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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
Osprey Cam, 2014 edition!
The biggest wildlife reality television stars are back for a new season! Welcome to Osprey Cam, 2014 edition! Last year, thousands of viewers from around the world enjoyed the real-life drama of Allie and Bama, two ospreys who set up a nest in Orange Beach, Alabama. The cam provided an intimate view into the lives of nesting ospreys. We’re back for a new nesting season with Josie and Elbert, named after the nearby Alabama towns of Josephine and Elberta. And this year, there’s a new feature. Thanks to a special infra-red sensor – don’t worry, it doesn’t bother the birds – you can now watch the ospreys 24/7.
Native Arts & Cultures Foundation
The Native Arts & Cultures Foundation (NACF) is a 501 (c) 3 philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of indigenous arts and cultures. The Native-led national foundation supports American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native artists and communities.
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Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848 – May 8,1903) was a French Post-Impressionist artist recognized after his death for his use of colors and as a forerunner of the Symbolist movement. He was contemporary of Vincent Van Gogh, and his work influenced Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
Biography: Paul Gauguin
"Famed French artist Paul Gauguin, born in Paris on June 7, 1848, created his own unique painting style, much like he crafted his own distinctive path through life. Known for bold colors, simplified forms and strong lines, he didn't have any art formal training. Gauguin instead followed his own vision, abandoning both his family and artistic conventions." This Biography Channel synopsis includes quick facts, a biography and a full-episode video about Gauguin and Van Gogh's friendship, rivalry, and art work.
BrainyQuote: Paul Gauguin Quotes
"Art is either plagiarism or revolution." Enjoy a different perspective on Paul Gauguin with this collection of short quotes, and nary a painting or sculpture in sight. "There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite." Each quote is accompanied by a series of social share buttons, including one that allows you to create an image from the quote.
Met Museum: Paul Gauguin (1848–1903)
"Paul Gauguin styled himself and his art as 'savage.' Although he began his artistic career with the Impressionists in Paris, during the late 1880s he fled farther and farther from urban civilization in search of an edenic paradise where he could create pure, 'primitive' art." Visit this virtual exhibit for a slideshow of Gauguin's work, a biography, a timeline, and a collection of thematic essays, about topics such as Post-Impressionism and Symbolism.
MoMA: Paul Gauguin
"Following the stock-market crash of 1882, Gauguin lost his bank job. Having no income, he envisaged supporting himself by his painting and took his family from Paris to Rouen and then to Copenhagen, where he worked as a salesman for a canvas manufacturer. He spent a miserable year in Denmark in 1885: neither his parents-in-law, who took the couple in, nor the Danish public appreciated Impressionist painting." Visit MoMA's site for an in-depth biography, and a slideshow of Gauguin's work.

National Gallery of Art: Paul Gauguin
"In 1891 his rejection of European urban values led him to Tahiti, where he expected to find an unspoiled culture, exotic and sensual. Instead, he was confronted with a world already transformed by western missionaries and colonial rule. In large measure, Gauguin had to invent the world he sought, not only in paintings but with woodcarvings, graphics, and written works." Click "Start Tour" for an annotated look at six Gauguin paintings from the National Gallery of Art.

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Why do kids love bugs? I don’t know, but parents seem to fall into two camps: those that tolerate bugs for science’s sake and those that don’t. The latter are always apologetic. They know bugs are a part of nature and they know their kids love bugs. Whether you’re a bug tolerator or not, treat your kids to these creepy creatures. They will thank you for it!
ASU: Ask a Biologist: True Bugs
"Bug – it's a word you hear almost every day. There are bed bugs, computer programs with bugs, or maybe someone is bugging you. But did you know that scientists use ‘bug' for a very specific group of insects. That's right, not all insects are bugs." Explore the gallery of bug pictures, and learn about the characteristics of a "true bug" from the biologists at Arizona State University.
Created by a neuroscientist working on bee vision, this unusual site shows you how honey bees perceive the world. Bees, like most other insects, have compound eyes, an array of hundreds of single eyes each with its own lens and each looking in a different direction. You can choose any of eighteen images to view through the "B-Eye."
The Bug Guide is a gallery of North American bug photos collected and annotated by an "online community of naturalists who enjoy learning about and sharing our observations of insects, spiders, and other related creatures." Have a bug you want to identify? Start with the Clickable Guide in the upper left-hand corner. Otherwise, you can browse the taxonomy.
The Insects Home Page
Learn that an insect is an air breathing animal with a hard exoskeleton and a body divided into three parts: the head with two antennae, the thorax which carries six legs and usually four wings, and the abdomen. This site is a good introduction to entomology (the study of insects), and has interesting stuff on the largest, smallest, and the most abundant bugs.

University of Illinois Extension: Let's Talk About Insects
This animated slideshow introduces elementary-ages to entomology. "Let's meet C.P. Ant and talk insects! C.P. is a carpenter ant and is properly known as Camponotus pennsylvanicus. Insects make up more than half of all living things in the world. Today there are more than a million known species of insects – that's 1,000,000 – and there are many more waiting to be discovered." This program is available in both English and Spanish (click on Index to see the language options.)

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Memorial Day
Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) was first observed in 1868 to honor the soldiers of the Civil War. Its origins can be traced back to General John A. Logan who proclaimed: “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Has the original meaning of the day been lost?
Department of Veteran Affairs: Memorial Day
It is believed that the end of May was chosen for the first Memorial Day because "because flowers would be in bloom all over the country." Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Memorial Day site for a comprehensive history of the holiday, the story of taps, and to learn how the poppy became the Flower of Remembrance. There are also links to national observances, veteran statistics, and flag protocol.
The History Channel: Memorial Day
Explore the history of Memorial Day with a one-page feature article and a gallery of History Channel videos and photos. "The Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, requiring the establishment of the country's first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers."
Library of Congress: Patriotic Melodies
Now for something a little different. From "America the Beautiful" to "You're a Grand Old Flag," this Library of Congress site "tells the stories behind many of the songs that have now become part of the American national heritage. A combination of hymns, national songs, music of the theater, radio and television, military themes, and poetry, all of this music demonstrates that while over history many things have changed, this expression of pride and hope remain a constant part of the American experience."
Library of Congress: Veterans History Project
"Every veteran has his or her own war, and each is custodian of a unique story and memories. At the Veterans History Project, we treasure the personal narratives sent to us by veterans from all wars. Vivid as if they happened yesterday, these heartfelt accounts make us laugh, cry and remember." The stories are amazing (making this Library of Congress site my pick of the day) but better yet you can interview a family member, and add their story to the collection. The participation page is chock full of interviewing tips and sample questions. Stories can be submitted online or via a printed form.

PBS: National Memorial Day Concert
The Memorial Day Concert from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol is broadcast live on PBS. This companion website, while it doesn't host the concert, (via streaming) has lots of interesting Memorial Day content. Visit for video highlights of previous concerts, and the thoughtful essays in the Meaning & History section, including a list of ways that Americans observe Memorial Day. "Memorial Day is a favorite time for Americans to read their family history, look at old photographs and learn about their ancestors; especially those who died in the line of battle."

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California Gold Rush
A pea-sized gold nugget was unearthed at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California on January 24, 1848. Although the news did spread, Sam Brannan, a San Francisco newspaperman, is credited with starting the actual rush on May 12 when he walked the streets of San Francisco holding up a quinine bottle filled with gold nuggets and shouting, “Gold, gold, gold, from the American River.” Within three days, a third of the city’s 600 men were on their way to Sutter’s Mill. By mid-June, Brannan’s newspaper had to suspend publication because his entire staff had run off to gold country.
The Gold Rush
"Throughout 1848, reports and rumors about plentiful gold in the mountains and streams of California percolated throughout America. Some of the accounts seemed too good to be true -- chunks of gold waiting to be scooped up. Instant prosperity!" The best nuggets on this PBS site (created as a companion to their television documentary) can be found in the Special Features section. And don't miss Strike it Rich!, an interactive role-playing game.
Gold Rush! California's Untold Stories
Welcome to Oakland Museum's Gold Rush exhibit. This virtual tour is divided into a narrative (Gold Fever), a display of Gold Rush paintings (Gold Rush Art), and a photo exhibit (Silver & Gold). The best clicks of the site are the multimedia components (Shockwave and Apple's QTVR) listed across the top of each page.
History: The Gold Rush of 1849
Start with the opening video to discover how the Gold Rush led to the "invention of California." Below the video, this one-page history lesson is divided into four sections: Discovery at Sutter's Mill, News Spreads, The ‘49ers Come to California, and Lasting Impact of the Gold Rush. "Though gold mining continued throughout the 1850s, it had reached its peak by 1852, when some $81 million was pulled from the ground. After that year, the total take declined gradually, leveling off to around $45 million per year by 1857."
Museum of City of San Francisco: Discovery of Gold
"It was in the first part of January, 1848, when the gold was discovered at Coloma, where I was then building a saw-mill. The contractor and builder of this mill was James W. Marshall, from New Jersey." So begins General Sutter's own account of the discovery of gold. This collection of eyewitness tales includes reports from European and New York newspapers, as well as a detailed chronology of California's history during the Gold Rush years.

SacBee: Cal Gold Rush
The Sacramento Bee published this dedicated Gold Rush site in 1998, the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill. Despite its age, Cal Gold Rush is excellent resource for students and grownups. Visit for maps, a timeline, and the story of the Gold Rush told in seven sections, with a special emphasis on Sacramento. "They came by the tens of thousands from around the nation, riding on horseback or wagon train, steaming around Cape Horn, hacking their way across the isthmus of Panama or walking through the desert scrubland of northern Mexico. The destination was Northern California, their goal was gold, and for many, the hardships meant little when compared with the riches that awaited them in the gold fields."

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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 - 2014 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
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