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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
Welcome to Food Is Our Medicine, Healthy First Nations
The Food Is Our Medicine Project is a partnership between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Seneca Diabetes Foundation (SDF). Although independent of the Seneca Nation, the SDF works to raise money to fund Seneca Nation health, wellness and recreation programs in order to positively affect the impact diabetes has on Seneca people of all ages.
An enrolled member of the Southern Arapaho and Southern Cheyenne Tribes, J.R. Lonelodge has always been inspired by art from his Nations. From beadwork designs passed down from his Grandmother Charlotte Lumpmouth, to historical pieces of tribal art, Mr. Lonelodge uses his own style and infuses art from the past.
NATIVES IN AMERICA is an online literary space for Native American, Alaskan Native & Native Hawaiian high school, college & post-grad writers. N.I.A.hopes to provide the opportunity for reflection on contemporary issues from a seventh generation perspective. We hope to build a consolidated space for students to share (& America to read) what it means to be proudly indigenous in the 21st century.
The American Indian Summer Institute in Earth System Science (AISIESS)
The American Indian Summer Institute in Earth System Science (AISIESS) is a free two-week residential summer program for Native high school students currently in grades 8-11. Participants will conduct field research and camp out on the La Jolla Indian Reservation, then travel back to the beautiful UC Irvine campus to experience dorm life while interacting with professors, college students and invited American Indian community members to create poster presentations relating to tribal environmental issues. This program aims to address the critical need for Earth and Environmental Science professionals within tribal communities.
The Hero Twins
The Hero Twins tells the story of two brothers born to Changing Woman and trained by the Holy People to save their people from the naayéé’, a race of monsters. But the naayéé’ can’t be beaten alone. Family and friends and wise mentors must lead any warrior down the good path toward victory. Colorful illustrations show the action as the twins seek out their father to receive the weapons they need to face the greatest monster of them all: Yé’iitsoh.
Osage Wedding Project
This site is part of a larger research collaboration between the Sam Noble Museum, University of Oklahoma and the Osage Tribal Museum, Osage Nation. We are working to develop a museum exhibition and book on Osage Weddings in the early nineteenth century and the incorporation of certain elements from the material culture of these weddings into the “Paying for the Drum” ceremonies of the modern Elonshka Dances. We have been working for the past three years to gather photographs, oral histories, film footage, scholarly papers and newspaper accounts to develop the materials for the exhibition and catalog.
About Oomingmak - Musk Ox Producers' Co-operative
A unique northern gift of exquisite Qiviut items, brought to you since 1969 by Oomingmak, the original Alaskan Co-operative. The Co-Operative is owned by approximately 250 Native Alaskan women from remote coastal villages of Alaska who knit each item by hand.
What is Qiviut?
Qiviut (pronounced "kiv-ee-ute"), the downy-soft underwool from the Arctic musk ox, is shed naturally each year during the spring months. Eight times warmer than wool and extraordinarily lightweight, Qiviut is one of the finest natural fibers known to man. Unlike wool, Qiviut is not scratchy and will not shrink in any temperature of water. It can be hand-washed in any mild detergent and will last for many years.
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Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875) was a Danish author whose enchanting fairy tales are among the most widely read stories in the world. “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Princess and the Pea” are three of his most famous tales.
Andersen Fairy Tales
The animated Andersen Fairy Tales site features three narrated fairy tales ("Real Princess," "Leaping Match" and "The Emperor's New Suit"), games, and a biography of Hans Christian Andersen. For more fairy tale fun, visit sister site Grimm Fairy Tales which showcases "The Brementown Musicians" and "Faithful John."
Gutenberg: Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales: Second Series
Illustrated by Edna F. Hart, and published in 1915, this Gutenberg e-text has twenty-nine of Andersen's most beloved stories, including The Red Shoes, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes, and The Real Princess (also known as the Princess and The Pea.) I've included it because I love the original illustrations. There is also a First Series with The Ugly Duckling, and Little Thumbelina here.
Hans Christian Andersen Center
The Hans Christian Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark is chock full of information for middle school and high school reports. Best clicks are The Complete Andersen (in Works) and Short Biography (in Life.) The Complete Andersen is a six-volume English translation of Andersen fairy tales by Jean Hershol, a Danish actor who came to Hollywood in 1913. It is billed as "the most comprehensive edition of Andersen's fairy tales in American English on the Internet."
Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales and Stories
Although not visually exciting, this Hans Christian Andersen fan site created by an Israeli math professor has chronological and alphabetic listings of 168 Andersen tales. Most of the stories are available as illustrated web pages, and 127 are also available in simple text files. The public domain text files sparked my imagination, because they could be used to create your own illustrated fairy tale book or web page. To find them, search for the hyperlinked word "public domain" and click.

Storynory: Hans Christian Andersen
Visit StoryNory to listen to twenty Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales. All of the stories are also available to download, so you can load the MP3 audios onto your phone and take them on the road. The transcriptions are also available, so you can read along if you like. Storynory is my pick of the day, because listening to these timeless tales transports me back to my childhood.

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George Washington
George Washington, born in Virginia on February 22, 1732, was the triumphant Commander in Chief of the American Revolution, and the first President of the United States. He was also an entrepreneur, farmer, and the only slaveholder among the Founding Fathers to free his slaves in his will.
Mount Vernon: George Washington
"No estate in America is more pleasantly situated than this," declared Washington, speaking of his eight-thousand acre home, Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon has changed very little over the last 200 years, except now you can tour it from the comfort of your home computer. Start with Learn More, and you'll be guided through the Washington biography. For a tour of Mount Vernon, click on The Estate & Gardens. This outstanding resource includes lesson plans for teachers.
Papers of George Washington
The Papers of George Washington was established in 1969 to compile and publish a complete edition of Washington's correspondence. There are 135,000 Washington-related documents held in photographic form in the project's offices. This website covers highlights from the project and includes a few excerpts such as his farewell address and Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789. Be sure to peruse Educational Resources (look under History) which includes two slide shows, a mini-lesson, and a George Washington webquest.
PBS: Rediscovering George Washington
"Why should young Americans who care about their country and aspire to do something worthwhile with their lives be interested in the greatness of George Washington? For at least two reasons: First, although knowing what is worthwhile and what is possible is essential to living a good life and doing some good for our country, we are not born knowing these things." Explore Washington's great legacy with a biography, timeline, gallery of primary documents, and six of Washington's letters read by Charlton Heston.
Smithsonian Institute: George Washington: A National Treasure
Mark Pachter, curator of the National Portrait Gallery, calls Gilbert Stuart's 1796 full-length portrait of George Washington "probably the most important visual document from the founding of our country." The interactive portrait feature allows you to explore the painting from three different perspectives: symbolically, biographically, and artistically. Don't let the portrait take all your time though, because the rest of the site (biography, games, teacher guide) is just as wonderful.

White House on George Washington
As part of its series on American Presidents, the White House web site presents George and Martha Washington. As this is the only one of this week's sites that features Martha, I was curious to learn more about her. The oldest daughter of John and Frances Dandridge, she was born June 2, 1731 on a plantation near Williamsburg. As was typical for a girl, Martha's education consisted mostly of domestic and social skills. Although she and her husband closely guarded their privacy, in one of her surviving letters she confided to a niece that she did not enjoy her role as First Lady.

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Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is a carnival celebrated on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. It is known for parades, music, colorful costumes and masks. In French, Mardi Gras translates to Fat Tuesday, which refers to the rich food eaten before the Christian season of Lent. American cities known for big Mardi Gras celebrations include New Orleans, LA and Pensacola, FL.
Activity Village: Mardi Gras
"The modern Carnival tradition developed in Europe in the Middle ages, and is celebrated mainly in Roman Catholic communities in Europe and the Americas today. Some of the most famous celebrations are held in Nice (France), Cologne (Germany), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and New Orleans (USA)." Visit Activity Village for their Mardi Gras coloring pages, printables, and crafts.
History: Mardi Gras
"A Christian holiday and popular cultural phenomenon, Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Also known as Carnival, it is celebrated in many countries around the world – mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations – on the day before the religious season of Lent begins." Learn more about Mardi Gras with this article, video, and photo gallery.
KinderArt: Mardi Gras
3-D animal masks, construction paper masks, maracas, musical shakers, and paper mache masks are just a few of the Mardi Gras art projects you'll find at KinderArt. "Artistically, masks are among the most remarkable objects created by traditional civilizations. By following our Paper Mache Masks lesson plan, students will learn how to construct a mask as they begin exploring the imaginative power of this exciting art form." In addition to the projects hosted here, there is a collection of Mardi Gras links near the bottom of page.
Pinterest: Kids Mardi Gras Activities
This virtual cork board of Mardi Gras crafts and activities was created by pinner Deb @ Living Montessori Now. If you are new to Pinterest, keep in mind that you need to click twice on the pinned image to visit the bookmarked page at the originating site, and that you can re-pin any of the crafts that catch your eye on your own Pinterest board.

TIME: A Brief History of Mardi Gras
TIME gives us a photo slideshow that tells a brief history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. "With it's mixture of Caribbean, Spanish, and French influences, New Orleans' Mardi Gras adopted the latter nation's affinity for masked balls and celebrations. In a little more than 150 years, Mardi Gras has only been canceled about a dozen times, typically for disease (yellow fever in the late 1870s) or conflict (the Civil War and both World Wars).",29307,1881375_1849894,00.html

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Chinese New Year
The Chinese Year of the Goat begins on February 19, 2015. Chinese New Year is a fifteen day holiday celebrated with lots of food, family reunions and visits with friends. “Gong Hei Fat Choi” means “CONGRATULATIONS” in Chinese, and is a traditional greeting of best wishes for a prosperous new year.
Activity Village: Chinese New Year
"The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year pattern with each year named after an animal." Visit ACTIVITY Village to learn about the Year of the Goat, and all the Chinese Zodiac animals with stories, crafts, puzzles, worksheets and coloring pages.
China Highlights: Chinese Zodiac
"In order, the 12 animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. Why these 12 animals? The 12 animals were chosen deliberately, after many REVISIONS. The zodiac animals are either closely related to ancient Chinese people's daily lives, or have symbolic lucky meanings." Learn more about Chinese astrology and learn what your Chinese Zodiac animal is. Mine is the Snake!
Chinese Culture Center: Celebration of the Chinese New Year
From the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, this informative Chinese New Year page describes dozens of new year's customs, including Lai-See (red envelopes of MONEY given to children), everybody's birthday (the day when everyone turns one year older), and the Lantern Festival (the end of the New Year celebration.) "On New Year's day, everyone had on new clothes, and would put on his best behavior. It was considered improper to tell a lie, raise one's voice, use indecent language, or break anything on the first day of the year."
History: Chinese New Year
"Traditionally for the Chinese, New Year was the most important festival on the calendar. The entire attention of the household was fixed on the celebration. During this time, business life came nearly to a stop. Home and family were the principal focuses." In 1912, however, China ADOPTED the Western Calendar, and although Chinese New Year is still celebrated, it is now often called the Spring Festival. Visit History for four short videos, and an explanation of how this iconic holiday has evolved.

Southwest Airlines: Chinese New Year Parade: Stories and Traditions
Built to promote the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, the STUDENTS & Teachers menu reveals dozens of gems. This particular page hosts eight stories about Chinese New Year traditions and history such as the animals of the Chinese horoscope, the Chinese lunar calendar, and the story of the Four Dragons. Other menu items include printable coloring pages and crafts, downloadable games, a fortune cookie recipe, and a history of the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade.

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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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