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Touching Spirit Bear -Ben Mikaelsen

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1 Touching Spirit Bear -Ben Mikaelsen
“Whatever you do to the animals, you do to yourself. Remember that.”

2 Ben Mikaelsen- Author’s life
He was born in Bolivia in 1952. His parents were Danish but immigrated to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. He did not attend school until the fourth grade He was constantly bullied for his race while attending school. When he was in seventh grade he and his parents moved to the United States. He started writing in 1984.

3 Author’s life continued
He began writing full time in 1984, and has won many awards, including the International Reading Association Award and the Western Writers' Golden Spur award. He currently lives in Montana He adopted a 750 pound Black Bear named Buffy who he had for 26 years until Buffy’s death in September of 2010. Michelson saved him from execution, and personally does not believe that it is right to take an animal out of its natural environment. The bear had his claws removed and was very friendly

4 Awards Novels International Reading Association Award
Western Writers' Golden Spur award. He has also gained many state Readers Choice Awards. He is a sky diving champion Josh McGuire Sparrow Hawk Red Stranded Countdown Petey Touching Spirit Bear Red Midnight Tree Girl Ghost of Spirit Bear

5 Touching Spirit Bear Touching Spirit Bear is a story about survival.
It shows the reader the destruction of anger in the human soul. In the novel we meet 15 year old Cole Matthews who is a very angry young man. His behavior become more and more violent until they finally land him in jail. He decides to use the circle justice system to help get him out of jail. He is banished to an island in Alaska for a year. While he is there he must struggle with his personal demons. He must get over his anger in order to survive not only in this desolate area but also in the world. This novel is about physical survival and survival of the soul.

6 Circle Justice Circle Justice is a Native American form of justice that seeks healing in contrary to the regular punishment. With the cooperation of traditional criminal courts, criminals who plead guilty to certain types of crimes are allowed by the court to sign an agreement accepting responsibility for their wrong doing. They commit themselves to working through a spiritually based process to change their behavior and make restitution to the victims and their community. It is mostly practiced in Minnesota and some other Midwestern states. Volunteers help sentence offenders and then help them lead better lives.

7 So what is a Spirit Bear? Does it really exist?
Yes, Spirit Bears are real! They are found in the central and north coast of British Columbia and Canada. Spirit Bears are black bears that have a rare genetic trait that causes their fur to be white. Spirit Bears are much like the typical black bear. They weigh about half a pound when they are born and when they are fully grown they weigh anywhere from pounds. They are omnivores, which means that they eat berries, nuts, fruit, plants, deer, and salmon. In the wild they can live to be more that 25 years old. *****It is ILLEGAL to hunt Spirit Bears!******

8 Totem pole history In most cases, a totem is a carved tribal figure, usually a pillar engraved and painted with religious or nature symbols.  From where totem poles originated is actually not known.  They are made from wood and as such, rot and decay over time.  This is especially true in rainy climates such as what we have in the Pacific Northwest coastal regions.  Consequently, there are no poles that exist today that were carved prior to the 1800s. 

9 Totem pole history We do know that totem poles were present in North America prior to 1800 because of accounts from early explorers.  Presumably, totem poles seen by the early explorers were preceded by a long history of such carving, and it is assumed these were predominantly house support beams.  Design differences between totem poles are regional and most likely a product of artistic techniques.

10 Totem Pole Decline Totem pole carving declined at the end of the nineteenth century largely due to American and Canadian native assimilation programs.  Carving of totems was fast becoming a dying art. However, this trend was reversed in the mid-twentieth century as a result of renewed interest in native cultures, languages and customs. New totem poles are being carved and raised in most areas where they were once common. 

11 Totem Poles Today Indigenous artists today carve totem poles as booming businesses and educate new apprentices and their customers in the art of traditional totem pole carving and construction.  Modern poles are typically created with a traditional approach, although some carvers incorporate modern icons and some make use of nontraditional tools and techniques in their implementation.

12 Totem Poles Today A new totem pole can fetch thousands of dollars, but due to the amount of time an artist spends on the execution of a single piece, this may be his only source of income.  Archeological analysis show that designs being utilized today were originally developed thousands of years ago by native Americans and most share a common graphic design.

13 Totem Poles Today Totem pole designs usually follow a distinct style.
The Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian of Alaska and British Columbia lay claim to the "Northern Style", which utilizes identifiable color schemes of red, black and turquoise.  The "Southern Style" is common to the Wakashan and Salish tribes of Southern B.C.  Impressive thunderbirds and crest figures utilizing intricate colors of black, red, green, and yellow, white and turquoise are examples of their style.

14 Totem Pole Activity Make a list of animals that can be carved into totems. Write down their characteristics. Once you are done draw your own totem. Then write about the strengths of that animal and what we could learn from it. I want a well thought out paper.

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