Walking Shield

When a group of Native Americans took over Alcatraz prison, protesting generations of injustice, Phil Stevens decided he wanted to do something to help. As a successful businessman, he hadn’t thought much about his Lakota Sioux roots until he visited the reservations. “Our people are refugees in their own land,” he told his family upon his return. This is the story of how Phil used his business savvy and connections to find ingenious ways to bring desperately needed clothing, medical supplies, and housing to the reservations. “The most important thing we are doing is providing hope for our people,” he says. His organization, Operation Walking Shield, is helping people rebuild their hopes, their dreams, and their dignity. “I tell the young people they need to learn to live in both cultures — with a moccasin one foot and a tennis shoe on the other,” Phil says.

Walking Shield
When a group of Native Americans took over Alcatraz prison, protesting generations of injustice, Phil Stevens decided he wanted to do something to help. As a successful businessman, he hadn’t thought much about his Lakota Sioux roots until he visited the reservations. “Our people are refugees in their own land,” he told his family upon his return. This is the story of how Phil used his business savvy and connections to find ingenious ways to bring desperately needed clothing, medical supplies, and housing to the reservations. “The most important thing we are doing is providing hope for our people,” he says. His organization, Operation Walking Shield, is helping people rebuild their hopes, their dreams, and their dignity. “I tell the young people they need to learn to live in both cultures — with a moccasin one foot and a tennis shoe on the other,” Phil says.

ELA Learning Standards:

SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.9-10.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the topic under investigation.

W.9-10.8
When conducting research, gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Skills: Native American history, housing, negotiation skills, resourcefulness, cultural diversity and heritage, social & economic equity, entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship

Helping Others to See

For people at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Mudurai, India, Dr. V is a hero. Both a village elder and a hospital chief, he insists that his staff provide “impeccable service” and guides his institution of compassion with a glance, a word, a silent presence, a smile. As Gandhi once said, “My life is my message.” Dr. V’s ·unique blend of being and doing is his message. Thanks to support from the Seva Foundation, he and his staff perform 92,000 cataract surgeries a year and 850,000 treatments to prevent blindness. “If you allow the divine force to flow through you, you will accomplish things far greater than you imagined,” says Dr. V. In this story, Seva’s founder, Ram Dass, explains how their support for Dr. V – balances ”being and doing” — or compassionate Actions and compassionate hearts — so they can do the most good for others in the world.

Helping Others to See
For people at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Mudurai, India, Dr. V is a hero. Both a village elder and a hospital chief, he insists that his staff provide “impeccable service” and guides his institution of compassion with a glance, a word, a silent presence, a smile. As Gandhi once said, “My life is my message.” Dr. V’s ·unique blend of being and doing is his message. Thanks to support from the Seva Foundation, he and his staff perform 92,000 cataract surgeries a year and 850,000 treatments to prevent blindness. “If you allow the divine force to flow through you, you will accomplish things far greater than you imagined,” says Dr. V. In this story, Seva’s founder, Ram Dass, explains how their support for Dr. V – balances ”being and doing” — or compassionate Actions and compassionate hearts — so they can do the most good for others in the world.

ELA Learning Standards:

L.9-10.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.9-10.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

WHST.9–10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

L.9-10.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

R.PK-12.4
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

W.PK-12.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, interpretation, reflection, and research.

W.PK-12.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Skills: caring, compassion, leadership, humility, service