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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America



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Favorite Sites


collected by Paul and Vicki


*National Museum of the American Indian: Beauty Surrounds Us [Macromedia Flash Player]*
The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian has an engaging online version of their "Beauty Surrounds Us" exhibit. In addition to its beauty, the web exhibit also provides an activity for each section the exhibit is divided into, such as "Tools of Existence", "Recreation and Pastimes", "Design as Identity", and "Expressions of Identity." The activity tests a visitor's comprehension and memory of the objects' written descriptions given when you click on the object's picture. Once you've clicked on the object, you can then click on “Map” to see the area the object is from, and you can click on "Related" to see historic photos of the objects in use by Native peoples. The exhibit includes the Native peoples of both North and South America, and objects of indigenous materials, modern materials and a mix of indigenous and modern materials. The activity in "Design as Identity" tests your knowledge about several object's material composition. Sports fans will find some familiar items in the "Recreation and Pastimes" section, and they can even try their hand at shooting arrows at hoops to hone their buffalo shooting skills. [KMG]

American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC)
The vision of the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) is nothing short of transformation as we focus our intent, our spirit, and our traditions to build a better tomorrow for Indian people. We are creating successive generations of American Indian citizens prepared to participate in the constructive revitalization of their respective communities—those who share a common location, common interests, and common needs.

Of Warrior Chiefs and Indian Princesses: The Psychological Consequences of American Indian Mascots
Four studies examined the consequences of American Indian mascots and other prevalent representations of American Indians on aspects of the self-concept for American Indian students. When exposed to Chief Wahoo, Chief Illinwek, Pocahontas, or other common American Indian images, American Indian students generated positive associations (Study 1, high school) but reported depressed state self-esteem (Study 2, high school), and community worth (Study 3, high school), and fewer achievement-related possible selves (Study 4, college). We suggest that American Indian mascots are harmful because they remind American Indians of the limited ways others see them and, in this way, constrain how they can see themselves.


Fun Halloween food is just one of many ways to enjoy the spooky holiday with friends and family. Whether you are looking for ideas for a healthy family dinner before trick-or-treating, or an entire buffet to entertain costumed friends, the following illustrated recipe sites will surely satisfy your Halloween recipe cravings.
365 Halloween: Halloween Recipes with Pictures
"Halloween food is largely about the visual appeal, that's why all of our recipes come with pictures. Every spooky, gross, creepy, and healthy recipe has been tested and given thumbs up by our panel of ravenous ghouls (a.k.a. hungry friends and family)… so you know it will be good." Web developers Lauren and Sean share their passion for Halloween with this fun site. Visit to snag recipes for stuffed intestines, bleedy cake, spooky slaw, and spicy bruised bugs.
Britta: Halloween Recipes
Britta ("Webmistress of the Dark") reveals recipes for dozens of her Halloween specialities, along with a photo archive of her annual Halloween shindigs. "You can see in the photos that over the years of being a Halloween Hostess, I have not only created more recipes, but also added spooky signs describing what my eerie edibles are, which I think add to the fun. How else would anyone know they were eating scabs, not just dried cranberries? ;)"
Family Fun: Halloween Recipes
Family Fun divides their Halloween recipes into snacks, cakes, party food, meals and treats. But I'm not sure why some recipes are in one category, and not the other, so if you are looking for something specific, you'd best scan the entire list. If you sign up for a free Family Fun membership, you'll get access to a personal recipe box, where you can save your favorite recipes, and a printable shopping list (I love this feature!)

With the presidential election just a month away, the campaigns are heating up. In addition to the official candidate sites for Barack Obama and John McCain, here are some online resources for students to learn about the election process and keep up with the candidates.

270 to Win: 2008 Presidential Election Interactive Map
"It takes 270 electoral votes to win the Presidential election." This interactive map shows each state and the number of electoral votes they control. As you click on each state, you can change it from red (Republican), to blue (Democrat), and then to tan (undecided.) As you modify each state, the total counter will also update. To begin, you can choose from a number of starting views, such as, for example, the actual results from the 2004 election, when the Republicans won with 286 electoral votes. If you have cookies enabled, your custom map will be saved for your return visits.
National Mock Election
"The National Student/Parent Mock Election seeks to turn the sense of powerlessness that keeps young Americans and their parents, too, from going to the polls into a sense of the power of participation in our democracy." Run by the League of Women Votes and dozens of corporate sponsors, the nonprofit, nonpartisan program provides educational materials to anyone who wants to participate. In 2004, over 4 million students, parents and teachers participated. Since the project began, it has touched over 40 million participants. This year, the Mock Election will be held October 30, 2008.
PBS: Kids Democracy Project
This PBS site for grades three to six is evergreen because it does not specifically cover the 2008 elections, but rather the process itself. "How Does Government Affect Me?" is the largest of the three sections, with pages of learning on topics as diverse as funding local schools to checks and balances in the three branches of the federal government. "President for a Day" is an interactive exercise where you learn all about the president's duties by creating your own presidential agenda.

Although it has been studied since the eighteenth century, the mystery of what causes lightning has not been completely unlocked. Beautiful to behold, but occasionally deadly, lightning is a force of nature that must always be taken seriously. Learn more about the science of lightning and lightning safety at the following sites.

Education for Geo-Hazards: Lighting Strike!
"When you first see lightning or hear thunder, activate your emergency plan. Now is the time to go to a building or a vehicle. IF OUTDOORS ... Avoid water, high ground & open spaces & all metal objects including electric wires." Lightning is just one of the geo-hazards addressed in this safety site for kids. Be sure to practice the lightning crouch, it is the safest way to "hide" if you are stuck outside and can not find shelter. In addition to the multimedia site, you can download the hazard preparedness book in PDF.
National Geographic Kids: Lightning: the Shocking Story
National Geographic shares "electrifying stories" and "shocking facts" about lightning in this site for elementary and middle-school students. The site is divided into science (Flash Landing), survivor stories (I was Struck By Lightning), and a small photo gallery. Additionally, there is an interactive quiz (linked from the table of contents page), a printable word game, and a static electricity experiment. The latter two can be found on the More to Explore link.
NOAA: NWS Lightning Safety for Kids
This kids page from the National Weather Service is a collection of lightning games, most of them printable. Highlights are a printable crossword puzzle, two printable word search puzzles, and two printable coloring books. But my favorite click is Owlie Skywant's Lightning Ahead, a seven-page activity book which includes quizzes, fill-in-the-blank worksheets, coloring pages, and advice on what to do during a lightning storm.

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Students And Teachers Against Racism announces their new website that offers insight into the Native American perspective to teachers and educators.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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