Students launch Web site to lend insight about Native Americans
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 23, 2005
A link to Indian news,
A group of urban Native American high school students launched a Web site that
acts as an educational site for the public and a useful source to Valley Native
Americans, especially parents.
Www.northhighnatives.com, a link to Phoenix Union High School District's North
High, launched in October. The Native American Youth Council of North High built
the interactive site, which posts information about such council activities as
fry bread sales, a car wash and out-of-district events such as local powwows or
Native parades in Phoenix.
Of interest on the site is a "numbers system" written in the language of the
Western Apache, Salt River-Maricopa, Cherokee, Navajo and Objibwe. The site also
offers an "indigenous geography" of Phoenix that shows the location of ancient
settlements of the Hohokam peoples, who built irrigation systems in the Gila
River Valley from 350 B.C. to A.D. 1450.
"I believe this project will allow more people to gain an understanding of the
importance of the land they walk upon each and everyday here in the Valley,"
North High senior Brian Bex said. The Navajo 17-year-old is the Webmaster of the
youth council's site.
April Manywhisker, vice president of the North High's youth council, said she is
incredulous about how many people don't know about Native tribes. People believe
all tribes are the same, although each has a distinct culture, language and
worship, she said.
The plan for the site is to collect information about all 400-plus of federally
recognized tribes in the United States. Northhighnatives.com will list contact
information of each tribe on the site so that high school students and their
parents are informed about tribal scholarships.
Cody Johnson, an aspiring fashion designer and a member of Tohono O'odham, plans
to add video to the site. The 17-year-old junior at North High student envisions
a project in which students speak their native language on the site.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 444-8049.