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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

The Rez We Live On
This website was created by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to dispel untruths about life on our reservation.
Tusweca Tiospaye
Tusweca (two-swe-cha) Tiospaye (tee-o-shpa-yea) is a Native 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Oyate, that is dedicated to the promotion and strengthening of the Lakota language.

The School for Advanced Research
The School for Advanced Research, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was established in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1907 as a center for the study of the archaeology and ethnology of the American Southwest. Since 1967, the scope of the School's activities has embraced a global perspective through programs to encourage advanced scholarship in anthropology and related social science disciplines and the humanities, and to facilitate the work of Native American scholars and artists. SAR realizes its mission through an array of programs, including the Indian Arts Research Center; fellowships for scholars-in-residence; week-long gatherings of scholars in advanced seminars; the annual J. I. Staley Prize for excellence in anthropological writing; residential fellowships for Native American artists; and SAR Press, which publishes scholarly books arising from SAR's programs as well as general-interest books on the Southwest and Native American arts.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation
The National Center for Home Food Preservation is your source for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation. The Center was established with funding from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (CSREES-USDA) to address food safety concerns for those who practice and teach home food preservation and processing methods.
Owls are nocturnal birds of prey with an acute sense of hearing and excellent night-vision. Because of the frayed edges on their wings, they fly soundlessly as they swoop down on their prey, which typically include small destructive rodents such as rats and gophers.

BioKids: Owls
“There are almost 200 different species of owls around the world. These nocturnal carnivores (night-time hunters) have large eyes that face forward, for seeing in three dimensions in dim light. They also have disk-shaped faces that help focus the slightest sounds their small prey might make in the dark.” BioKids is home to an excellent owl introduction, which includes a photo gallery, some recorded owl calls, and a classification listing of owl species within the order Strigiformes. BioKids is a don resource for both school reports and the simply curious.

Biology Corner: Owl Pellets
“Owl pellets are masses of bone, teeth, hair, feathers and exoskeletons of various animals preyed upon by raptors, or birds of prey. Pellets are produced and regurgitated not only by owls, but by hawks, eagles and other raptors that swallow their prey whole of in small pieces.” This classroom (or homeschool) lab worksheet introduces owl pellets and provides a form for summarizing the bones discovered in a dissected pellet. Be sure to print out the accompanying Owl Pellet Bone Chart, which diagrams the bones (skull, scapula, rib, etc.) of rodents, shrews, moles and birds.

KidWings: Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection
Don’t have an owl pellet of your own? No worries! You can perform a virtual pellet dissection online at KidWings. Start with the great Pellet Information section (“Are Pellets Important?”) then move on to read the directions about how to perform the virtual pellet dissection. Then, last but certainly not least, is the actual Virtual Pellet Dissection. Click, click. Enjoy! Other worthwhile sections of the site are the Teacher Materials and the Owl Crossword and Word Search listed under Just for Fun. is a huge collection of info about North and Central American Owls “with both biology and multimedia sections to help with the identification, enjoyment, and appreciation of these awesome winged predators.” Highlights include an introduction to the hobby of owling (owl watching), and the owl species reference guide, organized as a photo gallery. Start in either the North American or Central American multimedia section, then click on any of the thumbnails to pull up a species fact sheet that includes photos, video, audio, and field notes.

Owl Pages
“Owls have fascinated man from time immemorial - to some cultures they are symbols of wisdom, while to others they are harbingers of doom and death. Here, The Owl Pages sheds some light on these mysterious creatures.” Owl Pages is another encyclopedic site. Some of the unique content includes owl mythology, owl artwork, and owl rehabilitation. “ Only ever remove the bird from the area if you are positive it has been abandoned or if it is clearly injured. Seek expert advice immediately and do not attempt to treat or feed the bird yourself.”

Biology is the science of living organisms. It is taught at many grade levels, and this week's selections include sites for AP Biology high-school students, elementary grades, college kids and adults.

Biology 4 Kids
"It's not just biology for kids, it's for everyone." Thanks to the excellent design, this outstanding site from the Andrew Rader Studios is informative, easy to read and simple to navigate. Topics include cells, microorganisms, plants, invertebrates, animal systems and more. Each section concludes with a self-scoring multiple-choice quiz. Overall the site has thirty quizzes, a dozen videos, and a handful of annotated slide shows, all of which can be found on the Activities page. The Site Map is the best place to start to get an overview of the site.

Biology in Motion
Biology teacher and online game developer Dr. Leif Saul makes learning high school biology fun with his interactive mini-lectures, activities, animations and cartoons. He originally developed these for use in his own classroom, and found them effective in both capturing students’ attention and illustrating difficult concepts. When browsing through the site, be sure to note the icons that indicate whether the activity is a mouse rollover, a drag-and-drop, an animation or a simulation.
Cells Alive
The best clicks for high-school students (and adults) are found on the left-hand menu starting with Plant Cells, Animal Cells and Mitosis. Each chapter includes a dozen sub-topics (such as nucleus and cell membrane) that are covered with their own illustrated page. Additional highlights of the site are the amazing photographs found in Cell Cams, Cell Gallery and on free e-postcards to send to friends from your biology class. Think you know your stuff? Try the three tough quizzes on Cell Structure, Microbes and The Immune System.
HippoCampus: Biology
HippoCampus, from the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, offers multimedia high school and college lessons in biology (as well as eight other subjects including Algebra, Psychology and U.S. History.) This particular site is a mini-overview of the biology lessons available. If you want access to a complete class such as AP Biology I or Biology for Non-Majors, you’ll find that entrance at the main Hippo Campus. To use this mini-site, simply choose one of twelve units, then drill down to the individual lessons.

Review Game Zone: Biology Games
Hundreds of teacher-created games, in categories such as Ecology, Genetics, and Human Physiology. Within each category are dozens of quizzes, each annotated with grade level and state, and a chance to preview the questions. Once you’ve settled on a specific set of questions, the game can be played in any one of six formats: soccer, ping pong, baseball, basketball, golf or traditional quiz format. In the sports formats, each correct answer is rewarded with an opportunity to shoot a basket, hit a home run, etc..

Phonics Games
Phonics is a widely used method of teaching children to read. It is based on connecting the sounds of spoken English with the letters that represent those sounds. Today's crop of websites stand at the intersection of education and recreation, using online games to reinforce phonetic concepts.
Fun Fonix
With phonics games, phonics worksheets, reading and spelling games, Fun Fonix is, you guessed it, all about phonics! The activities and printables are organized into an introduction to hard consonants and short vowels, and three printable books: short vowels, digraphs, and long vowels with a silent “e.” The e-books are supplemented with a worksheet maker that includes spelling, reading, word search, phonics mazes, bingo boards and crossword puzzles.
GameGoo: Educational Games
Earobics is a K-3 “reading intervention” product from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. GameGoo is the free, online educational practice game component. For a list of educational standards addressed in each game (such as identifying the letters in words), follow the Home button to the Teachers & Parents link. The games are arranged on the menu from advanced (the pink row) to beginner (the blue row.) Unfortunately, a few of the beginner games didn’t load for me, and that’s why I didn’t award GameGoo the five-star rating they’d otherwise deserve.
Sadlier-Oxford: Phonics Student Online Components
These phonics games from Sadlier-Oxford are organized by grade level for students from PreK through grade six. To play the games, you’ll need to turn your pop-up blocker off for the site, because each game pops open a new browser window. Concepts reinforced in the games include short and long vowels, consonant blends, suffixes, dipthongs, contractions, and homonyms. For teachers and home-schoolers, there are professional development videos on how and why to teach phonics, discussed by literacy professionals in a roundtable format. Phonics
Although lacking a pretty interface, SoftSchools has a nice collection of interactive phonics flashcards and phonics worksheet generators. The flashcards come in two flavors: uppercase and lowercase. On the first side of the virtual card is a three-letter word; click “flip” to see a picture of the object. The worksheet maker produces printable activity sheets for short vowels, long vowels, matching words, beginning sounds and ending sounds.

“Where children have fun learning to read.” Modeled on recommendations from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Starfall reading program teaches phonemic awareness, systemic phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. It starts with the ABCs for preschoolers, and also serves early readers with folk tales, plays and comics. There are lots of interactive games, as well as printable worksheets. For easy access to the printable resources, visit the Download Center.

Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 - 1948) was a pioneer of non-violent political action, and a leader in India's independence movement. He is commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi, which is a honorific title meaning "great soul." In India, he is also known as "Bapu" or Father because of his pivotal role in the country's independence.

Mahatma Gandhi
Maintained by several non-profit organization in India, this website includes a Gandhi biography, video clips, quotations, articles by Gandhi, photos, timelines and more. Highlights are the stories for kids and the pictorial biography. Look for these under Students’ Projects. Quite a few of the external links are broken, and the navigation is difficult to follow at times, but the site has quite a lot of content for those willing to dig through it.

Manas: History and Politics: Mahatma Gandhi
Manas is published by Vinay Lal, an Associate Professor of History at UCLA. The illustrated Gandhi section includes a biography and an overview of the development of his philosophies. Longer, more academic articles (for high-school and college students) are listed in the right-hand column. They include titles such as “Gandhi, Citizenship, and the Idea of a Good Civil Society.” “Gandhi’s achievements spanned an extraordinarily wide array of fields, even though to the outside world he is known principally as the chief architect of Indian independence and history’s most creative theorist and practitioner of mass nonviolent resistance.”
Mark Shepard: Mahatma Gandhi and His Myths
“First, a quick one: Gandhi was not a scrawny little man. Yes, his legs were scrawny – and bowed – but he had a barrel chest, and a deep, booming voice to match it.” Mark Shepard debunks six common myths about Mahatma Gandhi and explains “Satyaygraha,” Gandhi’s method of nonviolent action. “Satyaygraha” means “truth force,” but is usually referred to as nonviolence. Gandhi practiced two forms of nonviolence: civil disobedience and non-cooperation. Visit Shepard’s site to learn more.
Nobel Prize: Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureate
“Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) has become the strongest symbol of non-violence in the 20th century. It is widely held – in retrospect – that the Indian national leader should have been the very man to be selected for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was nominated several times, but was never awarded the prize. Why?” Øyvind Tønnesson, an editor for, takes a stab at answering this oft asked question.

Thinkexist: Mahatma Gandhi Quotes
This Matahma Gandhi quote is one of his most famous: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Pithy quotes from famous people are a popular way to learn about them. And this collection of Mahatma Gandhi quotes from doesn’t disappoint. The user interface is easy to use, and even more powerful if you sign up for a free account. Here’s one more for you to ponder. “Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning.”

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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.

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.

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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, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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