Andre's Rule #3 of Native Education

#3 MANY AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS WILL HAVE A VISUAL LEARNING DISORDER: This means dyslexia, numeric dyslexia, amblyopia (lazy eye), focusing slowness, blurred and low vision (correctable with lenses) nutritional defici
encies, etc. This has significant implications considering the large percentage of Native students that are visual learners. If student are undiagnosed with these problems they WILL be labeled as discipline problems, or with other, misdiagnosed, special education problems. This will put them on a path that gets them further away from having their specific needs met. You need to work in partnership with IHS clinics, local specialist and the district to identify this as a learning disability and have it included in an IEP.

Native Program Still Growing (education)

Native American studies program continues to grow after 40 yrs.

By Emily Brigstocke And Jasmine Sachar, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Thursday, September 27, 2012

In 1972, then-College President John Kemeny established Dartmouth’s Native American studies program, the only one of its kind in the Ivy League. This year, the department, which currently has nine faculty members and offers over 25 classes, will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a Native American Studies Symposium on Friday.

Although the program has made significant progress since its inception, when one half-time professor was hired and two classes were offered, parts of the program can still be improved, according to former department chair and history professor Colin Calloway.

“It’s an occasion to pause, look back and think, ‘OK, that’s how far we’ve come,’ and see the opportunities for future growth and future development,” he said.

Department chair Bruce Duthu ’80 is currently working to establish an off-campus program for Native American studies that would work with Pueblo communities, which Calloway said would add a “new dimension” to the academic field.

Over 10 years ago, Calloway proposed an addition to the Sherman House, home to the Native American studies program. While the project was approved, it was never executed due to economic concerns, he said.

The department has also begun a search process for a Native American art professor.

“It’s a gap in our curriculum, especially since we have such a relationship with the Hood Museum, which has such a great collection of Native American art,” Calloway said. “It’s a shame to not have a faculty member who can take advantage of those kinds of things.”

Michael Hanitchak ’73, one of the first students to take Native American studies classes at the College, said that the program was initially controversial because some critics did not consider Native American studies to be a legitimate academic discipline.

“There is a certain amount of remembering how difficult it was to be involved during a time when it was controversial and a certain amount of satisfaction that it has been very successful,” Hanitchak said.

Yale University history and American studies professor Ned Blackhawk, who will speak at the symposium, said that many scholars regard the College’s program as the best undergraduate Native American studies department in the nation.

“Dartmouth’s program is really one of the jewels in the crown of the Ivy League,” Blackhawk said. “The program is very well-known — visiting professors, museum, lots of faculty members, far more Native American studies faculty members. These all contribute to the flourishing community.”

When Calloway became department chair in 1997, only two of the program’s faculty members were Native American, Calloway said. Now, seven out of the nine professors identify themselves as Native American.

Monica Stretten ’15, a member of the Chickahominy tribe and a Native American studies and Romance languages double major, said she came to Dartmouth specifically for its Native American studies department and community.

“I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to study these things because it exposes me to new ideas, and it also reaffirms what I’ve been feeling,” Stretten said. “It’s sad that sometimes people don’t take Native Americans studies very seriously. It’s very important in terms of social context, and you can apply it to whatever field you want.”

Adria Brown ’15, a member of the Chickasaw tribe, said she appreciates the Native American studies major for its interdisciplinary nature. When the program was founded to rededicate the College to its mission of educating Native students, opportunities opened for Native American teenagers thinking about pursuing college educations.

“Dartmouth has been wonderful at recruiting Native American students from across the nation, giving them the opportunity to experience an Ivy League education,” Brown said.

Native American students also feel the need to be recognized in contemporary society because they have had few opportunities to express themselves and their opinions in the past, according to Stretten.

“The first thing you think of when you think of Natives is Indians from the 1800s with headdresses,” Stretten said. “You don’t think about someone like me who is in your classroom or your friend. You don’t think of them in a modern context, as doctors, lawyers or politicians.”

Ignoring Native American history, philosophy and cultural experiences creates a one-dimensional view of American history, Calloway said.

“Native American studies is an area that allows people glimpses into a deep and incredibly varied human experience on this continent,” he said. “I think having [this] department opens the opportunity for American education.”

California Indian Day (education/resources)

The 4th Friday of September is California Native American Day. Third and fourth grade classes in California study local and state Indians. Native American Day is a great opportunity to bring elders and other representatives of local tribes to the classroom to share traditional stories and culture as well as information about current issues and concerns of native peoples. Here are web resources appropriate for students to learn about California Indians, their history and culture.
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·André Cramblit, Operations Director
Northern California Indian Development Council (NCIDC) (
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Obesity Bad for Kid's Brain (education/health)

There's a scary new study showing that obesity can hurt kids' brains.

It's not news that obesity is bad for kids. It increases their risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, orthopedic problems and a whole bunch of other health problems. But what this study in the journal Pediatrics is talking about is different: it's talking about effects on the brain.

Researchers looked at 49 adolescents with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, a consequence of obesity, is the triad of insulin resistance (pre-diabetes or diabetes), high blood pressure and high blood lipids. The researchers compared the adolescents with 62 adolescents who had the same socioeconomic background but didn't have metabolic syndrome.

The kids with metabolic syndrome had more trouble with arithmetic, spelling, attention and mental "flexibility" than the ones who didn't have metabolic syndrome. Even more frightening, the researchers saw actual changes in their brains, in the hippocampus (which plays a crucial role in memory) and the white matter (which passes messages through the brain).

It was only a small study, and not all kids with obesity have metabolic syndrome. But this study is alarming--especially since we don't know if losing weight can make the brain go back to normal. Given that brains are still developing in adolescence, it's very possible that the changes could be permanent.

What else do we need before we take the problem of childhood obesity really seriously? More and more, it is becoming clear that obesity can steal a child's future away.

In another study in the same edition of Pediatrics, German researchers looked at all the risk factors for childhood obesity and calculated which had the largest effects. You know what the two biggest factors were? Parental obesity and media time. If we tackle those two, it would have a bigger effect than getting kids to exercise or eat fruits and vegetables, they say. So as we start out this new school year, let's shut off the television and video games--and parents, when you are buying back-to-school shoes for the kids, pick up a pair of sneakers for yourself.

Let's work together to get our children's future back.
´¯`·.¸. ><((((º>.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·.¸><((((º>
·André Cramblit, Operations Director
Northern California Indian Development Council (NCIDC) (
To subscribe to a blog of interest to Natives send go to:

Fitter Kids-Better Grades (health/education)

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 3, 2012 -- Fitter kids do better on school tests, according to new research that echoes previous findings.

The fitter the middle school students were, the better they did on reading and math tests, says researcher Sudhish Srikanth, a University of North Texas student. He presented his research Friday at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting in Orlando.

The researchers tested 1,211 students from five Texas middle schools. They looked at each student's academic self-concept -- how confident they were in their abilities to do well -- and took into account the student's socioeconomic status.

They knew these two factors would play a role in how well the students did, Srikanth says.

After those factors, they looked at others that might influence school performance, such as social support, fitness, or body composition.

Bottom line? Of the other factors examined, "cardiorespiratory fitness has the strongest effect on academic achievement," he says.

The research doesn't prove cause and effect, and the researchers didn't try to explain the link. But other research suggests why fitness is so important, says researcher Trent Petrie, PhD, director of the Center for Sport Psychology at the University of North Texas.

"Physical fitness is associated with improvements in memory, concentration, organization, and staying on task," he says.

Fitter Kids, Better Grades: Details

For one to five months before the students took standardized reading and math tests, they answered questions about:

  • Usual physical activity
  • Their view of their school ability
  • Self-esteem
  • Social support

The researchers assessed the students' fitness. They used a variety of tests that looked at muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, aerobic capacity, and body composition.

Previous studies have found a link between fitness and improved school performance, Srikanth says. However, this new study also looked at several other potential influences.

For the boys, having social support was also related to better reading scores.

For the girls, a larger body mass index was the only factor other than fitness that predicted better reading scores. The researchers are not sure why.

Other studies have found fitness more important than weight for test scores.

For both boys and girls, fitness levels were the only factors studied (besides socioeconomic status and self-concept) related to math scores.

Srikanth found an upward trend, with more fitness linked with better scores. He says he can't quantify it beyond that.

Fitter Kids, Better Grades: Perspectives

The new research echoes that of James Sallis, PhD, distinguished professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. A long-time researcher on physical fitness, he reviewed the findings.

"The mountain of evidence just got higher that active and fit kids perform better in school," he says.

The finding that fitness was related to both reading and math scores in both girls and boys is impressive, he says. "That's strong evidence."

"I hope this study convinces both parents and school administrators to increase and improve physical education, recess, classroom activity breaks, after-school physical activity and sports, and walk-to-school programs."

He is a co-founder of SPARK physical activity programs, in place nationwide.

Lesley Cottrell, PhD, vice chair of research in pediatrics at West Virginia University, has also linked fitness with better school performance in her research. "They extend our findings by considering students' self-concept," she says.

Her advice to parents? "A healthy child is a well-rounded child. Focusing on one developmental area may neglect other, important areas. For instance, in our findings we acknowledge that we have neglected the physical activity and fitness development for our children as a whole."

"By doing so, we may miss an opportunity to improve or sustain their academic development," she says.

The study was funded by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.