Native Village 

Youth and Education News

February 18, 2004,  Issue 128, Volume 1

"Diversity is a celebration of different cultures, and if we lose that, we won't really learn anything from other people. Everything will remain the same - stagnant." Cara Kropp, Fort Lewis College Student

Outraged Native Hawaiians recently contacted legal authorities to stop an EBAY auction of a skull claimed to be from an ancient Hawaiian buried at Kaanapali. "If he (the seller) had proceeded, he would have been in violation of federal law," said Eddie Ayau, coordinator of Hui Malama I Na Kupuna Hawaii Nei, a group that reburies tribal remains improperly removed over the years. "We are urging him instead to do the right thing and repatriate the remains."  The skull was dug up in 1969 on Kaanapali Beach when the seller and friend snuck onto a guarded construction site.  "While digging in the sand, we began to uncover an entire skeleton and, of course, I decided to keep the skull," the seller wrote.  "For the last 35 years, I've kept this 200-year-old Hawaiian warrior as a souvenir of my youth, but now it's time to give him up to the highest bidder." The seller asked for $1,000 as the starting bid.

Scientists may study Kennewick Man, federal court decides
A federal appeals court has ruled that scientists may study the 9,300 year-old remains of the Kennewick Man found on a Columbia River riverbank in 1996.  Area tribes wanted the bones turned over to them for reburial, but the judges say the remains are not protected by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.   C. Loring Brace, a University of Michigan anthropologist, called the decision  "wonderful news.  I've got a pretty good idea of what [the Kennewick Man] looks like from the first pictures I saw ... on Sept. 30, 1996."  Brace believes the remains are not Native American but possibly prehistoric Japanese.  "That's not as surprising as you might think," he said. His theory is that the Jamon Japanese moved south to Okinawa and Taiwan, then spread to the northwest coast of the United States and as far south as the southern tip of South America.

Ancient burial site discovered in rural East Coast
In Salisbury, MD, a construction crew discovered an ancient Indian burial ground. The burial ground dates to 1400 AD and 1600 AD and was created by the ancestors the Nanticoke and Accohannock, two tribes indigenous to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Nanticoke are known as People of the Tide Water. Their oral traditions say the Nanticoke had migrated to the area from today's Great Plains region. The Accohannock Indian Tribe is believed to be an Algonquian-speaking sub-tribe of the Powhatan Nation. They are the oldest tribe in Maryland.   Officials are currently contacting descendants of the tribes in an effort to determine what steps to take next

Indians' Jamestown Role at Issue
When a committee for the Jamestown 2007 celebration asked tribal leaders to participate, the chiefs pointed out that their people don't celebrate the founding of first permanent English settlement on their ancestral land.  Organizers then renamed the year-long series of events as a "commemoration."   But tribal participation is again in question; several tribal chiefs threaten to boycott or stage alternative events if Congress does not soon pass a law approving federal recognition of their tribes. Six of Virginia's eight tribes have been seeking  recognition since 2000. But legislation is blocked by opponents who fear casino gambling and cheaper gasoline prices on tribal land.  "My feeling is, if we don't have it, I won't participate," said Kenneth Adams, chief of the Upper Mattaponi tribe. "I feel it's a betrayal by the federal government. How can we have the federal government working with the Indians of Virginia on Jamestown 2007, and the federal government not recognizing us? It's hypocritical."  Some chiefs argue that the tribes should participate anyway.  "...It gives us the opportunity to show the world who we are. We're the people who were here with the first European contact," said Stephen R. Adkins, chief of the Chickahominy tribe. "We need to tell our story. I'm looking at Jamestown 2007, the 400th commemoration, as a way to ensure that the stories about Virginia's indigenous people are told from the Virginia Indian perspective. I don't want someone else telling our story."

Centuries-old records gap clouds Indian land claim
The Delaware Nation of Anadarko, Okla. has filed suit in Philadelphia to reclaim 315 acres of land in Forks Twp, PA.  The Delaware Nation claims that an ancestor, Chief Moses Tunda Tatamy, was granted the land by Thomas Penn, proprietor of Colonial Pennsylvania, in 1736.  A document in the Pennsylvania State archives confirms the deal, while an 18th century copy of the report also exists at a Historical Society in Philadelphia. The land in question, called Tatamy's acres, is occupied by businesses including Binney & Smith Co., maker of Crayola Crayons, and 25 homes.  The Delaware Nation has indicated it wants replacement land elsewhere in the state — not the Forks acreage — to resolve the suit. It would use that land to build a casino.,0,4545016.story?coll=all-newslocal-hed

Centuries-old murals revealed in Mission Dolores 
Ben Wood, 23, and archaeologist Eric Blind, 29, have rediscovered old murals at San Francisco's Mission Dolores. The men found the murals beneath a trap door blocked by an altar dedicated in 1796. The nearly forgotten religious murals, painted in red, black and yellow, are the work of the native people of San Francisco, Ohlone and other tribes who lived at the Spanish mission.  "It is the best-preserved example of art from the period of first contact with Europeans that I am aware of,'' said Andrew Galvan, an Ohlone Indian and Mission curator. Mission San Francisco de Asis was founded in June 1776 near an Indian village on a lagoon the Spanish called Nuestra Senora de los Dolores -- Our Lady of Sorrows. At that time, San Francisco was the northern frontier of the Spanish empire, the very edge of the European world in North America.

Leslie Marmon Silko honored by National Women's History Project/Month 
Laguna writer Leslie Marmon Silko is being honored in March during National Women's History Month.  Silko, who is also an acclaimed storyteller and poet, will receive the award from the National Women's History Project Leslie's love for storytelling began as a child when she listened to her great-grandmother's stories. She believes storytelling is both oral history and a ceremony linking the mythical deities with the people themselves to create hope, purpose, and survival.

CBC North host honoured in Inuvik
Mabel English, the host of CBC North's Gwich'in language program, has been selected as Inuvik's candidate for the Wise Woman Award.  English was chosen for her commitment to keeping the Gwich'in language alive. The Wise Woman Award recognizes women who serve as role models and contribute their time and energy to improving the lives of women and families in their community.

Tribal College Journal honors Native warriors
The Tribal College Journal is seeking American Indians in the armed forces who wish to continue ties with their culture and education while away from home. In its current issue, TCJ invites readers to honor sacrifices by Indian soldiers and their families by donating subscriptions. These subscriptions will then be donated to current American Indian soldiers. TCJ is requesting subscription donations. They are also accepting names and mailing addresses of American Indian soldiers who wish a free subscription. TCJ will honor requests on a first come, first serve basis.  Tribal College Journal is a quarterly magazine published by the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, an organization of 35 tribal colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It focuses upon new models for Native American higher education,
Send the information by e-mail to
or write to TCJ-Native Warriors, P.O. Box 720, Mancos, CO 81328.

Inuit traditional knowledge to be subject of book
A $10,000 Canada Council grant will fund the Silatuniq project which recognizes Inuit contributions in science.  The Arctic Institute of the University of Calgary will use the money to publish profiles of Inuit who have made possible the work of southern scientists in the Arctic.  "There is a lot of research being done in the North, and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit [traditional knowledge] ... is very self evident and needs to be recognized for what it is," said Karla Williamsen of the Arctic Institute. "I think that there don't need to be any sort of separations between these two systems of knowledge, traditional ecological knowledge and western science."

Ojibwe tale is 2004 book selection
St. Paul Reads, a partnership between the Minnesota City and school system, encourages high school students and adults to read a "common book" they can discuss together. This year's book is "Night Flying Woman,'' an Ojibwe family narrative by the late Ignatia Broker.  Broker, who was born on the White Earth Reservation, wrote the book for "young Ojibwe who could hum the songs from the radio but did not know the songs of the drum." Using a fictional narrative, Broker tells the life story of her great-great-grandmother, Ni-bo-wi-se-gwe, who was named Night Flying Woman because she was born during an 1860 solar eclipse.  Nibowisegwe's family lived peacefully in the woods during her childhood but had to move deeper into the trees when lumber companies began clear-cutting the great pines.  When Indians were forced onto reservations, Nibowisegwe realized her family would have to change some things, such as moving to a village house and sending the children to school. But she struggled to keep traditional Indian values, such as sharing with others and respect for old people, the land and the "animal brothers.''  "Reading this book expands our concept of history beyond the viewpoint of white people and reflects on the experiences of change that people of many cultures have to confront,'' said St. Paul school superintendent Patricia Harvey.  "It's an opportunity for us to learn a little about Indian culture. And it's a story of hope and inspiration.''  Harvey expects the storytelling traditions in "Night Flying Woman'' will be especially familiar to Indian students in the school system.  Native Americans make up 1.2%  of the 43,000 students in the St. Paul schools

Standing Rock Tribal Author Returns Home for Features of His Work
S.D. Nelson remembers his mother's stories about his Lakota ancestors. He passed on those tales to his own children and now has found a new audience: children's books from an American Indian point of view. Nelson, 54, is a teacher of Lakota-Norwegian descent and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.  His books have earned rave reviews and two Parents Choice Awards. Nelson's pictures combine two forms of traditional art--rock paintings and ledger drawings. The drawings were composed by American Indians sent to white schools.
Learn more about S.D. Nelson:
Associated Press State & Local Wire

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