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Science News

Copyright © 2000-2011 Dreamstime.

Source article

Nature News (pdf)

Published By

Dr. Dick van der Wateren


Environmental Sciences, Native Americans, Tribal Colleges, Education

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US Tribal Colleges serve local communities

05.03.2011, Age: 3888 days

Research projects by young Native American students help the communities of Indian Reservations to improve their lives. Using sophisticated analyses they were able to advise people about fish consumption from polluted lakes.

Tribal colleges and universities, usually located on or near Indian reservations, are changing American Indian education by combining rigorous academics with Native culture. For example, students take courses like biology and chemistry, alongside those in Indian language. They provide access to higher education for people who otherwise would not be able to advance beyond a high school diploma. (www.collegefund.org)

Faced with all sort of problems, funding, recruitment, curricula, numbers of students of the presently 36 tribal colleges are rising steadily. Quality of the research as well as education improves and, while academic achievement for students increasies, tribal colleges promote students' self-esteem and cultural identity.

A recently published study by students from Salish Kootenai College, Montana, is a good example of the way tribal colleges may help local communities:

Douglas K. Stevens; Katie McDonald; Nicholas Bishop. Are Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) From Flathead Lake, Montana, USA "Safe" To Eat? An Integrated Mercury Risk Evaluation Study. Environmental Bioindicators, 1555-5267, Volume 4, Issue 4, 2009, Pages 303 - 317. >> article

Zoë Corbyn. Science education: Research on the reservation. Published online 2 March 2011 | Nature 471, 25-26 (2011) | doi:10.1038/471025a

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