Native Village 

Youth and Education News

October 29, 2003  Issue 121 Volume 1

"The American Indian has only one country to defend, and when you're picked on, the American Indian never turns his back." 
Ernest Childers Muscogee (Creek), Congressional Medal of Honor

The Navajo Codetalkers are scheduled to receive long-awaited silver medals at the Navajo Nation Veterans Day celebration on  November 11, 2003. Activities will begin on Monday evening with a Marine Corps Birthday ball and candlelight vigil.  Tuesday's activities include dawn ceremonies, breakfast, speakers, barbecue lunch, and music. Miss Navajo Marla Billey and the Blue Star Mothers will prepare the care packages for send off to the troops in the afternoon. Donations are being accepted.

AFN honors outstanding members 
The Alaska Federation of Natives has named Sitka elder Herman Kitka, Sr. as its Elder of the Year. Kitka is longtime advocate of subsistence hunting and fishing rights.  The 89-year-old leader of the Kaagwaantaan Clan  still fishes commercially.
Other awards include: 
The Culture Bearer for Alaska Native arts: Luke Koonook Sr. , baleen basket weaver, ivory carver and painter from Point Hope;
Della Keats Healing Hands award: Ruth Adams of Kivalina for her work as a tribal doctor and traditional healer;
Eileen Panigeo MacLean education award: Mollie Ningeulook, Shishmaref elementary school teacher;
Professional of the year:  Robert Toby Clark, Bristol Bay Area Health Corp;
Hunter-fisher award: Ross Schaffer Sr, Northwest Arctic Borough mayor and Alaska Beluga Commission member;
Parents of the year: Patty and Nadia Mullan; 
Small-business owners of the year: Bob and Denise May, who run Whale Pass Lodge; 
Roger Lang Youth Leadership winner: Deanne Susie Strunk, University of Alaska student;
Public Service award:   Helen Pootoogooluk, community activist;
Ruby John Lifetime Achievement: the family of Frank Ferguson, a state lawmaker and Native leader who died in June..

Senate Approves $143.9 Million for Loss of Shoshone Lands
The U.S. Senate has approved legislation to pay the Western Shoshone Indians $143,900,000 for land taken from their ancestors by the U.S. government. $142,500,000 will be given to an estimated 4,500 Western Shoshone. The remaining $1,400,000 will be placed in an education trust fund.  Western Shoshone have been waiting for the money since 1972, when the Indian Claims Commission  awarded them payment for 60 million acres of ancestral land across four Western states. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., one of the bill's chief sponsors, said congressional leaders have promised a vote on it but have not said when.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Mesa Verde's Mystery of the Cliff Dwellers 
In 1300 A.D., as many as 5,000 Anasazi lived at Mesa Verde, NM  where they grew corn, beans, and squash on the mesas. They also erected massive sandstone apartments on the forbidding land.  The term "Anasazi" is no longer politically correct--it's a Navajo word meaning "ancient ones" or "ancient enemies." Today, those cliff dwellers are called the "ancestral Puebloans," and many tribes like the Hopi, Zuni and Laguna trace their lineage to these once-nomadic people. Mesa Verde is protected as a National Park and is accessible to any robust hiker who doesn't mind heights or thin air. Mesa Verde is 7,000 feet high

Embattled Bolivian President Resigns
Carlos Mesa has been sworn in as Bolivia's new president after his predecessor, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, was forced out by weeks of bloody street protests.  ''He's gone! He's gone,'' Indian women in bowler hats chanted alongside men and children. The outrage against de Lozada was sparked by a proposal to export gas to the United States and Mexico through neighboring Chile.  De Lozada had called the gas resources ''a gift from God'' that would bring millions of dollars to the poor Andean country. But few believed his claims that average Bolivians, many of whom earn only a few dollars a day, would benefit.  Protests also stemmed from citizens' distrust over his administration's U.S.-backed anti-coca growing policies which have deprived thousands of poor Indian farmers of their livelihood.

Across the Americas, Indigenous Peoples Make Themselves Heard
Bolivia's plan to export natural gas reserves through a pipeline built by other countries helped unite Indian resentment against their European influenced government. Armed with the traditional Aymara weapons -- sticks, slingshots and muscle -- the natives fought the army, built barricades and derailed a train, cutting off and shutting down the capital below them. This indigenous movement, which forced  Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez to resign, is the latest example of growing power and political strength among the Americas' native peoples:
*In Ecuador and in Guatemala, indigenous leaders have more influence in local and national affairs than in any time since the Spanish conquest;
In Chile and Mexico,  global economy changes are nurturing a growth of native resistance organizations;
The Mapuche villages around Temuco is home to a smoldering, low-tech war against corporate tree farming. Several Mapuche Indian leaders are in prison on charges of burning logging trucks. 
The Times Mirror Company

Colombia's Civil War Creeps into Pristine Mountain Homeland of Indian Tribe
Since the days of Columbus, Columbia's Arhuaco Indians have faced hardships in their sacred Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Their battles have included Spanish conquistadors, land-grabbing settlers and widespread oppression. Now the tribe faces a new obstacle: an army and military blockade is trying to force rebels from the mountains by restricting the amount of food the Arhuaco can bring in. Arhuaco elders, some of whom rode 15 hours on horseback, recently attended a meeting in Nabusimake, their tribal capital, to try and save their way of life. The elders fear the food blockade is only the beginning, and that they are being drawn into a 39-year conflict they have long tried to avoid.
Associated Press

Prison Offerings Expanded for Native Americans
South Dakota's Department of Corrections will offer a Lakota language class and expand other cultural and spiritual opportunities for Native Americans in the state prison system. The department will allow Indians to attend funerals on state reservations, extend the length of powwows, and allow inmates more time to practice dances and drum songs. In addition, prisoners will be offer a treatment program based on the Red Road approach to chemical dependency. Red Road incorporates Native American cultural and spiritual elements into the recovery process.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Terry Begay Running for Congress.
Terry Begay of Volin, S.D. is running as a third party candidate for William Janklow's congressional seat in South Dakota . Terry was born  on the Rosebud Rez.  His mother was Rosebud/Lakota Oyate, his father Navajo. 
To  read more, visit:

Copwatch vigilant after police spy files
Two years ago, Denver police spy files were leaked to their victims. Few were surprised that Denver police were spying on the American Indian Movement and peaceful protesters. But they were outraged after learning Denver police spied on 80-year-old grandmothers, a senator, American Indian tribal leaders and attorneys at the Native American Rights Fund.  The amazement does not end here.  "They have been doing it for more than 30 years," Don Ragona said as he marched with thousands in protest of Columbus Day. Those under surveillance include: John Echohawk, Wallace Coffey, Wilma Mankiller, and Vine Deloria Jr. The Denver Police Department Intelligence Bureau kept secret files on Russell Means, Winona LaDuke, John Mohawk, George "Tink" Tinker, Ward Churchill, Dennis Banks, the Leonard Peltier Support Group, Big Mountain Support Group, Colorado American Indian Movement and former South Dakota Sen. James Abourezk

1421: The Year China Discovered the World 
A new book by Gavin Menzies rewrites 500 years of accepted world history. The book, 1421: The Year China Discovered the World , claims that Chinese Admiral Zheng He and his fleet of 100 gigantic ships beat Christopher Columbus to America by 72 years.  Menzies also says Zheng circumnavigated the globe a century before Ferdinand Magellan.
His theory is backed up with four types of evidence:
1) Several Chinese star charts and maps and those used by European explorers (including Columbus) when they started their voyages decades later;
2) Ancient Chinese artifacts, such as lighthouses, lacquerware, flora and fauna (maize, Chinese roses, coconuts and sweet potatoes) were allegedly transported between China, the Americas and some Atlantic Islands;
3) Remains of wrecks of gigantic Chinese ships have allegedly been found in Australia and the Caribbean. Ancient Chinese anchors have also been found in California; 
4) Cultural, social and even possible “DNA” links between Chinese and American Indians in California, Rhode Island, South America, and the aborigines in Australia.
In the early 15th century, China was the world’s greatest naval power. Admiral Zheng He was commissioned by the Emperor Zhu Di  to command a fleet on seven overseas expeditions.  The ships were huge nine-masted galleons, 330 feet long and 132 feet wide. (The length of Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria, was only 60 feet long.) Mendez also points to a 1428 Portuguese chart which shows Africa, Australia, South America and various islands. The map is drawn in remarkably accurate detail, and even shows the Cape of Good Hope, which the Portuguese did not sail around until the end of the 15th century. Yet, how was it possible for such a chart to have been drawn? Menzies’ only answer is that it must have been copied from the Chinese.

laughing with our president
Even the most famous public figures make unintentional gaffes. Below are a few by the President of the United States, George W. Bush.  
"The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country." - George W. Bush 
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." - George W. Bush
"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is 'to be prepared'." Governor George W. Bush
"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future." - Governor George W. Bush
"The future will be better tomorrow." - Governor George W. Bush
"We're going to have the best educated American  people in the world." - Governor George W. Bush
"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."- Governor George W. Bush
"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe." - Governor George W. Bush
"Public speaking is very easy." - Governor George W. Bush
"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the  polls."  - Governor George W. Bush
"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur." - Governor George W. Bush
"For NASA, space is still a high priority." - Governor George W. Bush
"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our  children." - Governor George W. Bush
"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." - Governor George W. Bush
"It's time for the human race to enter the solar system."  Governor George W. Bush
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