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Diversity Quiz

Breakthroughs in issues that Native Americans face

by Margaret Manalo

Published: November 16, 2014

QUESTIONS:

1. Which culturally important animal to the Cherokee tribe was recently returned to Cherokee Nation soil for the first time in 40 years?

A. deer
B. elk
C. bison
D. buffalo

2. Since 2005, how have schools in Washington succeeded in encouraging education of tribal cultures within the state?

A. incorporating more cultural projects in middle schools
B. expanding the breadth of tribal culture covered in high school history classes
C. offering a wider variety of university classes and programs
D. making the most of an online tribal curriculum

3. Oklahoma State University opened a new program in the 2013 school year to help Native American students in what academic field?

A. math
B. science
C. history
D. English

4. True or False: Indian student-athletes are generally unsuccessful at the college level.

A. True
B. False

5. What breakthrough has the Cherokee tribe implemented that no other tribe has yet to do?

A. provide more scholarships
B. expand on resources to guide Native people into employment
C. offer language classes for parents
D. establishing a cultural diversity program for every school district on/near Indian reservations

6. The Cherokee Nation recently administered a federal grant of what amount to help the long-term unemployed find jobs?

A. 4 million
B. 3 million
C. 2 million
D. 1 million

 

 

 

ANSWERS:

1. [C] bison
Principal Chief Bill John Baker notes that “the American bison symbolizes our great country – free, strong and resilient. Those are the traits we identify in ourselves as Indian people. That’s why the bison has always represented something deeply spiritual to our tribal ancestors and why it’s important for us to reintroduce bison within our homelands.” On October 9, 2014, 38 female bison were unloaded from a trailer onto 66 acres of tribal land near Kenwood in Delaware County. The bison traveled a 900-mile journey from the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. It took about two years of working with the InterTribal Buffalo Council for the Cherokee Nation to successfully acquire bison. One week later, a herd of 10 bulls were scheduled to arrive in hopes to expand the population to a strong number.

Source:
Hubbard, J. (2014, October 9). Bison return to Cherokee Nation. Retrieved from http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/wildlife/10647-bison-return-to-cherokee-nation

2. [D] making the most of an online tribal curriculum
In 2005, Christine O’Grady Gregoire signed a bill into law that encourages the incorporation of tribal studies in school districts on or near Indian reservations. Gregoire signed the bill in her first year as the 22nd Governor of the state of Washington. Representative John McCoy, who is a Tulalip tribal member, sponsored the bill after observing the inadequacy of content in history classes and the disconnect occurring between schools and Native Americans because of the absence of Indian studies in public schools. Tribes across the state have been working with educators for the past seven years to develop and incorporate the online curriculum into their respective school districts. Some topics included in the curriculum are treaties signed between Northwestern tribes and the U.S. government, and how traditional hunting, fishing, and food gathering rights in their original territories were reserved. The new curriculum appealed to Winona Wynn, head of the English and humanities department within Heritage University in Toppenish. She plans to incorporate the curriculum into the college’s indigenous studies program next year, as well as leading the program herself.

Source:
Ferolito, P. (2012, November 27). Tribal curriculum available to Washington schools. Retrieved from http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/education/primary/8121-tribal-curriculum-available-to-washington-schools

3. [B] science
For the 2013 school year, Oklahoma State University (OSU) offered a new program called Science Scholars: The Native American Path to help out Native American students in the science field. Now OSU students have access to structured guidance in pursuing degrees in science, technology, and engineering and math fields. The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science funds the program and provided OSU $40,000 in the fall of 2012. Within the society, the Stillwater student chapter is one of the 40 in the country and the only college chapter in Oklahoma. This federal program is awarded their funds through the National Institutes of Health, allowing students to travel to events such as the society’s national conference.

Source:
Oklahoma State University Media Release. (2013, July 14). OSU program to help Native American students. Retrieved from http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/education/higher-ed/8944-osu-program-to-help-native-american-students

4. [B] mostly false
Determined to explore the background and boundaries of the stereotype that “Indian kids automatically drop out of college,” head coach Cedric Sunray supportively watched over 13 young people in the past eight years as they passionately pursued their dreams. In sports ranging from football to soccer, track, and many more, Sunray discovered that the kids found motivation in their cultural background to put out their best effort both athletically and academically.

Regardless of the intimidating transition from high school to college level athleticism, the students continued to succeed with powerful drive. When asked about his responsibility as an Indian playing at the collegiate level in front of a large audience, University of Central Oklahoma football player Logan Orso responded, “I feel as if I owe the game the mental toughness it deserves because growing up Indian, I always had to be tough from a very young age. My role is to defy all odds! Make it as far as I can along this journey while setting prime examples for the younger generation that looks up to me.” Teammate Mvhayv Locust was asked the same question and to which he answered, “We must never forget the warrior strength that has flowed through the blood of our people. I want to be a positive example for our Indian youth and not only for them, but to ALL people to show them that they don’t have to walk around with their heads down, they don’t have to conform to whatever society thinks of them, and that no matter what race we are or what circumstances that we may come from, we can achieve!”

Sunray is well aware that there still exist stories of “failures,” but the successes and a 100% graduation or “on track to graduate” rate for these Indian student-athletes ensures hope for young Indian people. Mvhayv Locust continues, “I believe that society has mentally beaten us down as a people and some of us have been focusing on nothing but the negative for so long that we have forgotten tradition. They forgot that we were once a great nation and more importantly we have the ability to be one again. And we will.”

Source:
Sunray, C. (2014, October 20). Stereotype Revisited: Can Indian student-athletes make it at the college level? Retrieved from http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/life/commentary/10710-stereotype-revisited-can-indian-student-athletes-make-it-at-the-college-level

5. [C] offer language classes for parents
A Cherokee language resource center opened in the summer of 2014 for teachers, students, and parents of Sequoyah Schools. The school system includes Sequoyah High School and Cherokee Immersion Charter School. Before receiving the generous, three-year grant, the Cherokee Immersion Charter immersed students in pre-K through eighth-grade in the Cherokee and now, graduates of the immersion program who go on to high school will have the opportunity to continue having the Cherokee language in their daily lessons – learning subjects such as algebra and biology partially in Cherokee. The Administration of Native Americans’ Esther Martinez Initiative funds the nearly $900,000 grant to allow this opportunity as well as achieving the goal to encourage parents to better communicate with their Cherokee speaking children. Cherokee language classes for parents are held Monday through Thursday, as well as Saturday, on a weekly basis to teach basic phrases and commands in Cherokee. Cherokee Immersion Charter School parent Dawni Mackey states, “I think when our children see us trying to learn the language, that will help increase their interest in it. For an endangered language to survive, there must be strong parental support and participation. The kids are used to the language at school, but we need to foster language learning environments outside of school as well.”

Source:
Hubbard, J. (2014, October 9). Bison return to Cherokee Nation. Retrieved from http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/wildlife/10647-bison-return-to-cherokee-nation

6. [B] 3 million
On October 6, 2014, Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, announced the opening and expansion of Career Services offices. These offices span across the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdiction. The ten current locations include Tahlequah, Claremore, Jay, Muskogee, Sallisaw, Stilwell, Vinita, West Siloam Springs, as well as the newly opened offices in Pryor and Tulsa. The new offices focus on filling existing jobs and news jobs coming into the Cherokee Nation, in hopes to go beyond helping Cherokee citizens find a job and help build careers as well. Specific services that are offered include job referrals, employment training, GED classes, outreach, admissions services, and many more. Baker reports that “In fiscal year 2014, more than 5,000 Cherokee Nation citizens utilized Cherokee Nation’s Career Services programs, including more than 3,000 helped by the department’s Day Training Program alone.” The Cherokee Nation’s $3 million federal grant is additionally geared towards helping the long-term unemployed find jobs. The Career Services offices will assist both Cherokees and non-Natives depending on the program.

Source:
Baker, B. (2014, October 6). Notes from the Chief: Expanding Careers Options for Cherokee People. Retrieved from http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/life/commentary/10596-notes-from-the-chief-expanding-careers-options-for-cherokee-people

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