Tag Archives: Indian

asu

ASU recognized for American Indian education

A new study, “For Our Children: A Study and Critical Discussion of the Influences on American Indian and Alaska Native Education Policy,” cites Arizona State University as one of the most influential universities in American Indian education and recognizes American Indian Studies Director and Professor John Tippeconnic as one of the most “influential people in American Indian/Alaska Native Education.”

The study by Hollie J. Mackey, University of Oklahoma assistant professor of education, and Linda Sue Warner, special assistant to the president on Indian affairs at Northeastern A&M College in Miami, Okla., determined and described influential studies, organizations, information sources and people for American Indian/Alaska Native education policy. The “Journal of American Indian Education” that is published by the ASU Center for Indian Education was also identified as one of the most influential sources of information in the study.

Arizona State University was cited as an influential university with five other institutions across the United States, including Northern Arizona University. Arizona is home to 22 tribes and 28 percent of the state is comprised of tribal lands. Tippeconnic is recognized as one of the most influential professors in American Indian/Alaska Native education among a cohort of 20 professors from throughout the nation.

Tippeconnic is an accomplished scholar who was awarded the National Indian Education Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award last year. He is the former director of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Indian Education and past director of the Office of Indian Education Programs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior.

Tippeconnic, who is of Comanche and Cherokee heritage, was instrumental in bringing higher education to American Indian students in Oklahoma when he helped start a college there. Emphasizing the tribe’s native language and culture, the Comanche Nation College will soon achieve accreditation status.
ASU has one of the highest American Indian/Native American student populations in the nation with approximately 2,000 Native American students currently enrolled at the university. A new American Indian Studies master’s program that Tippeconnic was instrumental in creating began last year, offering a comprehensive view of Native American life with the opportunity to work directly with tribes.

ASU is also home to the American Indian Policy Institute that serves as a resource for research, partnerships and entrepreneurial endeavors that involve Arizona’s tribes and tribal nations throughout the United States.

American Indian Studies faculty at ASU are all American Indians and members of tribal nations while  American Indian Student Support Services supports the academic achievement and personal success of American Indian students while promoting traditional culture at Arizona State University.

A new course to be taught by Professor Donald Fixico at the university in the fall, “AIS 191: Preparing for Academic Success,” will mesh American Indian views and values with tools to succeed academically at ASU.

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HUD Supports Native American housing in Arizona

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $563 million to 353 American Indian and Alaskan Native entities that represent 539 tribes across the U.S.  HUD awarded 16 Arizona Native American communities $127.5 million provided through the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program.  These funds are distributed annually to eligible Indian tribes or their tribally designated housing entities for a broad range of affordable housing activities (see local grants).

“Hardworking American families in tribal communities should be able to live in communities where they have a fair shot to reach their potential,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The resources provided today will give these tribal communities the tools to maintain quality housing, prevent overcrowding, improve public safety and provide other basic building blocks of security and success.”

IHBG funds primarily benefit hardworking families, living on reservations or in other Native American communities, who don’t have the financial resources to maintain good homes, schools, or other key contributors to economic security.  The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and housing units under management by the tribe or designated entity.

Indian communities can use the funding for a variety of housing activities, including building affordable housing; providing assistance to existing housing that was developed under the Indian Housing Program authorized by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937; or other activities that create new approaches to provide more affordable housing for Native Americans. The funding is also used to offer housing services to eligible families and individuals; and establish crime prevention and safety measures.  The block grant approach to housing was established by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA).

Heard Museum

Things To Do In Arizona: The Heard Museum

When you grow up in Arizona, sometimes the coolest things are in your own backyard and you don’t even realize it. Recently I spent an afternoon at the Heard Museum in Central Phoenix and thought to myself, “Why haven’t I been here before?”

Entering the grounds, it’s not hard to be in awe of the buildings marvelous architecture and how they complement one another. Even more breathtaking is how nature is incorporated throughout the grounds, including the various gardens that are part of the exhibits. The Heard Museum is a perfect example of combining the use of art, nature, and the charms of Arizona to create something new and exciting for visitors to see.

Upon entering, I was warmly greeted by two gentlemen who told me about the various tours available and offered to answer any questions. Feeling adventurous, I decided to strike out on my own; hoping to create my own adventure on the museum’s vast grounds. This allowed me to pace myself and explore in more detail what interested me.

My first stop was the “Home: Native People In The Southwest” gallery. I was dazzled by the numerous collections of jewelry, instruments, and clothes. What became one of the most vivid encounters of my experience was a wooden fortress. The moment you set foot inside you could smell the freshly cut trees and take in how this structure was built.

The various patterns of how the logs were intertwined to make the structure stable were beautiful. The pattern left a circular hole in the center of the roof and a wooden bench lined the circular hut.

As I proceeded through the Heard Museum I examined more and more artifacts that I wasn’t certain could be topped. The surprises that awaited me throughout my journey were just as informative as they were beautiful.

What I was most impressed with was how interactive and hands-on the experience can be. There were multiple areas such as the Ullman Learning Center and Freeman Gallery that featured kid-friendly activities. Many of the exhibits had video stops or buttons to push that allowed the visitor to listen to personal stories relevant to the exhibit.

An amazing amenity the museum offers are outside benches that allow you take a break from learning and enjoy nature and architecture as water features run near by.

Of course, you can also take a break by visiting the Coffee Cantina or the Courtyard Café, which serves lunch and desserts that include a unique experience of local and indigenous ingredients in the culinary creations. If your stomach is full but your appetite for knowledge is still not satiated, be sure to check out the Books and More shop.

As I left the Heard Museum and weaved through the pillars making my way gradually to the parking lot, the sculptures became more apparent and I discovered some that I had not previously noticed.

The Heard Museum allows visitors to be just as aware of its exterior, not giving up any secrets as to the memorable experience inside.

Memorable. That’s a word I would use to describe my experience. My only regret is that I didn’t come here sooner.

This was a wonderful experience. Next time I hope to find another adventure awaiting.

For more information on the Heard Museum, visit their website at www.heard.org.