Annual Project Summary 2012

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, the Attias Family Foundation, the John Densmore Living TrustRaging Wire, the Edward & Verna Gerbic Family Foundation, the Ward & Eis Gallery, the Creare Fund of the Tides Foundation, and the many individual contributors who have made these Projects in the past year possible.

Projects in the past year included:

* Nurturing the Roots: an international community mentor project. We continued to expand our mentor network through our Global Mentor Outreach Initiative 2005- 2012 to communities in Brazil, the Hawaiian islands and the islands of French Polynesia. In February members of our team traveled to O‘ahu for meetings with the members of our Hawaiian mentor circle. In February we also spent two weeks on Huahine with friends from the Tahitian community. In April, we traveled to Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil for a special tracking course for educators at Instituto Çarakura. In May, we held the first year of NTR / New Mexico, a new three year community mentor training for 24 participants. In October, we joined our friends at the Univerisity of Peace (UNIPAZ) in Brasília for a special youth Formação, as well as a public tracking course focusing on Tracking the Roots of Peace.

* TTP Staff Retreat. We hosted a staff development retreat in New Mexico where we re-visioned our work and our projects for the future, leading to the filming and posting of a number of YouTube movies of our staff and other aspects of our work.

* Hawaiian Arts of Life. We traveled to Honolulu, O’ahu in October to spend three days hiking with the entire Grade 7 (300 + students) of the Kamehameha Middle School, presenting ideas on sustainability, biomimicry and nature awareness.

* Wildlife preservation through education. With the funding assistance of the Frances V. R. Seebe Trust, 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.

* Artist – in- Residence program. John Stokes was invited to be an artist-in-residence for the Montessori of the Rio Grande school, where he made presentations to interested staff members in March, April and May.

* Sustainability / permaculture. With permaculture designer Joel Glanzberg, we once again offered our courses linking tracking, permaculture and sustainability. In August, 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.

* Summer Skills camps. We continued to host our summer youth tracking and awareness camps in New Mexico: our seventeenth annual Dreamtracking camp for girls, ages 10 -16; the twenty-sixth year of Hawkeye Training, our tracking/awareness camp for boys 12-18; and Hawkeye Scout, our invitational advanced skills camp, which was held for the fourteenth year.

* Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. We offered two sessions of Arnis training to the higher level students ( 7 ups) at the Rio Rancho Bujinkan dojo for the fifth year in a row.

* Publications. We continued to spread the attitude of gratitude to all living things through our publication Thanksgiving Address : Greetings to the Natural World.  Adapted from a traditional Iroquois address to the natural world and originally printed in a Mohawk/English dual translation, these words of gratitude are now available in nine language editions: English, German, Swedish, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Bisayan, French and Hawaiian. With our latest reprint, we have 68,500 copies of the book in print worldwide.

* 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 Brasil — and our workout DVD, Secrets of Natural Movement.


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