Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho


At The tribe's Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Project, Salish-Kootenai Tribal College in Pablo, Mont., and the Idaho Space Grant Consortium have collaborated on a successful education proposal to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Through the partnership the tribe will be host to a 10-day math and science camp, July 17-28 on the Lewis Clark State College campus for American Indian students who will enter their first high school algebra course next fall. The Montana college will be host to the Preparing to Academic Excellence (PACE) program in 2001. There will be a concurrent program the following year. Thirty-five students will participate in hands-on science experiments and demonstrations, field trips, cultural and career awareness activities. Selection is based on student essays on how math affects the tribe and environment of the reservation, a letter from a tribal leader, elder or program director, school transcripts and student survey. Each student will receive a $200 stipend upon completion of the program. Chairman Samuel N. Penney called the National Marine Fisheries Service's expected position that dams should stay in place for five to 10 years "dabbling in politics rather than making a scientifically based decision." The chairman said the May 22 draft biological opinion is the result of "an agency caving in to political pressure rather than relying on the best of science" in saving the endangered salmon runs. "The alarm on the extinction clock has gone off, and we do not have five to 10 years of precious time to waste," he said. The Nez Perce strongly support the breaching alternative with accompanying economic development support for those who would be impacted by dam breaching, he said. "We believe we can help the fish and help people, too."