Annual Project Summary 2013

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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 Trust, Raging 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 included:

* Nurturing the Roots: an international community mentor project. We continued to expand our mentor network through our Global Mentor Outreach Initiative 2005 – 2013 to communities in Brazil, the Hawaiian islands and the islands of French Polynesia. In February members of our team traveled to the Big Island and to O‘ahu for meetings with the members of our Hawaiian mentor circle and to look at sites for future gatherings. We also held courses in February and October on O‘ahu for healers and lomilomi practitioners in preparation for a new mentor program in Hawai‘i.

* Nurturing the Roots / New Mexico. We hosted the second year of our community mentor program — NTR / New Mexico — adding 8 new participants to the first year’s group.

* Santa Fe Mountain Center (SFMC). We were invited to provide a one day staff development training for SFMC through members of our community mentor group.

* 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.

* Bosque School Winterim program. John Stokes was invited to join Bosque teacher David Bair to hold a five day camping experience — Tracking in New Mexico — in the wildlife refuge Bosque Del Apache for grade 9 and 10 students. We also volunteered several hours of teaching at the school.

* Summer Skills camps. We continued to host our summer youth tracking and awareness camps in New Mexico: our eighteenth annual Dreamtracking camp for girls, ages 10 -16; the twenty-seventh 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 fifteenth 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 sixth 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 ten language editions: English, German, Swedish, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Bisayan, French, Hawaiian and Italian. With the publication of the Italian edition and our latest reprint of the English version, we have 75,500 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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