Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America



pictograph divider


Favorite Sites


collected by Paul and Vicki

Welcome to the home page of Alaskan Native artist Teri Rofkar
My Tlingit lineage links me with my Alaskan Native ancestors who have been weaving baskets and ceremonial regalia on this coast for thousands of years. Some of the trees I visit are several hundreds of years old; they have known my family for many generations. The "Tree People" have helped me in my journey as a weaver. In the Tlingit culture we recognize that not only people, but animals, plants, objects and places all have spirits
Summer Reading
Beaches and books just seem to go together, but even if your summer plans do not include any beaches, hopefully it will still include some warm, lazy days curled up with a good book. To get you in the mood, I've corralled a bunch of recommendations for what to put in your book bag this summer.
HAISLN Recommended Reading Lists
This reading list hails from the librarians of the Houston Area Independent Schools Library Network. Their 2009 recommendations have just been posted, and are organized into eight reading levels, from preschool to high school. The lists are in PDF, making them easy to print and share. Each book is annotated with a short summary (yeah!) but a book cover image would have been a great addition.
The Horn Book: Summer Reading
"Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to camp? We've hand-picked some favorite new titles, all published within the last year, that are ideal for the season." From Picture Books to Young Adult Fiction, Horn recommends newly published books that may not be on your radar yet, with an emphasis on fun, summer reading. In addition to this list, they also produce a book review podcast, and have dozens of other reading lists for children and young adults. You'll find these links at the bottom of the page.
International Reading Association: Children's Choices Project
"A booklist with a twist! Children themselves evaluate the books and write reviews of their favorites. Since 1974, Children's Choices have been a trusted source of book recommendations used by teachers, librarians, parents, and children themselves." Visit to download the winners for 2008, or any of the previous booklists, going back to 1998. The K-6 lists are available online, as well as in two PDF formats: annotated or compact (just titles and authors).
The New York Public Library: Summer Reading
Colorful and easy to use, this NYPL site invites readers to write book reviews, as well as read those posted by others. Booklists on this page are for grades one through six. For preschoolers, teens, and even adults, look in the header for a link to your section. If you happen to live in New York City, you'll appreciate knowing which branches carry each book, but even for the rest of us, there are plenty of good reasons to visit the site, including choose-your-ending online stories, author chats, and printable activities.

Scholastic Summer Challenge
"Summer can be a season full of fun memories, good times . . . and declining reading scores. Research shows that students who don't read over the summer typically score lower on reading tests when they return to school. What's the solution? It's simple: READ 4 or MORE!" Sign up for a free account, and log your summer reading minutes. The top twenty schools with the most minutes read will be featured in the 2010 Scholastic Book of World Records, along with the one student who sets a world record for summer reading minutes.

Turtles are reptiles with hard, bony shells and have been around a really long time. With a history that dates back 215 million years, they are older than both lizards and snakes. Whether your interest lies in wild endangered sea turtles, or a mud turtle to keep your backyard, these sites will certainly serve up what you're looking for.
CCTC: Turtle Gallery
The best reason to visit the California Turtle and Tortoise Club site is this gallery of annotated turtle photos, alphabetized by either scientific or common name. From the African Spurred Tortoise to the Western Pond Turtle, most of the thirty-two species have multiple photos showing the differences between the male and female turtles. Before clicking away to visit another site, look for the audio gallery of courting male tortoise vocalizations. Who knew?
Gulf of Maine Aquarium: All About Turtles
All About Turtles has a fun, playful attitude that shines through in all its features. The Tale of Two Turtles, is a "first-person" narrative told by both a snapping turtle and a loggerhead turtle. Other great sections include a guide to turtle parts (Carapace-top shell, an outgrowth of bone), turtle crafts ( Turtle Eggs uses walnuts shells as newly hatched turtles), a guide to the turtle species of Maine, and an article about what you can do to help turtle conservation. "1. Keep wild turtles in the wild. Don't collect pond turtles for pets. Observe and enjoy them in their natural habitat."
National Geographic: Great Turtle Race
The Great Turtle Race is a two-week 3,700 mile migration from the "foraging grounds in the frigid waters of Canada to nesting beaches on the sun-soaked shores of the Caribbean" that began on April 9, 2009. National Geographic follows eleven tagged leatherback sea turtles with satellite tracking devices, and shares the data in an easy-to-enjoy format. Meet the racers, learn more about leatherback turtles, peruse the photo gallery, and watch the turtles' progress from Canada to South America.
Pet Turtle
"Turtles can make great pets if they are cared for properly, and we hope this website can help you decide whether or not a turtle is the right pet for you." The care, feeding, and breeding of turtles and tortoises are covered with articles and a lively discussion board. Visit to share your turtle experience and photos with other turtle enthusiasts, to post your own questions, or to learn from other turtle hobbyists. For links to lots of turtle care sheets (species-specific pet care summaries) look for the sticky posts (entries that don't scroll off the discussion board) at the top of the Caresheets forum.

Turtle Puddle: Kids Questions About Turtles
"Q. How many kinds of turtles are there? A. About 270 (and still counting.)" The folks at Turtle Puddle have created a Q and A page just for kids that includes links to external turtle sites. A few of those links are broken (sigh!) but I liked the concept enough to include them here anyway. The rest of site is also kid-friendly, and includes lots of information about turtle car, turtle anatomy, and turtle health issues. "Q. Can turtles hear? Do they have ears? A. Yes, and yes."

Summer Camp
Summer camp can be a wonderful growth experience for kids and teens. But finding the right camp can be a stressful task for parents. The following camp directories will help because they allow you to search for the perfect camping venue by many different criteria. My recommendation? Don't stop at just one directory, because none of them cover all the camp possibilities.
Allen's Guide
Allen's Guide is divided into ten primary categories, including the usual Day Camps, Residential Camps, and Teen Camps. But they also include Special Needs Programs, Religious Camps, European Camps, and Self Improvement Camps that you might not find listed elsewhere. Special teen-only sections include Hostels, Study Abroad, Student Travel and Summer Jobs.
A few of the unique categories at are Fantasy Summer Camps (such as baseball and rock ‘n roll), Veterinary Science Camps, and Modeling Camps. Their listings can be browsed via category, by use of the drop-down state menu, or from their search form. From their Camp Talk collection of articles, come these words of advice. "Camp should be a refreshing change of pace, surroundings, and atmosphere, providing a wholesome escape from the pressures of school and the distractions of the urban environment. It should not be hectic!"
"Because every child deserves a summer at camp!" In addition to camps in all fifty states, lists international camps in dozens of countries (arranged in alphabetic order from Argentina to United Kingdom). Of course the biggest camp categories are Day Camps, Traditional Overnight Camps, and Sports Camps, where you begin by specifying a specific interest, and select a state.
"Summer camps help your child develop character, learn valuable life skills, make new friends and discover new interests." is my pick of the week because of the excellent interface and their extensive listings. Begin your camp search by perusing any of the thirteen categories, which (in addition to the usual kinds of summer camps) include After-School Programs, Winter and Spring Break Programs, and Study Abroad. Geographic searches can done with a zip code or by clicking on a map region.
Camp listings are divided into eleven categories and are also browseable by state. If you have a list of specific needs (such as a particular sport, activity, or price range) use the search form to drill down into the results. There is also a Camp Tips section that offers suggestions on how to choose a camp and the benefits of summer camping. "As self-esteem develops from learning to be on their own, children continue to try new activities and also engage in one's that they are familiar."

Flag Day
With roots in the nineteenth century, June 14th wasn't officially established as Flag Day until May 30, 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation. It's celebration continued in various communities for many years, but it didn't really take off until August 3, 1949 when President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress designating it National Flag Day.

Apples 4 the Teacher: Flag Day Activities for Kids
Along with a short history of the holiday, Apples 4 Teachers Flag Day Activities include interactive flag coloring, printable patriotic poems, printable short stories, and articles about flag etiquette and how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. For additional activity ideas, visit related patriotic holidays Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans' Day.

The Holiday Spot: Flag Day
"Though the Flag Day was first celebrated in 1877, with the centennial of the U.S. flag's existence, the idea of making it a public celebration is believed to have originated in 1885." Celebrate Flag Day at The Holiday Spot with their collection of computer wallpapers, crafts, historical flags, history articles, and a Flag Day Quiz. "How many changes had the Flag undergone since the first National Flag was born?"

EnchantedLearning: US Flag Day Crafts
For Flag Day, Enchanted Learning offers dozens of patriotic crafts for preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary ages. All can be made with common craft supplies, such as paper, scissors, glue, string, pencils and popsicle sticks. Projects that caught my eye include a flag-themed wind sock a patriotic pinwheel, and a flag pebble. Some of the printable activities are only available for paid members. Learn2 Fold an American Flag
"Flag-folding does take some practice, but the task isn't exactly rocket science. As long as you've got an awareness of flag etiquette (a few simple rules) and a friend to help you out, mastering the art of getting the flag in that neat little triangle will have you looking like the best girl scout or marine in town." This five-step illustrated flag folding lesson is just one of hundreds of short tutorials you'll find at The instructions can be followed online, or printed out for ease of reference. You'll find the link to a printable version at the end of the last step. History of Flag Day
"On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York." is dedicated to the history of the American flag, and has an excellent article about the history of Flag Day, along with a gallery of of historic U.S. flags, answers to questions about flag etiquette, and a discussion of flag desecration. Do you think the Constitution should be amended to make it illegal to burn an American Flag?

Father's Day Cards
Father's Day is a fairly new holiday, and wasn't given national recognition until President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance on the third Sunday in June. Father's Day was originally conceived in 1909 by Sonara Smart Dodd, who was raised by her dad after her mother died. Her pop's birthday was in June, so she held the first Father's Day on June 19, 1910 in her hometown of Spokane, Washington.

123 Certificates: Father's Day Certificates and Cards
Award your Dad a Father of the Year credential with these customizable, printable certificates. Choose from a variety of borders, add your name, a special message, and just hit the "Make It" button. Additional printable certificates include rewards for students, spelling bee winners, teachers, moms, or "you can even reward yourself!" For printable Father's Day cards (instead of the certificates) visit their sister site, 123 Print Cards. You'll find a link in the middle of the page.

Care2: Father's Day eCards
Care2 is an activist network that promotes causes such as animal welfare, climate change, and human rights, while giving consumers a selection of free ecards to send to their dads and other important folks. There are nearly eighty Flash Father's Day cards to choose from, as well as cards for Mother's Day, Groundhog Day, St. Patrick's Day and so on. For every ecard sent, Care2 makes a donation to an environmental nonprofit to save a square foot of rainforest. They also connect site visitors with over 350 non-profits, promoting many ways to make a difference in the world.

Danielle's Place: Father's Day Crafts
Although the first craft on this Father's Day page is for paying members only, the rest of the Father's Day projects here at Danielle's Place are free for everyone to enjoy. Most of the two dozen illustrated Father's Day crafts are fancy homemade cards, but a few fall into the gift category. For example, you could learn how to make a "Dad Rocks" paper weight, a collage pencil holder, or a "Daddy's Girl" picture frame. Other craft categories include garden, fall, safari, animal, fun foam, and colonial.
DLTK's Father's Day Cards
"To My Daddy / I hugged this little card real tight / And kissed it, Daddy too! / Then I packed it full of love / And sent it off to you!" DLTK offers Father's Day cards with matching gift bags, cards for grandpa, cards with poems, cards to color, and cards with super heros (your choice of Batman or Superman.) A few of the cards are simple enough for two-year olds (with mommy's help, of course) and each project is available in a printable version without ads.

Kaboose: Father's Day Cards
These homemade cards are really unique. For example, the Answer Feather Card is based on a "traditional a traditional healing tool for those seeking answers. Pick the feather you are attracted to, ask it a question and keep it with you. You will receive your answer within the next day. Thank the feather and release it back to mother earth or cleanse it in the moonlight and use it for another question." Okay, this card may not be for everyone. But they also have a cool Fish Card for fisherman, and a lovely, more traditional card made with cutout "D", "A", "D" letters.

pictograph divider

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

Changing Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination, racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  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.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!