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Annual Project Summary 2009

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 Foundation, Raging Wire Enterprise Solutions, the California Community Foundation, the Attias Family Foundation, the John Densmore Living Trust, the Pacific American Foundation, the Gerbic 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 2005–2009 to communities in Brazil, Hawai‘i and the islands of French Polynesia. In February, March, June and October members of our team traveled to the Hawaiian Islands for meetings and outings with Brother Noland Conjugacion and the members of TTPHI/NTR, a mentor program for young Hawaiians. In October we joined members of our Brazilian mentor team to present a tracking/leadership camp for 51 participants in the rainforest near Rio Preto da Eva, Amazonas.

Native American Youth Camps and Leadership Trainings. In April we presented a workshop on “Traditional Ecological Knowledge” in Cuba, New Mexico, for the Native participants of the Santa Fe Mountain Center’s Emergence program. Together with the McCloud family and the Sapa Dawn Center, we held a camp on the Nisqually reservation in Washington state for young men and women. In May we offered a staff retreat for the National Indian Youth Leadership Program (NIYLP) at Oso Vista, New Mexico. In July we took part in the NIYLP’s national summer Sacred Mountain Camp on Mt. Taylor with 70 young leaders from North America and Hawai‘i, and in December we camped in the Bosque del Apache refuge with a group from NIYLP.

Hawaiian Arts of Life. We traveled to O‘ahu several times as we expanded our annual Arts of Life programs with Kamehameha Elementary School (grades 1 & 2) and Kamehameha Middle School (grade 7).

Sustainability/Permaculture. In February we joined Brother Noland for two presentations in Honolulu on sustainability and education organized by Mike McCartney, then head of the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association and currently head of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. In June, Joel Glanzberg and John Stokes once again presented The Art of Seeing / The Way of the Tracker, a course blending the pattern literacy of permaculture and the art of tracking.

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

Tracking/Awareness Courses. We held the third year of our popular Tracking in the Southwest course for adults in the mountains of northern New Mexico and traveled to New Park, Pennsylvania for a weekend course.

Wildlife Preservation. We continued our work in the field of wildlife preservation through our classes, literature and products. In April, we traveled to Olympia, Washington, for the second year to work with the students of the Boston Harbor Elementary School.

Performances. We took part in two Santa Fe events: a reading to honor the passing of Japanese poet Nanao Sakaki in January, and a concert in March with John Densmore (of The Doors), the Hani Nasr band and David Lindley.

Publications. We continued to spread the message 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 published in an English/Mohawk bilingual edition, 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. With our latest reprint, we have 66,350 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 Brazil; and our workout DVD, Secrets of Natural Movement. We maintained and updated our website to make our programs, links and strategies accessible to a global audience. The site now receives about 4,300 visitors monthly, with a total of more than 370,000 visitors since the site was posted in 2001.

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  The Tracking Project P.O.Box 266 Corrales, NM 87048-8788