Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What I Learned While Mentoring Native Journalism Students - ICTMN.com

What I Learned While Mentoring Native Journalism Students - ICTMN.com: I know it’s the students who are supposed to do the learning in a mentoring program. But the mentors wind up learning a thing or two as well. I know I did.

For instance, while helping my assigned students at the Native American Journalists Association’s Project Phoenix/Native Voices project in Santa Clara, California in early July, I learned which American tribe has the second-most native speakers. Everybody knows the Navajo have a thriving population of Native speakers, the most in the country, but I was surprised to find, via Census Bureau numbers, that the Yup’ik have the second highest total, about 150,000.

Doing a little research into the federal tribal recognition process, I was surprised to find that more than 300 tribes, in 44 states, have currently petitioned the government for tribal status. California alone has 81 groups vying for recognition, including the Muwekma Ohlone tribe, less than five miles from the convention site. The only states that don’t have current applicants are Hawaii, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, New Hampshire, and Wyoming.