Youth and Education News
November 12, 2003 Issue 122, Volume 4
"Why not teach school children more of the wholesome proverbs and legends of our people? That we killed game only for food, not for fun... Tell your children of the friendly acts of the Indians to the white people who first settled here. Tell them of our leaders and heroes and their deeds... Put in your history books the Indian's part in the World War. Tell how the Indian fought for a country of which he was not a citizen, for a flag to which he had no claim, and for a people who treated him unjustly. We ask this...to keep sacred the memory of our people. " Grand Council Fire of American Indians to the Mayor of Chicago, 1927
San Diego County Indian Reservations Devastated by Fires
The California wildfires that devastated San Diego County swept across 14 separate Indian reservations. The fires destroyed dozens of homes and charred thousands of acres of land. "When you look at the tribal impact, it's devastating,’ said Nedra Darling from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Up to 29,000 acres of tribal land were wiped out by the Cedar and Paradise fires, Darling said. Phones and electricity were out on most reservations, including nine Indian-owned casinos. Eleven people lost their lives on or near reservation land, but it was unclear whether any were tribal members. Hardest hit was the San Pasqual reservation, about 35 miles north of San Diego. Its entire 1,400 acres were burned, as were more than a third of its homes, mostly uninsured trailers and prefabricated units.
Reservations damaged in the fires included:
* Rincon, more than 3,000 acres burned, 20 homes destroyed.
* La Jolla, more than 2,000 acres burned.
* Capitan Grande, more than 15,700 acres burned, unpopulated.
* Inaja, more than 800 acres burned.
* Cuyapaipe, more than 5,000 acres burned.
* Santa Ysabel, more than 15,500 acres burned.
Only four reservations in the county were spared.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire
Ecuadoran Indians sue US oil Firm for Alleged Environmental Damage
30,000 indigenous people and peasants from Ecuador have sued the oil company Chevron Texaco over environmental damage in the region. An environmental impact report and a study of the effects in residents has been presented in court. Texaco, which operated between 1971-1992, has allegedly caused permanent health problems in area residents.
Tribes Buy Crandon Mine
In Wisconsin, the Potawatomi and Mole Lake Chippewa have purchased the Crandon mine and its mineral rights. Forest County Potawatomi chairman Gus Frank says the tribes have reached a deal to buy Nicolet Minerals Co. The agreement includes the transfer of 5,000 acres in Forest County and the mineral rights to the property. It also includes another 169 acres in Shawano and Oconto counties. The tribes have no plans to mine the land, Frank said.
Students at Two Eagle High School in Montana have created a better future for reptile wildlife along U.S. Highway 93 corridor. By late July, five small ponds and two reservoirs were the only remaining wetlands near Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge, an area normally peppered with 89 or so small water holes. The parched conditions just south of Ronan would likely spell trouble for the western painted turtle. As the reptiles wander across to roadway in search of various types of water sources, hundreds die In 2001, students collected 348 dead turtles. In 2002 they found 330. "I'm sure this year we'll pass up our record of 406 (carcasses) from four years ago," said science teacher Mark Rochin. To help with the problem, state officials and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will install cement culverts in key locations along the highway and design fencing to direct the turtles.
Forensic Expert Says Bigfoot Is Real
The legendary ape-man that roams the mountain regions of North America is called Sasquatch, or Bigfoot. His stories go back centuries. Tales of mythical giant apes lurk in the oral traditions of most Native American tribes. Thousands of people claim to have seen one, but the evidence of its existence is fuzzy. Yet some scientists risk ridicule from others by claiming that forensic evidence warrants a scientific study to determine if Sasquatch actually exists. "Given the scientific evidence that I have examined, I'm convinced there's a creature out there that is yet to be identified," said Jeff Meldrum, a professor at Idaho State University in Pocatello. Scientists believe Bigfoot may be the offspring of an ape from Asia that wandered to North America during the Ice Age. They estimate at least 2,000 ape men atr walking upright in North America's woods today.
Voyager Reaches Edge of Solar System
The Voyager 1 spacecraft, the most distant human-made object, has reached the end -- or perhaps just the beginning of the end -- of our solar system. The robotic spacecraft has pushed far beyond the nine planets and is close to a region called "the heliopause" which marks the beginning of interstellar space. ''We are beginning the exploration of a new frontier,'' said Voyager project scientist Edward Stone, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Native Runners Honoured Decades After Relay
In 1967, Canada had been awarded the Pan Am Games. Charlie Nelson was among ten First Nations runners to run 800 kilometers from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Winnipeg with the Pan Am Games torch. As the runners neared the stadium gate, the torch was taken away from them and given to a non-indigenous runner. The boys were then taken to breakfast at the Pancake House, where they could watch the ceremonies on TV. In 1999, when Winnipeg once again hosted the Games, organizers tracked down the original runners, and apologized. Next they asked them if they might be available on the night of the opening ceremonies. A torch needed transporting into the stadium, and could they do it? Thirty-two years later in July 1999, the runners finished the journey and brought in the torch, a universal symbol of hope. Three years later in 2002, the same runners were honored by carrying the Games flag into the North American Indigenous Games, which were also held in Winnipeg.
Nonprofit's Web site promotes Native artists
SeaAlaska Heritage Institute has launched a Web site promoting 13 Native artists and their work. The site, which includes photos, biographies, video and photo galleries, was created to counteract sales by Alaska merchants who sell cheap replicas made by non-Natives. Native Artists include:
|Brian Chilton||Doug Chilton||Michael Dangeli||Yvette Lynn Diltz||Myra Doré|
|Anna Ehlers||Donald Gregory||Clarissa Hudson||Tommy Jimmie, Sr||Pauline Johnson|
|Leo Marks||Florence Sheakley||Barry Smith||Kathleen Ward||Celeste Worl|
Visit the website: Traditional and Contemporary Alaska Native Art: http://www.alaskanativeartists.com/
Begay struggling to regain confidence
From 1999-2000, Native golfer Notah Begay claimed four PGA victories. Since then, back problems and depression have plagued the golfer. "I'd be lying if I said that I had a lot of confidence right now," the Navajo golfer said. "I'm caught up with it, fighting it... You go through episodes of depression because certain things in the game aren't what you're used to them being. You start doubting yourself, start feeling like things are never going to get better." If he'd allow himself, Begay might feel a little more comfortable heading into other tournaments. With $538,749 in season winnings, he's in good shape to finish in the Top 125 on the money list this year, thus retaining his PGA Tour card for 2004
Education: Stanford (1995, Economics);
Turned pro: 1995;
Joined tour: 1999 PGA;
Tour wins: (4) Reno-Tahoe Open, 1999; Kingsmill, 1999; St. Jude Classic, 2000; Greater Hartford Open;
2000 2003 in review: Ranks 103rd on money list with $538,749;
Best finish: tied for fifth at Honda Classic;
Did you know? Notah's late grandfather, Notah Begay, was one of the 375 Navajo Indians recruited to help with radio code work during World War II, the subject of the movie "Windtalkers."
Kids TV show puts focus on American Indian kids
Journalist Linda Ellerbee traveled to three Indian reservations this summer and interviewed kids, ages 11 to 15, for a half-hour program on Nickelodeon. "They have a great sense of humor based, I think, on a recognition of the absurdities of the world," Ellerbee said. Several youths from Crow Agency, Mont., are featured in the program. They talk honesty about the beauty of their reservation, the poverty they face and how the non-Indian culture perceives them. Other portions of the show feature kids from the Navajo Reservation in Utah and the Nez Perce in Idaho. Ellerbee doesn't sugarcoat the program and reveals that 80% of the people at Crow Agency are unemployed. She also says that the Crow, Navajo and Nez Perce reservations have some of the poorest communities in the United States, and some Navajo children must work at a young age to help their families.
RAPID CITY JOURNAL
'Wolf' is a labor of love for local filmmakers
The latest venture by filmmakers Michael Rosen and Sharon Howard is "Wolf: An Ancient Spirit Returns" Both hope the documentary will air around the country. "We're not expecting to get our money back," Howard admits. "We've just been wanting to do a wolf show for 20 years." Filming took them to Wyoming, Utah, Minnesota and Yellowstone National Park, where gray wolves were reintroduced in 1995. The park is now home to 14 packs, and a recent study shows they actually provide food for the park's other animals. Still, the wolf remains one of the most mysterious, romanticized and misunderstood creatures. "If we couldn't have restored wolves to Yellowstone, as one of the wealthiest nations in the world, what kind of message would that have sent to other nations who struggle with their economies, and at the same time, struggle with their wildlife issues?" said Doug Smith, Yellowstone's wolf recovery leader. "Wolf" also calls upon Arapaho medicine man Mark Soldier Wolf and his son Annin to explain what the creatures mean to Native American culture.
Sundance scout seeks to include Native American contributions in cinema
Bird Runningwater is always looking for native filmmakers with scripts that have film potential. Besides searching for talent, he also selects films that will be screened at the Sundance Film Festival. "The basic premise of my work revolves around the notion that American cinema is incomplete without the contribution of Native Americans," he said. "My work involves nurturing a native cinematic presence in film." Born and raised on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, Runningwater learned traditional values and still participates in native ceremonies. Valuing the native traditions and beliefs are an inherent part of Hollywood success, he contends. "Our success in Hollywood and in bringing more vibrant images of our peoples to the big screen lies in what I refer to as 'indigenous creative control' in filmmaking," Runningwater said. "The biggest mistake most native filmmakers make is forgetting that they should focus on making films for our own people, rather than always trying to make films for the white audience."
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