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More Native Americans choosing to attend public schools off the reservations

Sherman Indian High School at center of federal debate

Indian Country Today: Breaking the Cycle

Reservation Life: Helga Teiwes Photography, Arizona State Museum

Sherman Alexie, 'Sitcom American' [Real Player]

Chronicles of Oklahoma: The Life and Work of Sequoyah

Throughout American history, the federal government's strategies regarding Native Americans have changed frequently, repeatedly resulting in inept practices and at times deplorable outcomes and often confounding attempts to assist these various groups. Recently, the New York Times reported on the subject of Native American education, which is going through a rather interesting transformation. From Arizona to Montana, it would appear that after decades of attempts to create solid and reputable public school systems on the reservations, more and more Native American families are turning to public schools off the reservation. In many ways, this is an interesting and unexpected change, as resentment still exists over the forced boarding-school programs from the early 20th century which effectively forced Native Americans to renounce their culture and language in the name of a coordinated program of assimilation. However, this movement in Native American families mirrors general trends in American demographics, as more and more persons move from rural areas to solidly suburban and urban places. Additionally, many parents on the reservation feel that their children are not getting adequate attention or access to specialized programs. One student, Jasmine Walks Over Ice, recently transferred to a public high school in Hardin, Montana, stating that she transferred because, "There's more structure and a lot of respect for the teachers."

The first link will take users to an article from this Sunday's New York Times about Native Americans who are choosing to attend public schools away from the reservation. The second link leads to a recent article from the Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) that talks about the local Sherman Indian High School and the debate about whether the government should continue to run off-reservation boarding high schools. Moving on, the third link will take users to an article from this Monday's Indian Country News about the attempts to deal with gangs and drugs on reservations in Wisconsin. The fourth link leads to a small online photograph exhibit of works by Helga Teiwes, who spent a considerable amount of time photographing life on various reservations in the American Southwest. The fifth link leads to a fantastic National Public Radio interview with one of the foremost chroniclers of contemporary Native American life, noted author and poet Sherman Alexie. Finally, the last link leads to an extended piece from the June 1930 edition of the "Chronicles of Oklahoma" on the Cherokee lexicographer and linguist Sequoyah.
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