August 25, 2017
Great People Doing Great Things: Learning from the Eclipse
While many people across the country donned viewing glasses and prepared to watch Monday’s solar eclipse, a group of 100 teenagers from tribes across the Pacific Northwest launched balloons thousands of feet into the air, gaining a novel perspective of the eclipse — and the chance to send meaningful artifacts to the edge of space during a memorable moment in history.
In addition to launching the giant weather balloons, students from each school attached culturally significant items, called payloads, to the balloons and sent them high into the sky. Their artifacts nearly reached space before returning to the ground.
Over the past couple of years, consortium staff visited many of the schools participating in the eclipse balloon launch, introducing students to space research and various NASA projects. The goal is to bring STEM-related topics to the students in culturally relevant ways, said outreach specialist Isabel Carrera Zamanillo.
Many Native Americans Looked to the Eclipse as a Time of Renewal
In Navajo culture, the passing of the moon over the sun is an intimate moment in which the sun is reborn and tribal members take time out for themselves. “It’s Kind of like pressing the alt, control, delete button on your computer, resetting everything,” said Baldwin, a Navajo woman from Fort Defiance, Arizona.
New Statue Graces the South Dakota Plains
The Dignity sculpture is a stunning combination of art and history. Located on a bluff between exits 263 and 265 on Interstate 90 near Chamberlain, the stainless steel, 50-foot-tall statue was specifically designed by sculptor Dale Lamphere to honor the cultures of the Lakota and Dakota people. That’s why he used three Native American models ages 14, 29 and 55 to perfect the face of Dignity.
“Dignity represents the courage, perseverance and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota culture in South Dakota,” Lamphere said. “My hope is that the sculpture might serve as a symbol of respect and promise for the future.”
Since we're on the topic of statues...
There is a lot of media coverage on the removal of historical statues. What are your thoughts? Are you for or against the removal of these statues?
The Hawaiian Cowboys
As the fifth generation in a family of paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboys, DeeDee would rather spend the day riding horses. But more often than not, weekends find her and her family checking and fixing the miles of rock walls that crisscross their ancestral land. The family still traverses much of the ranch on horseback, because many areas are too rocky to be accessible by an all-terrain vehicle. “I always wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up,” she says. “When that’s all you know, it’s kind of hard to do anything else.”
Her family raises around 200 crossbred Angus cattle on 1,000 acres leased from the state. DeeDee’s RK Livestock ranch is on just a portion of the original Pu’uwa’awa’a Ranch, which spread from the mountains to the sea and was first leased out by the government of Hawaii in 1892. Now a calf-cow operation, the ranch sends most of its weanlings to feedlots on the U.S. mainland. DeeDee’s relatives also fish, hunt wild pigs, raise chickens, grow vegetables and gather crab and limpets.
Oral histories passed from generation to generation link DeeDee’s ancestors to this area long before Hawaii began leasing the land to them. “When we’re on the land, it’s almost an intimate relationship because of the connection between our family and the ‘āina, ” or land, she says.
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Here's Why You Need to Travel to Sante Fe ASAP
Along with the draw of a major Native American art events, a slew of new restaurant and store openings make Santa Fe a top contender for that last-minute escape.