Field Notes: Native Science Report Blog

New Report Examines Language Revitalization on the Fort Berthold Reservation

What does it take to save an endangered language? Is it enough to teach it in the schools? If not, what more is required?

These are some of the questions explored in Taking Back the Language, a new report written by Native Science Report Editor Paul Boyer, and available here. Focusing on over forty years of language revitalization work on the Fort Berthold Reservation of North Dakota, the 20-page report examines the progress made as well as the obstacles encountered by educators and community activists working to teach the tribe’s three languages.

Based on site visits and extended interviews, the report documents a wide range of accomplishments, including the integration of language classes in most of the reservation’s elementary and secondary schools. As a result of groundbreaking work started in the 1970s, many reservation children now study the Hidatsa or Arikara languages from first to eight grade, and for at least one additional year in high school. Both languages, as well as Mandan, the tribe’s third language, are also taught at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, the local tribal college.

However, the report also documents concerns that the tribe is not doing enough to revitalize its languages. Only a small number of adults speak their ancestral language and school-based programs are not yet producing a new generation of fluent speakers. Searching for a solution, Taking Back the Language explores how educators are introducing new instructional materials and reaching out to the tribal government and professional linguists for support. More than classes, they argue, the tribe needs to develop a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to rebuild respect for the languages and carve out space for their use.

Taking Back the Language is published by Native Science Report Press as part of its Voices of Language project, a new initiative examining how Native communities in the Americas are working to sustain and revitalize their threatened indigenous languages. Funded by a generous grant from the National Science Foundation, Voices of Language focuses on the work of individual educators and activists. By telling their stories, the project hopes to provide inspiration and insight to others taking part in this young movement.

NSF webinar to discuss funding for Tribal Enterprise Advancement Centers

The National Science Foundation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program is hosting a webinar to provide more information about Tribal Enterprise Advancement Centers on Monday, April 30 at 3 p.m. eastern time.

A new addition to TCUP’s solicitation, TEA Centers enable tribal colleges “to become research and development resources for their reservations and communities.”  Specifically, “TEA Centers may address a critical tribal or community need or focus on a realm of STEM research or design that is beyond the scope of individual research grants or that is of interest to multiple tribes.”

The April 30 webinar will discuss what is meant by the term TEA Center, required elements of a center proposal, and examples possible center themes. Chief academic officers are particularly encouraged to participate since they are the suggested PI’s for TEA Center grants, along with other relevant colleagues.

Advance registration for the webinar is not required. Simply use the link below (to see the slides and listen to the conversation) or the call-in number to join.

To join the Webex meeting:

https://nsf.webex.com/nsf/j.php?MTID=mcef28c08888cd8b93ca8e595ac759f5c

Meeting number (access code): 749 044 164 Meeting password: Tcup2018!

Or join by phone:

+1-415-655-0002 US Toll

NSF seeking applicants for temporary position in Division of Research on Learning

The NSF/EHR Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings has a search for a program officer in science education.

This temporary position addresses science education broadly. In other words, the candidate can have a specialization in any science or science-related focus, such as science identity. As stated in the job description, the NSF seeks applicants who are able to demonstrate knowledge of, and a record of contributing to, STEM education in the broad area of science learning and teaching; demonstrate knowledge of research related to how educational experiences in K-12 and/or informal settings can enhance STEM workforce and career development; and demonstrate research, analytical and technical writing expertise as evidenced by publications and other documents.

The job posting can be found here: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/494808400. The closing date for this position is April 23.

 

Not Giving Up

Beginning with uncertain plans and a few false starts, Student Research Award winner Jusden Keliikuli found support and success at Kapiolani Community College.

I’ve come a long way with my college education.

In high school, I didn’t prepare for college. I completed the SAT test at the last minute before graduation and received low scores. Attending a local community college became my best option. While taking a year off before enrolling, nursing became an interest. The salary, along with the opportunity to care for others, was very appealing. So I started my college career by majoring in nursing at Kapiolani Community College (KCC), where I completed prerequisite courses. I transferred to Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), hoping to be accepted into its nursing program. While at KCC and HPU, however, my interest for nursing gradually faded, which affected my grades. Eventually, I decided to drop out of HPU for financial, academic, and personal reasons.

More →

EDITOR’S NOTE: Undergraduate research is a growing part of the STEM curriculum within many tribal and Native serving colleges. The opportunity to conduct original research, even in the first years of study, strengthens learning and, faculty report, increases student interest in STEM disciplines traditionally overlooked by Native students. Additionally, research projects devised by students often focus on the needs of their own communities and frequently honor traditional values and unique cultural knowledge, producing innovative projects and new approaches to scholarship.
     To highlight and support this work, we put out a call to tribal colleges and Native-serving universities nationwide, inviting submissions to our new Student Research Award program. For the spring 2018 academic term, three submissions were chosen for publication, beginning with Kapiolani Community College student Jusden Keliikuli’s paper below.
     Congratulations to Mr. Keliikuli–and to the other awardees who will be featured in the coming months.
–Dr. Paul Boyer, Editor

How fo’ solve one Atwood System in Pidgin

by Jusden Keoni Keli‘ikuli

Physics is a difficult subject that I struggled to understand. But I was able to succeed with the help and encouragement of Dr. Herv´e Collin who allowed me to write this physics research paper in Hawai‘i Creole English (HCE), also known as Pidgin in Hawai‘i. I consider Pidgin as my first language because I grew up in the moku (district) of Wai‘anae on the mokupuni (island) of O‘ahu where Pidgin is commonly spoken. Writing in Pidgin helped to bridge the language gap between Pidgin and English, thus making it easier for me to clarify and comprehend physics concepts and problem solving methods. Not only has writing in Pidgin increased my physics comprehension, but it also made physics and writing more enjoyable for me. I hope that this research paper will help my fellow k¯anakas and Pidgin-speaking students succeed in physics and inspire other k¯anakas to purse a career in STEM. The full paper PDF file can be downloaded here: Jusden Keliʻikuli’s pidgin research paper

 

 

Submissions invited to NSF “Vizzies Challenge”

The National Science Foundation, in partnership with Popular Science, invites researchers and members of the general public to submit their best science or engineering visualization to this year’s “Vizzies Challenge.”

Visualizations include animations, apps, illustrations, or photographs that help explain scientific or engineering concepts. According to the NSF, they “connect scientists and citizens, creating a universal language that enables people the world over to exchange knowledge and to understand scientific ideas and phenomena.”

Entries may be submitted by individuals or by teams by visiting www.nsf.gov/Vizzies. NSF and PopSci.com will feature the winning entries on their respective web sites. In addition, up to five Experts’ Choice winning entries will receive $2000 each, and up to three People’s Choice winning entries will receive $500 each.

This year’s Vizzies closes April 15.

To learn more about the competition, now in its 16th year, and view previous year’s winners see:  www.nsf.gov/Vizzies.

 

NSF-TCUP program solicitation released; new support for tribal “Enterprise Advancement Centers”

The National Science Foundation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) has released its new program solicitation, outlining funding opportunities for TCUP-eligible colleges and universities.

A significant new addition to this year’s solicitation is funding for “TCU Enterprise Advancement Centers.” These centers “will enable tribal colleges to become research and development resources for their reservations and communities,” according to the announcement. Specifically, “TEA Centers may address a critical tribal or community need or focus on a realm of STEM research or design that is beyond the scope of individual research grants or that is of interest to multiple tribes.”

Possible research areas include the “environmental sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and engineering, as well as indigenous research, service learning, and STEM entrepreneurship,” among others.

The full solicitation, with additional information about TEA Centers, submission deadlines, and submission requirements can be found here.

 

Administration for Native Americans announces 2018 funding opportunities

The Administration for Native Americans, an office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has released its 2018 Funding Opportunity Announcements.

The ANA’s mission is to support social and economic self-sufficiency within Native American communities. Funding areas include:

  • Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance
  • Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance – Esther Martinez Immersion
  • Social and Economic Development Strategies Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies
  • Environmental Regulatory Enhancement Social and Economic Development Strategies for Alaska
  • Native Language Community Coordination Demonstration Project Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development

An interactive map of current grantees can be found here.

Visit ANA’s website for further information on the current funding announcements or for technical assistance for applicants. Applications are due April 9, 2018.