Native Americans and Astronomy Education

For many Native Americans the stars, moon and planets play an important part in their culture. As well the land, particularly mountains are often held as sacred. About 50 years ago it was deemed important to have a national observatory for the United States. Sites were evaluated and one was chosen near Tucson, Arizona.

Kitt Peak is the second most important mountain to the Tohono O’odham Nation of Southern Arizona. It lies on their land, east of their capitol, Sells, AZ. The leadership was not too sure about allowing a bunch of white scientists to build large telescopes on this sacred mountain. In an historic meeting the tribal leaders were allowed to view their familiar heavens through a 36 inch telescope at Steward Observatory on the University of Arizona Campus. This proved to be the tipping point as their tribal council granted permission for the observatory to be built on the mountain and remain “as long as only astronomy research was conducted.”

In the past 50 years both the Tohono O’odham and the scientists have benefited from the relationship. One such benefit is the collection of a variety of resources that may prove to be useful to astronomy outreach providers and teachers of Native Americans. Today that project goes live on the web.

Resources for Astronomy Outreach Providers and Teachers of Native Americans is XHTML 1.0 Strict with valid CSS, and not a TABLE in sight.


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In which Mark announces one of the sites that has been keeping him busy lately...

July 27, 2004 | web standards

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