The eight boys couldn't get far down the nature trail near the Mendenhall Glacier without science teacher Topaz Shryock pointing to a plant.
Sealaska Heritage Institute has received an $850,000 federal grant to develop a Native-oriented high school curriculum in math, science and history.
The office of Sen. Ted Stevens announced this week that $14.5 million in federal funds will go to Native education programs in Alaska. In Juneau, the money will help expand a Tlingit-oriented elementary school program, continue a popular science summer camp that has a Native focus and provide home educational and social services to preschoolers.
Anna Buchanan said paddling the last in a line of canoes was hard work. But by the end of a weeklong canoe trip near Hoonah last summer, "I was in the front," the middle school student said happily. Camp W.A.T.E.R., a three-week summer camp that blends Native knowledge, Western science and some serious canoeing, is still looking for applicants.
Some students at Floyd Dryden Middle School are building a one-man canoe in a school district program that ties together math, science and Native culture.
On a recent rainy morning, Kymberly Hoyle sands a miniature Tlingit paddle as Alisa St. Clair draws a traditional design of a beaver on tracing paper. Inside the Methodist camp lodge near Eagle River, other students in Camp W.A.T.E.R. carve Native designs in cedar shingles, weigh hemlock bark for an experiment, and brew Labrador tea leaves for a taste test, among other activities. The free camp, run with a $100,000 federal grant by the Juneau School District and the Tlingit-Haida Community Council with the help of other organizations, attracted 40 students who have completed the sixth, seventh or eighth grades.
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