If I could be one thing, I would want to be a drum.
That way I could give our people pleasure to dance, sing, and listen to my beat. --Patricia Jourdain, Red School House, grade 6

Young People's Pages

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This page is a demo of young people's work we hope to publish here, as they and their teachers learn to create Web pages. my Creating Web Page Tutorials has a How2 for elementary-level teachers and upper school students who can learn their own HTML markup methods. There's also some downloadable software aids that are freeware (giveaways by authors) and "shareware", software you pay for only if you like using it.

Calvin Jackson (and his art assistant Jamie "Tater" Jones)--were both first graders when they drew our page's startup banner; Patricia Jourdain grade 6 wrote the poem about being a drum.

--Student Science Achievement Award: Geronimo Arichega, Grade 7-8, Heart of the Earth Survival School, Minneapolis. Indian people are invited to name any outstanding young achiever, describe their accomplishments in a "honor essay" as you might in a speech, for this achievement honors page. Photos, too if possible. The achievements don't have to be school, science, or math. Anything admirable that you want to publicly honor a young person for.

-- Click for big pic--BACK key returns here. This page uses images and writings from Red School House the AIM Survival School in St. Paul, founded by Baw Dway wi Dun (Eddie Benton Banai, Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe, WI) in 1969 (it was in Minneapolis, first). The images were scanned on a cheap black and white handscanner from pictures drawn in the late 1970's. I colored them in 1987 within the outlines in a PC program called PC Paintbrush (which is now a part of Windows). Last year I worked with students at Heart of the Earth AIM Survival School in Minneapolis, and got funding for a computer lab there, but unfortunately nice work done then was lost in a system crash the day before school ended. The thumbnail clickbutton will bring up a larger picture by RSH student Rita Dow, who was in 1st grade when she drew it (on paper). She captured the look of the old brick building well--that grey thing at the left is the old fire escape, and its street number, 643 Virginia. that the younger students were taught to memorize. I added Steve Quagon's short essay about "Our School,", I particularly liked his honesty about why he attends!

Next school year--maybe even this year?--I hope to have many handsome pages showing off the work of Indian youth from all over the Great Lakes region "on computer" that 20,000,000 InterNet users might see. So work on those HTML tutorials, and save your students' computer graphics, too!

Click for big pic. --5th graders drew pictures of living in ideal Indian style. Most students, like Brenda Quagon, drew a lifestyle, 100% pure, historically. One younger girl--Rosie didn't buy the historically pure cultural ideal. She drew a series of pictures around the theme What if it suddenly changed? You come home--in her picture here--and find your house has become a tipi, and there's her reaction to that..."All my stuff is gone!" In other pix, she told a comical story of no TV, no car, no pizza, no ice cream. Click for her big pic--and use your BACK key to return here.

Click for big pic--In class, Billy Jacobs (Grade 6) was always drawing tanks, guns, planes, rockets, subs, warships. He's obviously talented, good command of line and shape. His teacher, seeking to involve Billy in his own native culture, suggested that he draw Indian themes, natural animals of Mother Earth and such. The picture was Billy's reply--a very interesting and thoughtful one!

Click for big pic--In Elder Walter "Porky" White's Ojibwe Language class, 7-year-old Roy Quagon was caught by a young Native Education Bureaucrat-trainee drawing what this aide (a Lakota) thought was a "disrespectful of our elders" cartoon. Maybe it does look a bit like Porky, but the kids' assignment had been to draw the animals whose Anishnabe names they were learning. This isn't "a gag" in English (as the aide, chewing Roy out, thought), it's a cute illustration of the short-form Ojibway word for "porcupine", maybe influenced a bit by Porky's nickname (which everyone calls him). Porky thought it was funny; so did I. Cultural misunderstandings may occur intertribally, of course, but I think the basic cultural problem here was "insufferable young bureaucrat-in-training" vs "anyone they have power over."

Click for big pic--BACK key returns here. This page was created by Paula Giese, with student graphics from prior years at Red School House, AIM Survival School, St. Paul. Originally, young people drew all of these in black and white on paper. In 1987, I scanned a few I had saved because of their personal meanings with a cheap 1-bit (black-and-white only) hand digitizer into a 16-color (EGA video standard) IBM PC clone and painted within PC Paintbrush. For this page, I cropped and resized them using professional image-processing software (PC Windows; versions exist for Macs which are the computers of choice for most graphics pros) PhotoShop, making sure they remained 16-indexed-colors file format, so as to keep the filesize as small as possible (because of modem transmission slowdowns with big graphics files). I then converted these images to the file format called GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) and made shrunken thumbnails for buttons using the shareware Windows utility, LviewPro 1A, which also let me set a "venetian blind" loading effect for the bigger ones, and transparent background for Lisa Wahpepa's all-too-recognizable drawing of me.. So most of the original drawings on this page were actually done 7-15 years ago, by young people who may be parents themselves now!

This suggests to me--and hopefully to students and teachers--that computer preservation (and maybe net storage, ever-accessible from anywhere!) of yearbooks, portfolios of student work, etc. is a good idea. Parents, aunties, grandparents all love to keep kids' drawings and writings, but it can get lost in later years, and what if there's only one? What if you're visiting away from home and want to show it off to other relatives? Suppose a whole personal history of your own young days were accessible by computer-modem, logging onto your own pages from anywhere in the world. Photos, video-clips, voice-autgraphs, as well as digitized drawings and writings. Too, yearbook and personal photos can be digitized, that's automatic if you have photos "developed" as Kodak Photo CD's (which can be played back in a computer CDROM drive), but you can also scan them.

So there's a lot of interesting publication possibilities on this new InterNet technology. As kids get into doing it themselves, it is so natural for art and self-expression, today's young people are the ones who will realize the full potentials of this new form of communications. In my experience over 20+ years of working intermittently with Indian young people, I've come to feel there is a natural, innate talent for art that is very widespread, far more than in other ethnic groups. New art forms will develop with computers and the web; today's Indian young people will be world-wide leaders of this tomorrow. Our kids will invent things and art forms for this new medium that we ourselves cannot now imagine.

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This page prepared by Paula Giese, text and images copyright 1995; EMAIL to:

Last updated: Tuesday, December 12, 1995 - 2:20:11 AM