase support for American Indian education

The plea comes after a Minnesota Department of Education working group recommended increasing state funding for mentoring efforts and early childhood programs in districts that serve the state's 20,000 American Indian students.

The report recommended boosting funding to supplement federal funds that go to Minnesota's four tribally operated schools: Circle of Life School in White Earth, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School in Bena, Fond du Lac Ojibwe School in Cloquet and Nay-Ah-Shing School in Onamia.

Per pupil funding from the federal government for the schools amounts to $5,000 a year, half what other Minnesota districts receive from the state.

Rocky Papasodora, the chairperson for the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school on the Leech Lake Reservation, said funding equalization would be a first step in improving American Indian student achievement.

"If these dollars are secured through legislation it will lead the way for a just and equitable education for all Minnesota school students," Papsadora said.

The graduation rate for Minnesota's American Indian students is 51 percent, according to new data from state education officials released on Tuesday.

Minnesota's on-time graduation rate for Native American students is one of the lowest in the nation.

"This is not acceptable," Joan LaVoy, director of education for the White Earth reservation. "The state of Minnesota must support our schools, teachers, students and families to increase the achievement rate and outcomes of our Indian students."

She urged lawmakers to find more money to fund early childhood programs for the state's 11 tribes.

The state Department of Education estimates that would cost $1.6 million a year.

LaVoy said that would provide much needed support on the White Earth Reservation.

"Schools, programs and agencies on the White Earth Reservation provide services to approximately 500 children ages 0 to 5," she said. "We have at least another 250, I'm thinking it's closer to 300, not receiving any type of early childhood programming."

Native Americans in Philanthropy (organization)

Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) is a membership-based organization that promotes reciprocity and investment in, with and for Native peoples to build healthy and sustainable communities for all. All are welcome to join the NAP circle. Anyone and everyone who is interested in including Native peoples in creating deep and long-lasting impact, systemic and sustainable change in all of our communities.

NAP is a powerful and growing network of Native and non-Native nonprofits, tribal communities, foundations and community leaders committed to engaging, learning and sharing resources and best practices grounded the Native tradition of reciprocity.

NAP is not a grantmaker. NAP is supported by membership revenue, grants, fee-for service, consulting services and the generosity of communities.

NCIDC Values (information)


Three Efforts of NCIDC:

1. Community/Tribal development, socially, educationally and economically

2. Support culture and language

3. Community based and driven health and wellness

Native Americans suffer disproportionate rates of social, economic and health problems.  Only through education, empowerment and asset development can these issues be addressed and overcome to promote the health and welfare of American Indian people, communities and Tribes.  We must succeed in successfully meeting these challenges to honor our past and to make a better world for our future generations.

We ask you to share your passion, knowledge and strength to help guide our work to achieve NCIDCs goals, objectives, mission and vision.  Please take the time to complete our community needs assessment and participate in the development of programs and services.  (NCIDC 2015 survey 

California Conference on American Indian Education (event, education)

The 38th California Conference on American Indian Education is coming up March 14-17, 2015 in Palm Springs.  The theme this year is Indian Education: Meeting The Challenge.  This is an opportunity to share traditional and academic teaching and learning. The conference honors the commitment of families and those who contribute to the advancement of Indian Education in California.

For information, Call To Conference, registration materials and schedule please go to the California Conference on American Indian Education 

If you have any questions please contact Irma Amaro at 530-895-4212  or by e-mail at or Rachel McBride at 530-895-4212 ext. 110 or by e-mail at

Florida State Goes To The Rose Bowl (mascot, poetry, arts)

Editor’s Note: This poem was sent to Native News Online on January 1 prior to the Florida State Seminoles versus the Oregon Ducks appearance in the 2015 Rose Bowl. Melissa Bennett (Umatilla/Nez Perce/Sac & Fox Nations) is the Portland State University Program Coordinator for the Native American Student & Community Center. She earned her Master of Divinity degree from Marylhurst University along with graduate certificates in Pastoral Care & Counseling and Theological Studies. Melissa is a writer and emerging storyteller and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize after her poem “Church of Frida” appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Yellow Medicine Review. She is interested in story as medicine, especially its ability to heal historical trauma among indigenous communities. Melissa is a member of the 2014-15 Native American Youth and Family Center LEAD Cohort, the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association, and WordCraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. 

“FSU Goes to the Rose Bowl”

By Melissa Bennett

Unwrapping my new stainless steel French press when you
On the couch three nephews away from me
Unwrap your 1996 flannel shirt and show us all
With a big smile on your face that pints nowhere near me
Your new Florida State Seminoles t-shirt

And that pasty white face
With the two red war paint stripes
With the low hanging feather
And the mouth open in a battle cry or mourning wall

Is the only thing I see in that room

The Christmas tree with its white lights and red ornaments has disappeared
The presents left underneath fade away
The smell of holiday ham and Grandma’s pineapple sauce evaporates
The laughter of your boys as they open gift after gift has never existed
Mom and Dad are gone
Your wife an illusory mirage at the edge of my vision

It is you
And it is me
And it is that shirt

Almost 38 years I have been a daughter in this room
36 of those years I have been your sister
In the time it took you to unwrap your flannel
And reveal your allegiance
To racism and oppression and colonization
Your made me the Indian sister to the white brother
The adopted one
The outside one
The alone one
The one no one listens to
Or cares about

And it all comes back

When I was four and overheard Mom defending her choice to adopt an Indian baby
When I was six and our Great Aunt told her friend standing next to me,
“You know she has that red blood in her”
When I was twelve and everyone began asking, “What are you?”

When I was sixteen and became a “Half Breed” certain to get one of those “Indian scholarships”
When I was twenty and my abusive boyfriend reminded me I was a “Lazy Indian”
When I was thirty-two and a man in my grad school class said,
“I bet you could sneak up barefoot on a white man and slit his throat”
And on Monday when I heard that an Indian man was killed because the police officer mistook his sweetgrass braid for a knife and shot him
And how my friend was the dead man’s cousin

All of it comes back

Every cut
Every mirco-aggression
Every feeling associated with
Every word
Every look
Every act of violence

All of it

The adoptions
The sterilizations
The relocations
The reservations
The suicides
The homicides
The blood quantum
The boarding schools
The 522 years of genocide

All of it hides in that pasty white face on your shirt that is supposed to be me

An Indian
Your sister

Story Corps (opportunity)

StoryCorps, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, is accepting applications from public libraries and library systems interested in hosting StoryCorps @ your library programs.

Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), StoryCorps @ your library will bring StoryCorps’ popular interview methods to libraries while developing a replicable model of oral history programming.

Program guidelines and the online application are available at The application deadline is Feb. 6.

Ten selected sites will receive:       

  • a $2,500 stipend for project-related expenses;
  • portable recording equipment;
  • a two-day, in-person training on interview collection, digital recording techniques and archiving on April 8-9, 2014, led byStoryCorps staff in Brooklyn, New York (Note: Travel and lodging costs will be covered by StoryCorps.);
  • two two-hour planning meetings to develop a program and outreach strategy with StoryCorps staff in March 2015;
  • promotional materials and technical and outreach support;
  • access to and use of StoryCorps’ proprietary interview database.

Each library will be expected to record at least 40 interviews during the six-month interview collection period (May-October 2015). In addition, each library must plan at least one public program inspired by the interviews they collect. Local libraries will retain copies of all interviews and preservation copies will also be deposited with the Library of Congress.

This StoryCorps @ your library grant offering represents the second phase of the StoryCorps @ your library project, following a pilot program in 2013-14. Read more about the pilot libraries at and

About ALA’s Public Programs Office

ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives.

About StoryCorps

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve and share their stories. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps has published three books: Listening Is an Act of Love and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, and All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps — all of which are New York Times bestsellers. For more information, or to listen to stories online, visit

The Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.