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Nez Perce Tribe Extension Program


The University of Idaho and the Nez Perce Tribe is seeking funding for a Nez Perce Reservation Extension Program. The overall goal is to increase the quality of life on the Nez Perce Reservation primarily through agriculture and natural resource education and life skills development for youth and adults. The Nez Perce Project is relevant to the goals of FRTEP in that a secure and adequate funding base is necessary to establish an effective Extension program on the reservation by hiring, and retaining Extension personnel that appreciate and understand Native American culture and heritage and who can develop educational programs for reservation residents. <P>Statement of Program Objectives: <OL> <LI> Develop and implement educational programs for youth, K-12, related to life skills development, teen leadership, equine science, agriculture, and natural resources. <LI>Develop and implement educational programs for adults related to managing small acreages profitably, natural resource stewardship, land tenure issues, and parenting.<LI>Provide horticulture and food safety education for youth and adults to improve the nutrition and health of reservation residents. <LI> Be the center of educational outreach efforts on the reservation. <LI>Facilitate community development efforts in order to enhance economic opportunities and quality of life for reservation residents. </ol><P>Life skills development of youth was identified as a high priority by the advisory committee that was formed to prepare the project objectives of this proposal. In addition, agriculture, natural resources, and horses are an important part of Nez Perce heritage and culture. Therefore, these aspects will be the focus of educational programming efforts. The Reservation Extension Educator will work with Nez Perce Tribe Department personnel, other UI County Extension Faculty, local schools and interested private organizations and individuals to address the educational and developmental needs of reservation youth and adults. The Reservation Extension Educator will plan and implement educational programs to address the identified local needs.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The total population residing on the Nez Perce Reservation (Reservation) is 17,806 (Census 2000). The total Tribal membership is 3,347 (January 2007). The Nez Perce Indian Reservation was established in 1863 and is comprised of 770,453 acres in the northern Idaho panhandle region, and spans four counties. Approximately 385,227 acres are considered cropland, 261,954 acres are used for grazing, and 100,159 acres are forestlands. Currently, the county extension offices serving the four county area of the reservation do not have educational programming that targets the reservation community, primarily due to minimal availability of faculty and staff and the lack of support from respective county commissioners to target the Native American population. The presence of an Extension Educator on the Nez Perce Reservation would provide the connection, coordination and programming necessary to serve the educational needs of the Nez Perce Reservation community. The overall goal is to increase quality of life on the Nez Perce Reservation through agriculture and natural resource education and life skills development for youth and adults. <P>
APPROACH: Statement of Approach: <BR>Major Strategies Hire an Extension Educator and Program Assistant to implement stated objectives. <LI> Utilize one or more advisory groups, and one-on-one interactions, to collect stakeholder input to periodically identify and prioritize programming efforts. <LI> Coordinate and partner with the Nez Perce Tribe Natural Resource, Fisheries, and Education Departments, The Nez Perce Arts Council, University of Idaho (UI) faculty (County Extension and campus based), Lapwai Boys and Girls Club, Northwest Indian College (NWIC), school districts, city, county, state and federal agencies to plan and conduct educational programs. <LI> Work with partners to develop resources that will support programming efforts. <LI> Deliver programs primarily via small group and one-on-one interaction both in the classroom and the outdoors; focus on summer camp and mentoring programs for youth; evaluate educational programs. <LI> Increase the visibility and credibility of Extension program accomplishments on and off the reservation through the media, publication, and presentations. <P>The ad hoc advisory committee that is currently in place to establish the Reservation Extension Program has provided valuable input on the project objectives stated earlier. This committee will continue to provide feedback and support during the UI search and screen process to hire both an Extension Educator and a Program Assistant. In addition to an advisory committee, stakeholder input will be obtained in other ways, such as with surveys, program evaluations, and one-on-one interactions. The Reservation Extension Educator will participate in appropriate Tribal meetings, and develop working relationships with Tribal personnel working in lands, agriculture, natural resources (water, fisheries and wildlife), GIS, culture, and youth. The Reservation Extension Educator will interact with local community members and learn about Nez Perce Culture. In addition, the Reservation Extension Educator will keep lines of communication open with Tribal government officials and among departments related to educational programming efforts.
PROGRESS: 2007/08 TO 2008/07<BR>
OUTPUTS: A new extension office was been established on the Nez Perce Reservation in Lapwai. Part of this effort included signage, purchasing supplies, publications and materials needed for an Extension office. A horsemanship program has been implemented for youth and adults. The delivery method is the scheduling of individuals and families for personal instruction with the FRTEP Educator for 1 hr or up to 2 hr sessions. The focus of the instruction is safety, horse care, and riding. All the program participants are people who do not own their own horses and are very beginner riders, and many had their first horse experience in this program. The FRTEP Educator has been using her personal horses for instruction while the Tribe works through the process of authorizing the use of their horses for instruction. It is anticipated that such approval will occur in August. In addition to developing and implementing a horsemanship program the FRTEP Educator has produced several documents that were needed or requested by the Nez Perce Tribe's horse program: a business plan for an equestrian center, horse marketing & dispersal plans, a horse program plan, horse management information and developed an informational flyer on the Nez Perce Horse breed and registry.The FRTEP Educator organized the Lapwai Farmers Market Association and the opening day of the market was Saturday, July 19, 4 - 7 pm. A local business owner has provided the space and advertising in a prime location along state hwy 95. The FRTEP Educator wrote the farmers market guidelines, ground rules, and membership forms which were reviewed and approved by the association with minor changes.In addition, the FRTEP Educator conducted a horse judging clinic for the local Lapwai High School FFA students in preparation for a state contest. There is enough interest in horses now that the FRTEP Educator has been working with the Lapwai High School's FFA Advisor and Curriculum Counselor to develop a horse science class for the Fall '08 school semester. The FRTEP Educator facilitated the effort to offer college credit for the class through the Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston. The FFA Horse Science curriculum will be used and the FRTEP Educator will provide some hands-on educational activities to support the classroom work. The FRTEP Educator was a guest instructor for the Inter-Tribal Natural Resource Youth Camp on the topic of watersheds and partnered with USFS personnel to plan the field trip. Youth learned how to make and read topographic maps and a field trip was conducted to identify the parts and functions of watersheds. The AIPRA seminar series is currently underway. It is a four week short course, one night a week in two locations: Lapwai and Kamiah. The FRTEP Educator partnered with the Nez Perce Tribe's law student intern who is providing free estate planning and will services. The FRTEP Educator utilized Montana State University AIPRA materials and made customized adaptations for the Nez Perce Reservation in the development of the seminar series notebook materials. The FRTEP Educator also developed the evaluation pre and post surveys. <BR>PARTICIPANTS: Valdasue Steele is the project director and FRTEP Educator. Partner organization is the Nez Perce Tribe and specifically the natural resources and education departments. Other program partners include the USFS and Idaho Rural Partnership (IRP). I was asked to serve on the visiting team for a community review of Kamiah conducted by the IRP. This was a professional development opportunity as well. <BR>TARGET AUDIENCES: The Nez Perce Reservation, both Tribal and non-Tribal residents, and both youth and adults. Educational programs are delivered face-to-face and changes in knowledge and behavior are documented. <BR>PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.
IMPACT: 2007/08 TO 2008/07<BR>
Many of the Tribal departments and community residents now know that there is an extension office on the Nez Perce Reservation. The horsemanship program has a stellar safety record - no incidents or injuries have occurred with any of the students. All program participants can safely groom, pick up feet, and lead a horse. Many of the participants can properly tie up and saddle a horse on their own. All program participants have increased their level of knowledge about horses as well as increased confidence in handling and riding them. Many participants have overcome their fear of horses. The Tribe's horse program now has more visibility in the reservation community. As a result of the FRTEP Educator's various plans, proposals, and programming efforts with their horse program, the Nez Perce Tribe is preparing to significantly reduce the size of their breeding horse herd and shift their focus by reducing the number of breeding animals and increasing the effort to train their horses for riding. The Lapwai Farmer's market is being held weekly from July 19 - October 18, 2008. The market is now listed on the Idaho directory of farmer's markets. There are at least 4-6 vendors actively participating and earning extra income. The association now has its own post office box and bank account. The market has helped unify the community with both Tribal and non-Tribal members participating. The Lapwai High School now has a horse science elective listed in their course offerings for Fall 2008. The AIPRA seminar series was made possible by a $3,000 grant and partnership with Montana State University. All participants so far have indicated a desire to write a will as a result of the first class in the four week series.

Steele, Valdasue
University of Idaho
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