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by Shane Breaker
Ever wanted to learn Ojibwa the easy way? Want to bead your own unique Native design online? At Nativetech.org, it's all possible using a variety of Internet games and activities that allow you to explore certain aspects of North America's Eastern Woodland Aboriginal cultures.
This interactive site is fun to explore: There are eleven interactive games and activities to play with, designed to teach traditional Native games and language using Java script tools. You can make your very own virtual wampum belt, then take your designer skills and create a virtual beadwork design. Or uncover images of beautiful splint baskets by matching their patterns through a memory game. Other highlights include an Ojibwa word game and an interactive version of traditional bowl and dice games. Each activity page has links that will take you to more in-depth resources on the traditional games and culture of the Eastern Woodland peoples.
Nativetech.org was constructed by Tara Prindle, an M.A. in Anthropology with a non-Native background. She has studied Aboriginal history and culture thoroughly, and has also constructed numerous other Native-oriented Web sites. Nativetech.org as a whole (the games section is only a small part of the Web site) explores numerous aspects of eastern Native tribes through articles, essays, and links. The site also offers current affairs coverage via various news agencies concerned with Native affairs, arts, and festivals throughout North America.
This site is a great way to explore and experience great Aboriginal history through technology: It will keep you tuned in, and is suitable for children of all ages.
Shane Breaker is the editor of Alberta's New Tribe Magazine. He is also an accomplished sound engineer and audio artist whose music and writing also appears in Issue 8: REMIX.