Colorado Commission to Study American Indian Representations in Public Schools

News stories here and here about the Commission’s latest meetings.

An excerpt from one:

Military veteran Stan Snow captivated the audience with his storytelling ability, sharing the name of the bomb squadron he was a part of in 1954: The Devil’s Own Grim Reapers.

The name might be offensive, Snow said, but when the B-52s shielded Americans from their enemies, people would be happy.

Snow decried political correctness, and praised the warrior spirit, and in the end, he pleaded.

“Please, please, don’t take it away from them,” Snow said.

There was clearly an age gap in the opinions of the roughly 60 audience members in attendance. The younger ones, save for a little girl who spoke first, fell strongly in the camp of tossing the mascot — or, at the very least, reaching out to tribes to make Eaton’s depiction more accurate and authentic and less of a caricature.

The older audience members leaned more toward tradition, keeping a logo that has been a part of Eaton since 1966.

TEDNA Executive Director and VP at the NYCP Project Directors Meeting in Washington DC

Under the new Native Youth Community Projects (NYCP) program, the Department is making grants to a dozen recipients in nine states that will impact more than thirty tribes and involve more than 48 schools. These awards are a demonstration of President Obama’s strong commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native children and a key element of his Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative to help Native American youth.

TEDNA was one of the grantees.


Joyce Silverthorne, Director of Office of Indian Education, Gloria Sly, TEDNA President, Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education , Quinton RomanNose, TEDNA

Saving Native Languages and Culture in Mexico With Computer Games

Here is yet another opportunity to enhance culture through modern technology.  We posted about a similar example with Alaska Native culture, here.

An excerpt from Indian Country Today:

Indigenous children in Mexico can now learn their mother tongues with specialized computer games, helping to prevent the further loss of those languages across the country.

“Three years ago, before we employed these materials, we were on the verge of seeing our children lose our Native languages,” asserted Matilde Hernandez, a teacher in Zitacuaro, Michoacan.

Here is an update from Never Alone, the Alaska Native Game:

The team at Never Alone falls into the latter category. Diverse in nature, the development teams primary focus has been to share the culture and story of Iñupiat through the medium of gaming in a way that hasn’t been seen before. Their passion and dedication has produced overwhelmingly positive results as the game approaches its November launch date.

Given the caliber of team that was put together for Never Alone, it’s no surprise that a several of them are being recognized at the Tokyo Game Show later this week for work on a project they completed before joining  the Never Alone team.



Jason LaFontaine (Turtle Mt. Band of Chippewa) discusses Puget Sound ESD Title VII Indian Education Program

Mr. LaFontaine is the Program Manager of the Title VII Indian Education Program for the Puget Sound Education Service District in Washington State. He discusses his Indian Education Program, and discusses the history of American Indian education getting pushed toward state education systems. More on the Puget Sound ESD Title VII program can be seen here. The views and comments expressed herein are the speakers only and are not representative of any official organization or government.