Saturday, August 30, 2014

Minnesota-based foundation funding Lakota culture studies in RC schools



Here is yet another reason Democrats and American Indians need to vote in midterm elections:
The Rapid City Public School Foundation has received a $178,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to help teachers foster Native cultural understanding in the classroom. The money will fund field trips for the next two summers for 18 teachers and 18 other community members to travel to cultural sites like Devil's Tower and sites on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This June, a group of 40 teachers spent a week traveling around Pine Ridge and to Devil's Tower on a "classroom on wheels" program to learn about Lakota culture. [AP, Rapid City Journal]
It has just recently struck me why the Right is resisting parts of the Common Core standards: they stress human influence in climate change, genocide of indigenous by colonizers, gender equality and social justice.

The Native American Languages Reauthorization Act of 2014 reauthorizes a preservation grant program through fiscal year 2019. Joining Senators Tester, Tim Johnson and Democratic co-sponsors including New Mexico's delegation, is Senator Lisa Murkowski, fox of Alaska.
"Since first being signed into law, the Native Americans Languages Act has helped to preserve and revitalize Native languages and encourages both young children and adults to develop a fluency in their Native language,” Johnson said. “Across South Dakota, this vital grant funding gives the opportunity for our cherished Lakota elders to sit down with the younger generation to revive the Lakota language. The continuity of these languages strengthens Native American culture and history, and I will continue to push until this reauthorization is signed into law.” According to the National Indian Education Association, by the year 2050, there may only be 20 Native American languages remaining. The Native American Languages Act was first signed into law in 1992 and established a grant program within the Native American Programs Act of 1974 to ensure the survival of Native languages. [press release, Senator Tim Johnson ]

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