The Best of Our Knowledge
Tue November 29, 2005
The Best of Our Knowledge 793
Albany, NY 11/28/2005 – INDIAN EDUCATION/AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE MONTH -
What started more than 100 years ago as an effort to gain a day
of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans
made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted
in a whole month being designated for that purpose. Schooling
as a formal institution for Indians started with missionaries in the
18-hundreds. Later in the 19th century, mission schools were
largely replaced by schools operated by the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, BIA. These schools were administered directly from
Washington. At that time, Indians were not U.S. citizens. They
lacked the right to control their own lives and the education of
their children. After WW I, Indians received citizenship. And
during the New Deal, tribes assumed greater responsibility for
their own governance. More Indian heritage was taught in BIA
schools. After WW II, along with African-Americans and
other minorities, American Indians began to actively promote
self-determination and their own civil rights. This had a profound
affect on Indian Education. This led to the 1972 Indian Education
Act which came along and funded programs to help American
Indian students both on and off reservations. In 1990, the first
President George Bush, approved a joint resolution designating
November as National American Indian Heritage Month. And
similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994.
From a population low of about 237-thousand in 1900, the
American Indian population has grown to over 2-million today.
And hundreds of thousands of Indian children attend public schools.
TBOOK sheds light on this oft unrecognized area in the American
education landscape by speak with Victoria Vasques. Vasques is
the outgoing Director of the Office of Indian Education, and an
Assistant Deputy Secretary in the Department of Education.
Glenn Busby reports. (11:38)
NATIVE AMERICANS TEACH POLISH BORDER GUARDS -
Continuing on our them of American Indian Heritage Month,
listeners may recall the 2002 movie Windtalkers starring
Nicholas Cage. It tells the story of how Navajo marines used
their own native language during WW II as an unbreakable
radio cypher. The Navajo code was the only code never broken
by the enemy. Now, native Americans, including Navajos, are
traveling to Poland. The American Indian scouts are teaching
border guards ancient Indian tracking skills...skills they can use
to track illegal migrants and potential terrorists.
Astrid Nolte reports. (5:34)
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Glenn Busby. (:30)
EDUCATION HEADLINES AND UPDATES -
* Last week, we broadcast a story on Intelligent Design, and gave
you the wrap up of the six week trial in Pennsylvania. School Board
members in Dover backed a statement on Intelligent Design being
read in biology classes. But a group of parents opposed I.D. being
taught in science classes and brought suit. Since that show was
produced, school board elections have been held. And all eight
school board members who were up for re-election were ousted,
voted out. The judge is expected to make his ruling in the case by
* Meanwhile, a similar controversy has erupted again in Kansas.
The Kansas State Board of Education has approved science
standards for public schools that make the teaching of the principals
of Intelligent Design mandatory.
* In other news...a survey of 27 colleges damaged by Hurricane
Katrina, now puts that damage estimate at over 2-billion dollars.
* And just how much could you buy a college for these days?
Decker College in Louisville, Kentucky is up for sale. No published
asking price. But school officials do claim there is at least one
Dr. Karen Hitchcock reports. (1:30)