Annual Project Summary 2010

The Tracking Project

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Founded as a non-profit organization in 1986 by John Stokes, The Tracking Project (TTP) in Corrales, New Mexico, has worked with community educators and Native elders from around the world to design a series of teachings which connect individuals directly to the natural world. Our programs of natural and cultural awareness include a wide range of skills—from traditional tracking and survival skills to music, storytelling, dance, peacemaking and martial arts training. The name Arts of Life was chosen to describe these programs, which emphasize indigenous knowledge, the lessons of Nature and the power of art.

Our special thanks to the Aurora Foundation, the Frances V.R. Seebe Charitable Trust, Na Lei Aloha, the Pacific American Foundation, the Attias Family Foundation, the John Densmore Living Trust, StrataScale, theGerbic Foundation, the Ward & Eis Gallery, the Creare Fund of the Tides Foundation, the Santa Fe Community Foundation and the many individual contributors who have made these programs possible. Projects in the past year included:

❖ Nurturing the Roots: an International Community Mentor Project. We continued to expand our mentor network through our Mentor Outreach Initiative 2005–2010 to communities in Brazil, Hawai‘i and French Polynesia. In February, March and October members of our team traveled to the Hawaiian Islands for meetings and outings with Brother Noland Conjugacion and members of The Tracking Project – Hawaiian Inside (TTPHI/NTR), a mentor program for young Hawaiians. In June, the Hawaiian group came to New Mexico for the third and final year of their training. In April, we traveled to Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso, Brazil for a tracking course sponsored by the local Minister of the Environment; in October, we joined members of our Brazilian mentor team to present a tracking camp for 58 participants at Macaquinho in the cerrado region north of Brasília.

❖ Masters Mentor Intensive Course. We created a special one-year masters level mentor course for one of our Hawaiian mentor participants, providing intensive focus on the thirteen essential elements of our curriculum.

❖ University of Peace (UNIPAZ) and Peace Gatherings. In October, we presented a weekend training—Tracking the Roots of Peace—for the Holistic Based Youth Formation project of the University of Peace in Brasília.

❖ Sustainability/Permaculture. With permaculture designer Joel Glanzberg, we continued to offer our courses linking tracking, permaculture and sustainability. In June, Joel and John Stokes presented The Art of Seeing / The Way of the Tracker—a course blending the pattern literacy of permaculture and the art of tracking. Joel also brings his expertise to the participants of Tracking in the Southwest each September. Our October outings on O‘ahu with Brother Noland and the 350 students of Grade 7 at the Kamehameha Middle School focused on issues of Hawaiian sustainability.

❖ Summer Skills Camps. We continued to host our summer youth tracking and survival skills camps in New Mexico: our fifteenth annual Dreamtrackingcamp for girls, ages 10–16; the twenty-fourth year of Hawkeye Training, our tracking/awareness camp for boys 12–18; and the twelfth Hawkeye Scout, our invitational advanced skills camp.

❖ Tracking/Awareness Courses. We once again held our popular Tracking in the Southwest course for adults in the mountains of northern New Mexico.

❖ Wildlife Preservation. We continued our work in the field of wildlife preservation through our classes, literature products, and our on-going links with wildlife groups around the world. In September and November, we were interviewed on KWMR—community radio for West Marin—regarding tracking, wilderness awareness and the importance of the indigenous perspective.

❖ Publications. We continued to spread the attitude of gratitude to all living things through the Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World. Adapted from a traditional Iroquois invocation, these words of gratitude are now available in nine languages (each with the original Mohawk): English, German, Swedish, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Bisayan, French and Hawaiian. We now have 68,500 copies of the book in print.

❖ Other Literary Projects. A profile of TTP written by Jade Stokes entitled “Tracking: Positioning Ourselves in a Changing World” was published on-line in the Oak Meadow Winter 2010 newsletter. Sacred Fire magazine (Issue #12) offered a short profile of our project. We contributed material to Liz Rymland for her up-coming book on a curriculum for the future—An Illumined Guide’s Book. Together with our partners in Projeto Pegadas, we have begun to work on a book which will present the history of the Tracking Project Brazil from 1998 to the present, bringing together several poets, writers and the work of well-known nature photographer Bento Viana.

❖ Teaching Resources / Products. We continued to generate our array of resource products, which now includes: the Thanksgiving Address booklets; Thanksgiving Address notecards; two posters, Animal Tracks of the Southwest and Animal Tracks of Brazil; and our workout DVD, Secrets of Natural Movement.

❖ Our website continues to offer our programs, links and strategies to a global audience. It now receives about 4,700 visitors monthly, for a total of more than 426,500 visitors since it was posted in 2001.

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