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Education projects presented at SPCC Elder’s Meeting for May

By Adriana Fehrs

ST. IGNATIUS — The Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elders attended another monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 7. SKC Hydrology Department presented at the meeting; Anita presented her dissertation research project; and Anthony Berthelote from SKC presented on his blue camas research project.

Birthdays
Stephen Small Salmon, SPCC Elder, was the only SPCC person celebrating a birthday for the Month of May. Unfortunately he was absent on Wednesday, and did not partake in the cake and ice cream. Small Salmon turned 75 on May 10.

S&K Technology
S&K technology is searching for a culturally relevant name for their new energy program, stated in an announcement for the SPCC.

Namchak Buddhist Retreat
The Namchak Buddhist Retreat Ranch left a morning announcement for the SPCC elders. They are still inviting Elders to come out to their property, which is located outside of Hot Springs.

Shirley Trahan, SPCC Elder, brought up that she read Namchak was applying for a mining permit. “In the legal notices in the Valley Journal it says [Namchak] is applying for a permit.”

The gravel pit located on the Namchak property has not been mined since the 1980’s. New mining would harvest an estimated 17,854 cubic yards, while the topsoil would be stripped and stock piled for later use. In a Valley Journal article, Namchak states that they will use the gravel to construct a new road, as a safety measure if emergency vehicles needed access to the property.

Thompson Smith, SPCC, says, “Gravel mining has almost no regulations in Montana, and can have effects on stream interactions.”

Shandin Pete, SKC Hydrology instructor, and several students sat before the elders, on Wednesday at the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Elder’s meeting, to go over what SKC is doing in their Hydrology program. Pete introduced several students, and told the elders they would be back next month to make their final presentation as a part of their graduation requirements. (B.L. Azure photo) Shandin Pete, SKC Hydrology instructor, and several students sat before the elders, on Wednesday at the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Elder’s meeting, to go over what SKC is doing in their Hydrology program. Pete introduced several students, and told the elders they would be back next month to make their final presentation as a part of their graduation requirements. (B.L. Azure photo)

SKC Hydrology Program
Shandin Pete, SKC Hydrology instructor, and several students sat before the elders on Wednesday to go over what SKC is doing in their Hydrology program.

The first group of SKC students of the Hydrology (Geoscience) program are graduating. In the final year of study, students take a class titled ‘Tribal Waters’, which incorporates their technical knowledge with cultural aspects. Pete says, “We can take things like, historical flooding markers, and compare them to bison trails, and ask ‘what times of the year were waters wadeable’?”

Graduates of the program have to present to the elders the historical and cultural aspects of the more technical knowledge learned in the courses in order to graduate, according to Pete. The instructor informed the elders that graduates would be back next month to make their final presentations.

During the May Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elder’s meeting SPCC elder Pat Pierre motions with his hands the ‘nothingness’ of outer space during a debate on Salish equivalents for new words. The Salish word for nothing was suggested as a Salish translation for outer space, and Pierre agreed. (B.L. Azure photo) During the May Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elder’s meeting SPCC elder Pat Pierre motions with his hands the ‘nothingness’ of outer space during a debate on Salish equivalents for new words. The Salish word for nothing was suggested as a Salish translation for outer space, and Pierre agreed. (B.L. Azure photo)

SPCC Language Program
The SPCC Intensive Salish Language Program sought aid from the elders on Wednesday. Chaney Bell, SPCC Salish Language Coordinator, says the program encountered several words that lack a Salish equivalent, and they need help creating new names for the items. Words like outer space, spaceship, beets, earplugs, wireless, and Bluetooth possessed no Salish word.

After the elders held a lively debate, Bell asked them to take home the list of words, and at next month’s meeting they would reconvene and go over a finalized Salish version of the words.

Dissertation Research Project
Anita Dupuis, a tribal member and University of Montana student, is completing her Doctorate.

Currently, she is working on her dissertation titled ‘Articulating Culture Consonance for Health and Wellbeing of the Selish, Ksanka, and Qlispe (SKQ) People’. Dupuis is seeking support from the elders for her to continue her study.

Felicite McDonald, SPCC Senior Advisor and Translator, provides a suggestion during a lively debate at the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elder’s meeting on May 7. Chaney Bell, SPCC Salish Language Coordinator, brought the elders a list of English words that did not possess any Salish translation. (B.L. Azure photo) Felicite McDonald, SPCC Senior Advisor and Translator, provides a suggestion during a lively debate at the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elder’s meeting on May 7. Chaney Bell, SPCC Salish Language Coordinator, brought the elders a list of English words that did not possess any Salish translation. (B.L. Azure photo)

She will be looking at what attitudes, beliefs, and values are held by native people in the community. To do this, she will conduct one-on-one studies to see what attitudes and beliefs are appropriate for the model she will create.

Dupuis is searching for volunteers for her study. She is asking for individuals who are knowledgeable on cultural native traditions.

After her interviews are completed, and she has analyzed the data, Dupuis plans on holding a public meeting to go over her results.

Later on, she hopes to use her study as insight into what constitutes a ‘healthy foundation’.

CSKT Preservation Department
SPCC Elder Mike Durglo, Sr. introduced the new field intern, Katie McDonald, for the Preservation Department. She is working closely with Durglo and Ira Matt, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer.

McDonald is finishing up her Junior year at SKC, and is obtaining her degree in Historic Preservation. Camas Research Project

SPCC Elder Dolly Linsebigler also participated during a discussion on possible Salish translations for new English words. The SPCC Elders were given out a list of words that needed Salish translations and were asked to finalize some translations at next month’s SPCC Elder’s meeting. (B.L. Azure photo) SPCC Elder Dolly Linsebigler also participated during a discussion on possible Salish translations for new English words. The SPCC Elders were given out a list of words that needed Salish translations and were asked to finalize some translations at next month’s SPCC Elder’s meeting. (B.L. Azure photo)

Antony “Tony” Berthelote, SKC Hydrology Instructor, is conducting a group study on Blue Camas on the Flathead Indian Reservation as a part of a restoration project, and informed the elders on what has been accomplished so far. Robert Kenning, SKC Forestry/GIS Instructor, and Whisper Camel-Means, Division of Fish, Wildlife, Conservation and Recreation Wildlife Biologist were there to aid in Berthelote’s presentation.

SKC mapped out four different locations of study last summer: Camas Prairie, The Jocko Valley, Kicking Horse wetland area, and Evaro. They looked at the common attributes of the sites, and from that determined feasible areas where camas could grow.

Of the current mapping locations, SKC is gather data on soil characteristics such as moisture and the chemistry of the soil.

They are continuing to map the areas; this year there is a total of nine individuals working on the project, with four different grants to fund it.

Tribal Wildlife Biologist Whisper Camel-Means holds up a flyer for the Community Bird Day Festival that is on May 22 at the SKC gym. Camel Means invited the Salish-Pend d’Oreille elders out the event. “This year we are going to have live birds,” she said at the SPCC Elder’s meeting on Wednesday May 7. (B.L. Azure photo) Tribal Wildlife Biologist Whisper Camel-Means holds up a flyer for the Community Bird Day Festival that is on May 22 at the SKC gym. Camel Means invited the Salish-Pend d’Oreille elders out the event. “This year we are going to have live birds,” she said at the SPCC Elder’s meeting on Wednesday May 7. (B.L. Azure photo)

Community Bird Day Festival
Whisper Camel-Means, Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Wildlife Biologist, made a separate announcement for the ‘Community Bird Day Festival’.

As a part of the 2014 International Migratory Bird Festival, CSKT Natural Resources Department, SKC Natural Resourced Department, and the Mission Mountain Chapter of the Audubon Society is hosting a bird day at the McDonald Health and Athletic Center and a film showing at the Johnny Arlee/Victor Charlo Theater on Thursday May 22 starting at 5 pm. The event is free to attend, and open to the public.

Camel-Means says, “Last year we had over 200 presenters, we are hoping for the same amount this year, and for this years bird day festival we are going to have live birds.”

Skay Kuh Ay Bead Store
The Skay Kuh Ay “Northern Creations” bead store, located on Main Street in Ronan, is letting the elders know that there are several new pieces on display. They are available for sale and Dacia Whitworth, owner, says, “I am very proud of these new projects; they are really awesome.”

Whitworth informed the elders that they also offer beading classes at the shop to mostly High School students.

The store is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 pm.

Raise Project
The Raise Project has one year left. In the fall, Shandin Pete, SKC Hydrology instructor will return to the SPCC Elders in the fall to report their findings.

Noel Pichette, SPCC Elder, shares a funny story with fellow SPCC Elder Mike Durglo, Sr. during a break at the May Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elder’s meeting. (B.L. Azure photo) Noel Pichette, SPCC Elder, shares a funny story with fellow SPCC Elder Mike Durglo, Sr. during a break at the May Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elder’s meeting. (B.L. Azure photo)

The project is aimed at transforming the way SKC teaches science. Pete says, “SKC has been teaching like a university or a public school, but that’s not what SKC is. I want to focus on getting back to the way our ancestors use to teach.”

Pete explains that minorities have been continually underrepresented in the science fields. With the Raise Project, he wants to increase student’s desire to learn science by using traditional hands-on methods of teaching.

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