Category Archives: Education

COVID19 Resources for Indigenous Peoples

Art by Isaac Murdoch

Hello relatives! During this difficult time, we wanted to put together some links for Indigenous folks north of the medicine line, specifically. We hope that you’re all staying safe; we will get through this like we always have. If you have any other COVID-19 resources that would be good for Indigenous folks to have access to, please send them to

This page will also be updated with resources as they come out

Every Sickness has a herb to cure it.-BlackCloud

In case you missed it, Indigenous Climate Action and Idle No More hosted a webinar on Covid19 and Indigenous communities. You can watch it here.

Photo- John Locher:AP Photo

Elderly hour started at 6am Bashas in Arizona. Elders really needed this time for their own shopping. Kenny Corona Sanchez




Cold or Allergies:

Itchy eyes

Stuffy nose


Flu or coronavirus:



Body Aches


Worsening symptoms


Shortness of breath

History of travel

Exposure to a confirmed person

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, center, meets with other Navajo Nation officials to discuss the coronavirus crisis.Navajo Nation

Symptom Self Assessment Tool

Defining Coronavirus Symptoms – mild, moderate & severe

Common Questions about COVID-19

How to apply for EI sickness benefits and the new emergency worker fund

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response plan – supports for individuals & business

Please call TeleHealth before visiting a doctor or the emergency room:

Tollfree throughout Alberta: 1-866-408-LINK (4565);

Edmonton: 780-408-LINK (4565); Calgary: 403-943-LINK (4565)

Tollfree throughout Manitoba: 1-888-315-9257

Winnipeg: 788-8200

New Brunswick, Quebec, BC, Nova Scotia: 811

Ontario: 1-866-797-0000

Saskatchewan: 1-877-800-0002

Use the SKODEN Protocol (from 4Rs Youth Movement):

If you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus, check-in on the SKODEN protocol: S – Severe symptoms, go to the doctor; K – know the precautions; O – Obey social distancing; D – Don’t touch your face; E – Every time wash your hands for 20+ seconds; N – Nose and mouth should be covered if coughing.


Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day [Asaf Bitton, Medium]

The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’

How to “flatten the curve”

Slowing The Spread Of Coronavirus Is Easier Than You Think: Just Stay Home [Buzzfeed]

Cancel Everything – social distancing is the only way to stop the coronavirus

When Social Distancing is a Matter of Life and Death


Virtual field trips list

Free educational websites

Anaana’s Tent: website with songs, videos and games in English and Inuktut

PBS Space Time

Scholastic offering free online courses for Kids

Giant List of Ideas for Being at Home with Kids

APTN Kids: shows for Indigenous children


Resources for artists, writers and media workers during shutdowns

A summary of COVID-19 emegency funds

2019 Native Students: “Broken promises — that’s all you get from the school.”

“At Wolf Point High School in rural Montana, Native American students face the same neglect Native students across the U.S. do as they navigate a school system that has failed American Indians.” E L. Green and A. Waldman, The New York Times

Ms. Fourstar, center, spending time with friends at the Wadopana celebration in August.CreditAnnie Flanagan for The New York Times

Excerpt: I feel Invisible: Native Students Languish in Public Schools By E L. Green and A. Waldman, The NYT

The faint scars on Ruth Fourstar’s arms testify to a difficult life on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation: the physical and emotional abuse at home, the bullying at school, the self-harm that sent her rotating through mental health facilities and plunged her to a remedial program from the honor roll. A diploma from Wolf Point High School could be a ticket out of this isolated prairie town in eastern Montana. Instead, Ms. Fourstar, 17, sees her school as a dead end.

The tutoring she was promised to get her back on track did not materialize. An agreement with the high school principal to let her apply credits earned in summer courses toward graduation fell through, Ms. Fourstar said. The special education plan that the school district developed for her, supposedly to help her catch up, instead laid out how she should be disciplined. Her family fears that she will inflict the pain of not graduating on herself. ‘I’m just there,’ Ms. Fourstar said. ‘I feel invisible.’

Jayden Joe, who attended Wolf Point High School, fatally shot himself last year. Credit A. Flanagan NYT

Her despondency is shared by other Native students at Wolf Point and across the United States. Often ignored in the national conversation about the public school achievement gap, these students post some of the worst academic outcomes of any demographic group, which has been exacerbated by decades of discrimination, according to federal reports. The population is also among the most at risk: Underachievement and limited emotional support at school can contribute to a number of negative outcomes for Native youths — even suicide. Citing these factors, in 2014, the Obama administration declared Native youths and their education to be in a ‘state of emergency.’ While the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Education runs about 180 Native-only schools, more than 90 percent of Native students attend integrated public schools near or on reservations, like Wolf Point.

Annette Henderson, 18, is a senior at Wolf Point High School. Credit A. Flanagan-NYT

In June 2017, the Tribal Executive Board of Fort Peck filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights requesting a federal investigation into the tribe’s contention that the Wolf Point school system discriminates against Native students…According to the complaint and to interviews with dozens of students and families, Wolf Point schools provide fewer opportunities and fewer social and academic supports to Native students, who make up more than half of the student body, than to the white minority. The junior and senior high schools, which together have an enrollment of about 300, shunt struggling Native students into a poorly funded, understaffed program for remedial and truant students, often against their will…One of the few places where Ms. Fourstar has flourished at the high school is the Opportunity Learning Center, an ‘alternative’ program with more than 50 students — about 95 percent of them Native. They spend a couple of periods to most of the school day there.

Cookie Ragland, the program’s director and only full-time staff member, is white and grew up just west of the reservation. She has devoted her career to students who ‘don’t fit into mainstream, traditional educational classrooms’ and was drawn to Wolf Point in 2003 because it had the only alternative program in northeastern Montana.

For her classroom, Ms. Ragland procured a refrigerator, which she stocked with sandwich supplies, and a washer and dryer for students who did not have homes. She allowed Native students to earn a biology credit for going fishing and bringing back their catch to dissect. She spurned worksheets and encouraged students to do research papers on topics that interested them.

In recent years, though, the school administration has given Ms. Ragland ‘little financial or other support,’ according to the tribal board’s complaint. It has ordered her to stop developing Native-centered curriculums and taking students on field trips. At one point, it required learning center students to enter the school through a back door. 

Because she considers the school ‘toxic,’ she said, she encourages some Native students to take a nontraditional path to graduation, such as a training program called Job Corps or the Montana Youth Challenge Academy. Ms. Ragland’s approach has been criticized by parents who say that steering students toward outside programs can set them back even further, and by some Native students who say Ms. Ragland appears to have lower expectations for them. ‘I’m not saying I’m a miracle worker,’she said. ‘I’ve lost students, and there are students that aren’t happy with me. I try to be consistent and fair, but I’m not perfect.’

Andrew Youpee, 16, practiced basketball behind Wolf Point High School. A. Flanagan NYT

Over her grandmother’s objections, Ms. Fourstar wants to complete her high school education at a Native boarding school in Oregon. She sees the faraway school as the only way out of Wolf Point and the issues plaguing her community.”

Category: Education

Native High School Veterinary Program Empowers Students

“It’s 8 a.m. in the vast, chilly agricultural-science building, and Clyde McBride is reaching deep into the back end of a cow to deposit prize-winning bull semen. Sixteen teenagers, bunched into a tight semicircle, watch silently, necks craning. Not one of them asks that most pervasive of high school questions: ‘Why do I have to learn this?’ … The students in Monument Valley High School’s ‘ag-science’ program know exactly why they are learning to perform artificial insemination. It empowers them to provide veterinary services that are scarce and crucial to their families and neighbors here in Navajo Nation.” Education Week

Clyde McBride


Excerpt: Clyde McBride Recognized for Leadership in Technical Education, Education Week

“It boosts their employability, confidence, and future wage earnings. And it opens doorways to college. Here in the northeastern corner of Arizona, on an arid plain edged with sandy orange spires and pine-dotted mesas, teenagers have a rare opportunity to practice what policy wonks preach: to study academics through a lens that matters to them. A keen sense of relevance, and of community service, runs deep in students’ work here, where many Navajo families depend on livestock for their livelihood.

Clyde McBride, who is the director of career and technical education in the 2,000-student Kayenta Unified school district, started this program in 1990 and has built it into a powerhouse that catapults students past the odds they’d face without it. In a Native American community of high poverty and unemployment, his 200 students outscore their peers statewide on math and English tests, and 100 percent graduate from high school, outstripping the statewide average by 22 percentage points. Three-quarters of McBride’s graduates enroll in college or training programs. The rest go straight into the workforce.

Responding to Community Need

McBride didn’t focus his agricultural-science program on veterinary skills at random. He saw that it was what the community wanted and needed. People kept asking: Can you come out and treat my colicky horse? Can you help birth our lambs? And there were emergencies, like the time a family’s sheep herd was attacked by wild dogs. McBride summoned a group of students, grabbed his bag of supplies, and raced out to the homestead. Suturing and bandaging like mad, they saved the family’s herd—and their livelihood.

Now, the ag-science building functions as both classroom and community clinic. Dogs, cats, goats, cows, sheep, and horses flow through its big doors all day—more than 12,000 animal patients in the past five years. For a modest fee, community members can get a range of services that are either impossible to find nearby or are too costly.

Photo PBS

Trevon Neztsosie, a senior in the program, says he likes the hands-on approach to learning better than sitting in a classroom. With his skills, he can far out-earn the burger flippers down the street and he can help his family, by taking over vaccinations of their sheep, goats, and cattle.‘I like it when I can do something useful.'”

Category: Education

Cornell University Hosts Graduate Workshop for Native Students

“The 2014 Graduate Horizons summer workshop, held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York focused on preparing Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and First Nations students for the competitive admissions process.” ICTMN

Discussion Questions for this post

Dr. Jolene Rickard educates Graduate Horizon attendees about the Haudenosaunee notion of sovereignty.  Photo Credit- Twitter:Cornell Graduate Horizons

Dr. Jolene Rickard educates Graduate Horizon attendees about the Haudenosaunee notion of sovereignty. Photo Credit- Twitter:Cornell Graduate Horizons

Excerpt: Making the Grad…ICTMN

“Students in attendance were able to learn from the experience of Cornell’s current graduate students and to participate in information sessions about Cornell’s programs, internships and funding resources.

Graduate Horizons is a fantastic grad school prep program for Native American students to help them explore different opportunities as it relates to grad school and refine the application process, demystify what it means to be a graduate student and really provide support around different types of opportunities for graduate study, said Cornell’s Dr. Tremayne Waller, director of the McNair Scholars Program.

During her welcome address, Dr. Jolene Rickard, Tuscarora, director of Cornell’s American Indian Program, encouraged the next generation of graduate students to strive to be leaders in their fields. Dr. Troy Richardson, Saponi/Tuscarora, an associate professor at Cornell, spoke to students about a range of things they should consider before applying to graduate school. He encouraged them to find an institution that suits their needs, including cultural and social support networks, as well as finding internal advocates who can give them feedback when applying.”

“The American Indian Program strives to develop new generations of educated Native and non-Native peoples who will contemplate, study and contribute to the building of Nation and community in Native America.” ~AIP~ Mission and Goals

Cornell University

Cornell University

“We Have Taken to heart the revolutionary spirit that founded our university and encourage each other to pursue unpredicted lines of thinking in order to affect change on local and international scales.” ~Cornell University~

Discussion Questions for this post
  1. In what state is Cornell University located?
  2. Approximately how many Native students attended the workshop?
  3. How long was the event?
  4. What did Native students learn in the information sessions?
  5. What did Dr. Troy Richardson encourage Native students to consider before applying to graduate school?
Category: Education

Crow Creek High: Students Hammer to Help!

O’siyo. There is a critical need for housing on almost all Native reservations throughout the country. A brilliant solution was created by Crow Creek Sioux Reservation’s high school. Oren Voice, a wood-shop teacher with a team of three faculty members began a program that enlists students to help build the much needed homes on the reservation.

Crow Creek high school students building homes for other tribal members. Photo- Crow Creek Tribal School. ICTNM

Crow Creek high school students building homes for other tribal members. Photo- Crow Creek Tribal School. ICTNM

Excerpt: Overcrowding Leads to Innovative Housing… Stephanie Woodard, ICTMN

“In building homes for tribal members, our students will learn computer-design and building skills, how to bid on a job and more, said Oren Voice, wood-shop teacher at the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation’s high school, in Stephan, South Dakota. It’ll give them a good technical education and help them prepare for careers.

Under Voice’s supervision and a team of three additional faculty members, a crew of 11 students began building a home on the reservation June 4. In two days, the students had the subfloor in place and had framed two walls, using conventional balloon construction. “We’re ahead of schedule and should have no problem finishing the entire home, kitchen cabinetry and all, by November,” said Voice, a tribal member. “Then a family can move in.”

Crow Creek shop teacher Troy Naser shows decorative metalwork students are selling to help finance homes they are building for fellow tribal members. (Stephanie Woodard) 2

Crow Creek shop teacher Troy Naser shows decorative metalwork students are selling to help finance homes they are building for fellow tribal members. (Stephanie Woodard).

The dwellings will help the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe chip away at not just unemployment among tribal members, but also a critical need for housing experienced on almost all reservations throughout the country… As soon as the students finish the first house, they’ll start another one, said Voice. He was thrilled to report that the kids haven’t forgotten anything he taught them last year: In fact, they told me they’re so happy they took my class. 

The Crow Creek tribal council provided seed funding for the program, including money to buy the necessary tools, and will buy the homes when they’re finished. More support for the project will come from sales of large- and small-scale decorative metalwork by students of automotive shop teacher Troy Naser. He gave the rest of the team a look at finished pieces for the tribal housing department and other clients. The hunting scenes, galloping ponies and other vivid imagery showed artistic talent and careful craftsmanship—a harbinger of more top-notch work to come from Crow Creek’s youngsters.” Read more…

“More support for the project will come from sales of large- and small-scale decorative metalwork by students. The hunting scenes, galloping ponies and other vivid imagery showed artistic talent and careful craftsmanship—a harbinger of more top-notch work to come from Crow Creek’s youngsters.” ~Troy Naser~ Automotive shop teacher.

Kudos to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, the High school, the hard working teachers, and most importantly the wonderful students! They set a Positive example of what can be done if all people pull together.


Category: Education

Extended Lesson for the Navajos: Beauty, Brains, and Bravery!

O’siyo. In updating the ESL lesson plan for the Navajo Nation, there was a lot of new information to add!  Both Navajo men and women excel in nearly all professions and economic endeavors. Their brave spirits have taken them on many new paths.  Here are some updated photos and news for these wonderful people.

See the complete Navajo Lesson Plan with Answer Key Here.

The People: 

Miss Navajo Nation

The beautiful Leandra Thomas is Miss Navajo Nation 2013.  Photo-

The beautiful Leandra Thomas is Miss Navajo Nation 2013. Photo-

This prestigious contest has been in existence since 1952. “The contestants must fill the requirement of having knowledge of the Navajo culture and tradition. Unlike most beauty pageants throughout the world, the Miss Navajo Nation pageant is of beauty “within” one’s self.”- Miss Navajo Council-


Navajo physicist Fred Begay. Photo- physicscentral.

Navajo physicist Fred Begay. Photo- physicscentral.

Dr. Fred Begay (born 1932) is a Navajo nuclear physicist and a Korean War Veteran. Dr. Begay was profiled in the 1979 NOVA documentary, The Long Walk of Fred Young.


Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly. Photo Navajo

“After serving as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate for sixteen years and four years as Vice President in the Shirley-Shelly Administration, Ben Shelly was sworn in as President of the Navajo Nation on January 11, 2011. President Shelly was born in Thoreau, New Mexico.” ~Navajo

Navajo Nation Vice President Rex Lee Jim. Photo

“After serving as a ranking member on the Judiciary Committee and chairman of the Public Safety Committee within the 21st Navajo Nation Council, Delegate Rex Lee Jim was sworn in as Vice President of the Navajo Nation on January 11, 2011. Born and raised in Rock Point, a small farming and ranching community in northern Arizona.” ~Navajo

Joe Shirley, Jr., former President of the Navajo Nation.

Art and Literature

Navajo- Hastiin Tłʼa, (1867–1937) Renown Navajo Medicine man and master weaver. Photo- Wikipedia

Navajo- Hastiin Tłʼa, (1867–1937) Renown Navajo Medicine man and master weaver. Photo- Wikipedia

“Many Indian cultures accepted – and in fact, celebrated – the fact the some people could fill both male and female roles in their society. One such individual was Hosteen Klah (also spelled Hastiin Klah) who became well-known as a Navajo weaver and as a Navajo singer (medicine man). Among the Navajo, weavers are usually female and hataalii (singers, chanters, or medicine men) are usually male. Hosteen Klah filled both of these roles.” -Native Roots-rc gorman

Talented Navajo artist R.C. Gorman was born near Canyon de Chelly, Arizona and spent his life painting scenes that reflected Navajo culture.~RC Gorman Gallery~

Master Weaver Florence Riggs discusses weaving at the 2013 55th Annual Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market. Photo Weavinginbeauty

The 55th Annual Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market  theme for 2013 is  “Weaving Worlds with Wool” celebrates and highlights Navajo Rug Weavers and is Honoring Signature Artist Florence Riggs whose rug is the centerpiece of the event. 

Sherwin Bitsui (1975-) is a Navajo writer, and the recipient of several literary awards and grants. Photo- Bitsui website.


Video:  Keith M. Little Navajo Code Talker

View this wonderful educational  video as the legendary Navajo Code Talker Keith M. Little speaks about his life growing up in his home and his important role  during WWII.

“After hearing about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while in boarding school, Keith Little chose to enlist in the U.S. Marines. He went to Communications School and became one of the legendary Navajo Code Talkers, seeing action on Iwo Jima, Roi Namur, Saipan and other Pacific locations. Keith helps tell the important story of the Code Talkers through his role as president of the Navajo Code Talkers Foundation.” ~Project completed by- Shawn Tsosie, Jessica King, and Robbie Christiano.~


Music Artist Raymond Carlos Nakai. Photo- Nakai website

Raymond Carlos Nakai (April 16, 1946) is a Navajo musician with several Grammy awards for his music. “Inner Voices” was an award winner.

The beautiful Radmilla Cody (Robert Doyle : Canyon Records )

Radmilla Cody Navajo singer, received a 2013 Grammy nomination for her album Shi Keyah: Songs for the People-She is the first Native American to be nominated for a Grammy Award. This album contains many wonderful songs, but especially Navajo Warrior and the beautiful  Code Talker which Miss Cody sings  a cappella in both Navajo and English.

Navajo Rock Band Blackfire.Photo- newspaperock.

Navajo Rock Band Blackfire started nearly twenty years ago by three siblings, and is still popular. Photo: newspaperock.

Navajo Books

Code Talker- The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII By Chester Nez with JS Avila.

Warriors- Navajo Code Talkers [Paperback

Hosteen Klah- Navaho Medicine Man & Sand Painter By Franc Newcomb,

Songs From the Loom By Monty Roessel

There is no greater place than the land we know as Dine’tah. Our heritage is written in our clans, our ceremonies, and a collection of history that tells our past, yet our future in the bounty of prosperity.” ~President Ben Shelly~

Category: Education