Native Village 

Youth and Education News

October 15, 2003  Issue 120 Volume 4

"Build coalitions among Indian Nations.  There is strength in numbers.  Your vote counts now as never before."    Leonard Peltier

The lost seasons
Hundreds of years ago, Australia's seasons were marked by local events like shark breeding and wattle flowering. The indigenous people had a good empirical knowledge of their local weather. Today science is finally acknowledging the truth of  indigenous weather knowledge. A new Indigenous Weather Knowledge project plans to record 50,000 years of weather observation, knowledge of weather phenomena, weather patterns and long-term environmental changes by Indigenous Australians

Dam destruction brings hope to endangered species
The PPL Corporation will sell three dams on Maine’s Penobscot River to the state and federal governments, conservationists and the Penobscot Nation. More than 500 miles of habitat will be opened to the endangered Atlantic salmon whose numbers have dramatically dwindled since the dams’ construction.
Portland Press Herald

Historic Purchase Saves Forests; Tribe Gets Land in State’s Biggest Conservation Deal
The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin has helped conserve 21,322 acres of forested land in the Chequamegon Bay watershed.  The Conservancy purchased the land for $4,500,000 from a Seattle-based timber company. The Conservancy then transferred the lands to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. This is the largest private land protection purchase in state history. 
Capital Times 

Accord Builds in Klamath Basin
Agricultural and tribal leaders in the Klamath Basin are working together on a historic plan to deal with water shortages. Their goal: to assure farms a predictable, if reduced, water supply and to restore fish and wildlife promised to the tribes under their 1864 treaty with the government. "It's the first time I've felt there's a genuine opportunity to make things better," said John Crawford, a farmer in Tulelake, Calif.  "We're all going to have to give a little bit, but nobody's going to give more than they need to keep their communities whole." The accord could return to tribes ancestral lands the size of Rhode Island while downsizing farms at least in dry years. The return of land to the tribes and portions of a water rights settlement would require congressional approval.
The Oregonian

Navy Will Limit Sonar to Protect Whales
The Navy has agreed to limit use of a new sonar system designed to detect enemy submarines, but which may also harm marine mammals and fish. 'This agreement safeguards both marine life and national security,'' said a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which sued the military on the issue. ''It will prevent the needless injury, harassment, and death of countless whales, porpoises and fish, and yet allow the Navy to do what is necessary to defend our country."  Environmentalists say sonar systems endanger marine mammals and fish, especially whales. They point to a Navy sonar used in 2000, when at least 16 whales and two dolphins beached themselves in the Bahamas. Eight whales died and scientists found hemorrhaging around their brains and ear bones, which could have been caused by exposure to loud noise. ''Oceans are an acoustic environment, and the species that live there have an acute acoustic sense,'' said Frederick O'Regan of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. ''If we interfere with these critical behaviors, we may be affecting not just individual animals, but entire populations. ''The agreement must be approved by a federal magistrate to become permanent.

Tribal control of National Bison Range unlikely
The U.S. government will not turn over management of the National Bison Range to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Although the government lists functions and activities that could be performed by the tribe, management of the 18,799-acre refuge will remain with the Fish and Wildlife Service. "This refuge is managed by the federal government for the benefit of the American public -- all Americans," said Rick Coleman of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "People in Key West, Fla., have as much interest in and ownership of the National Bison Range as do people in Montana."

NFL Team Can Keep 'Redskins' Trademark
A federal judge has overturned a ruling revoking the Washington Redskins trademark.  Judge Colleen Killar-Kotelly found insufficient evidence to conclude that the name is disparaging to American Indians.  Kollar-Kotelly also found that the plaintiffs waited too long to make their claims under the law, which was in effect when the Redskins trademarks were registered in 1967.
Read the Decision:
Associated Press 

The Language of Native American Baskets 
"The Language of Native American Baskets: From the Weavers' View," opened at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in NYC.  The exhibit, which runs through Jan. 9, 2005, features over 200 of the most splendid basketry found within the museum's collection. In the past, baskets were used by Native Americans throughout their lives. Babies were carried in baskets, meals were prepared and cooked in them, and goods were stored in them. No longer in daily use by Native peoples, baskets today are markers of cultural pride and inheritance. Many are used during religious occasions and some are woven for economic reasons. "It has been an honor for the museum to work collaboratively with Native basket makers to create this exhibition," said museum Director W. Richard West (Southern Cheyenne). "For years, Native art has been classified according to outside aesthetics and tastes. Now, visitors will be able to see these important works within their own cultural and aesthetic contexts."

Paranda resurges with Garifuna
A deeply spiritual guitar music called Paranda is making a comeback among the Garifuna population of Belize. The musical resurgence, led by Paul Nabor,  is slowly spreading to a younger generation after being picked up by the Belizean record company, Stonetree Records.
Learn about Paul Nabor and hear samples of Paranda music:

Indian Family ready to Feud on T.V.
"I've watched 'Family Feud' from the time I was little growing up on the Shiprock Navajo Reservation. It came on the one channel that got reception. It was like the highlight of the evening. And I always thought to myself, where are all the Indians," said Brenda Wahnee-Mckosato. So Brenda called the program and was offered an audition. The Mckasato's made it in. The entire feuding bunch includes; Harlan McKosato (Sac & Fox and Delaware), host of the popular radio program Native America Calling, his wife Brenda (Comanche and Navajo/Dine); Don 'Gov' Chino (Kiowa and Sac & Fox); Shelly McKosato (Sac & Fox and Delaware); and Michelyn Thompson (Navajo/Dine). The McKosato's beat out several families and were one of five families to be picked for a chance to win the big money. "Of course we were nervous about all the questions. But they are really just common sense kind of questions. Then we realized they weren't survey questions from 100 Indians but more like 100 white people. All the questions pertain to white people and you have to think outside your every day living experience as and Indian and think about what a white person would answer," Brenda said. The McKosato's won two rounds but lost the third round to a Hawaiian family. "It was cool because at least we lost to other Natives," Brenda said. "I think there is going to more Natives on T.V. now." The show airs at different times around the country. McKosato's are featured in episodes; 03-041, 03-032, 03-043. For local listings check the Family Feud website at

Call to Action Against "Ghettopoly" from Asian Activist organization  
80-20, an Asian-American civil rights organization, is condemning the "Ghettopoly" game. They claim the game promotes harmful stereotypes against African Americans, Ghettopoly's stated objective is "to become the richest player through stealing, cheating and fencing stolen properties." Game pieces include a cannabis leaf, crack cocaine, and a gun. Properties are not houses and hotels but crack houses and public housing projects. The object of the game is to build as many projects and crack houses as possible while avoiding jail, car jacking, addiction or death.  At a price of $32 a game, Ghettpoly not only perpetuates massive stereotypes along racial lines, it insults African American history.  Ghettopoly is sold through Yahoo. The game's creator, David Chang, suggests the game is a matter of humor.

Westerns Channel Sponsors Focus on Western Films at Starz Denver International Film Festival
Starz Encore's Westerns channel is focusing on Western films at this year's 26th annual Starz International Film Festival. Cherokee actor Wes Studi will receive a  Westerns Channel Award after a screening  of his 1993 film, "Geronimo: An American Legend." Studi began acting after serving in Vietnam.  His work in theater led to roles on television before a series of groundbreaking Westerns: 
video1a Dances with Wolves" (1990);
video1a The Last of the Mohicans" (1992);
video1a Geronimo: An American Legend; 
video1aCrazy Horse (1996);
video1aMystery Men (1999);
video1aUndisputed (2002);
video1a Skinwalkers (2002);
video1a Coyote Waits(2003).
Additionally, the Westerns channel will have festival screenings of early silent Westerns, two original documentaries, plus a seminar on the portrayal of Native Americans in film.

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