13.Ed-Web: Native American Websites

By Bob Peterson

Native-American Web Sites

Some things do change. Seven years ago when Rethinking Schools published our booklet Rethinking Columbus, there were no web sites on Native American issues – or few other issues.

As we worked over the last year on a new, greatly expanded edition of Rethinking Columbus, it was striking how much information is on the Internet dealing with the ongoing struggles of Native peoples. The sites allow students and teachers to keep up-to-date on Native American issues and provide a wealth of information previously found only in hard-to-access special collections.

For those looking for original documents, treaties, and legal papers, visit the Center for World Indigenous Studies/Fourth World Documentation Project (www.halcyon.com/FWDP). The project also has selected articles of interest.

For general information on Native American issues, check out these sites:

Cradleboard Teaching Project (www.cradleboard.org). This website is created by Nihewan Foundation for American Indian Education, founded by Cree singer Buffy Sainte-Marie. The site has many links to official home pages of various tribes, Indian political and social welfare groups, and Native American media, arts, and cultural groups.

Native American Home Pages (www.pitt.edu/~lmitten/indians). A well-maintained collection of links to Native Nations and other websites.

Native Web (www.nativeweb.org). Many valuable links to sites and bulletin boards on contemporary native issues, also to literature and cultural databases.

Those with an environmental interest will find several sites of interest. Global Response (www.globalresponse.org) has newsletters for classrooms and school clubs on environmental struggles by indigenous peoples. Another quality site is the Native Americans and the Environment/Center for Conservation Biology (www.conbio.rice.edu/nae) which has articles and links on environmental issues. Another site is the South and Meso American Indian Rights Center (www.saiic.org). It’s a respected center for action alerts, a quarterly journal, and links to indigenous/environmental struggles in Latin America. A more specific environmental issue of genetic engineering can be studied at RAFI (www.rafi.org). It provides information and links that combat the exclusive patenting of indigenous people’s genetic information by biotechnology corporations.

As we strive to get our students interested and involved in issues of social justice, access to up-to-date information is useful. The following sites will help:

Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (www.ezln.org). Provides information on the Zapatista movement in Chiapas.

First Nations/First Peoples Issues (www.dickshovel.com). An outspoken site for all interested in the American Indian Movement, Wounded Knee, and political issues in the U.S.

Global Exchange (www.globalexchange.org). Monitors human rights issues in Mexico, recent report of Chiapas situation.

Planet Peace (www.planet-peace.org). Up-to-date “action alerts” on current struggles.

Special thanks to Philip Martin, who researched these sites (and more) for Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years.