Native Village 

Youth and Education News

February 4, 2004,  Issue 127, Volume 4

"We did not cross any land bridge like the scientists tell us. Our religion tells us we were created here. Period." Armand Minthorn. Umatilla

New species of dinosaur found in Amazon
Brazilian scientists have discovered a long-necked, long-tailed, plant-eating dinosaur that roamed the Amazon region 100,000,000 ago. The fossils of the previously unknown species were found along the banks of an Amazon River tributary in Brazil's northern state of Maranhao.  It has been named 'Amazonaurus Maranhensis', after the state.

Aliens in Our Galaxy? Experts Map Possible Hotbeds

Scientists say a ring-shaped region in the disc of the Milky Way shows the highest potential for life in our galaxy. Using computer evolution, astronomers identified  millions of stars that:
* Contain enough heavy elements to form terrestrial planets;
* Are sufficiently distant from disastrous supernova explosions;
* Have existed for at least 4,000,000 years—the time it took for complex life to evolve on Earth.
They found that 10% of the stars in our galaxy meet those criteria.  Research also shows that 75% of them are older than our sun,  so if life actually exists there, it's probably more evolved than life on Earth.

By 2050 Warming to Doom Million Species, Study Says
By 2050, rising temperatures and greenhouse gases could send more than 1,000,000 of Earth's land-plants and animals to extinction. According researchers, the predicted climate change by 2050 will place 15%--35% species at risk of extinction. "Climate change now represents at least as great a threat to the number of species surviving on Earth as habitat-destruction and modification," said Chris Thomas, a conservation biologist at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Others agree. "The threat to life on Earth is not just a problem for the future. It is part of the here and now," write biologists J. Alan Pounds and Robert Puschendorf. The information appears in an article published in Nature Magazine.

Climate change  Cost $60b in 2003
Climate change may have cost the world over $60,000,0000 last year, says the United Nations Environment Program. UNEP said the cost of natural disasters had risen 10% from $55,000,000 in 2002.  And climate change is steadily increasing.  "Climate change is not a prognosis, it is a reality that is, and will increasingly, bring human suffering and economic hardship," UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said.  "Developed countries have a responsibility to reduce their emissions, but also have a responsibility to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of global warming." The United Nations wants nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which would cut emissions linked to global warming. But Russia and the United States won't sign  because it might hurt their economies.  Scientists are also concerned about other human activities linked to global warming and natural disasters such as flooding and heat waves.  "The summer of 2003, with its extensive losses, is therefore a glimpse into the future, a 'future summer' so to speak," said Thomas Loster,  in a view echoed by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Sarayacu declare state of emergency
The Sarayacu community in the Ecuadorian Amazon has declared a state of emergency in defense of their territories and lands. The land may be opened to the Argentina General Fuel Company for exploration and exploitation.  As part of the declaration, the Sarayacu have created 25 Peace and Life Camps scattered across the region, each composed of 150 members.  Their actions come in response to President Lucio Gutiérrez's announcement that oil projects would continue in the area.
Agencia De Noticias Amazonía

Corn Plants Warn of Coming Insects
James Tumlinson of Pennsylvania State University  has discovered that corn stalks send out signals when they are being nibbled by insects. The compound they release, called green leafy volatiles, then alert other plants to release defensive chemicals. Green leafy volatiles smell like cut grass or crushed leaves, an odor that attracts predators which are the natural enemies of the insect eating the plant.  "The (green leafy volatiles) appear to be like a vaccine, turning on the defensive mechanism but not pushing it to full strength,'' Tumlinson said. ''If the plant is not attacked, then it does not waste energy producing defenses. However, if it is attacked, the response is more rapid and stronger."

Shark Attacks Drop 30 Percent Worldwide
Shark attacks have dropped 30% over the past three years, which is good news for surfers but bad news for sharks.  "It's beginning to signal to us a little bit that maybe there is something happening here," said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida. He says the decline in shark attacks is caused by a worldwide decline in their numbers. Burgess believes part of the decline is caused by shark fishing. On the East Coast, some shark species have seen a 40%-50%  drop in population in the past 15 years. A few shark populations have declined as much as 70%.  Burgess also said swimmers shouldn't go into the ocean if sharks have been spotted recently. He warned against swimming at dawn and dusk when sharks are feeding and are most active. In addition, Burgess said swimmers should avoid places where shark are likely to be found, such as inlets, channels and the troughs between sand bars.
55 unprovoked attacks reported in 2003, with 4 people killed;
63 reported attacks in 2002, 3 people killed;
68 in 2001, with 4 people killed;
79 reported attacks in 2000 with 11 people killed.
(Fatalities occurred in Australia, California, Fiji and South Africa.)
In 2003: 36 attacks, or 65%, occurred in North American waters,
Florida had the largest number of attacks with 31.
In Florida, Volusia County has the most attacks.  Most occurred at New Smyrna Beach, an area popular with surfers.  Surfers and windsurfers were the recreational group most often subjected to shark attack in 2003, with 29 cases, or 54% of the attacks.
It's a dog-save-dog world
Happy is a registered American Indian dog whose Cherokee name, Ahyoka, means "brings happiness."  And happiness is exactly what Ahyoka brought to his Longview Washington family. During a recent snowstorm, owner Cindi Lester and her dogs went on a walk through the frozen tundra surrounding her home.  "They were having so much fun," said Lester. "But he kept going outside the parameter. I kept yelling at him, and he kept coming back, then going back down." Finally Lester wandered to the area to see what Happy was looking at. "I tried to walk down, and saw a little bit of white," said Lester.  She then realized the patch of white was Baby Dog, her neighbors' 15-year-old Shi Tzu who is deaf and nearly blind. Within five feet of Baby was a deep ravine. Lester realized Happy had been nudging  Baby's chilly body with his nose, encouraging the Shi Tzu to follow him back to the pasture.  Baby Dog was warmed and quickly recovered, and Lester learned to trust her rambunctious Happy. "He was just living up to his Cherokee name," Lester said.

New zealand teen wins Oscar nomination
New Zealand teenager Keisha Castle-Hughes stunned Hollywood when she became the youngest best actress nominee at the Academy Awards. The 13-year-old played the lead role in Whale Rider, the story of a young tribal girl in New Zealand who tries to convince her grandfather that she is destined to lead the tribe."The Academy loves kids, particularly girls, but they almost always put them in the supporting categories even if they are lead stars like Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon (1973)," said Oscars expert Tom O'Neil. "But this feisty little girl, after winning over the Maori tribal chiefs in her Whale Rider role, is now taking on the big girls of Hollywood and stands a very strong chance winning."  Castle-Hughes had never starred in a movie before acting in Whale Rider.,4057,8515186^1702,00.html

Post office issues Navajo Jewelry stamp
The U.S. Postal Service will issue a new 2 cent stamps as part of the American Design series. The Navajo Jewelry stamp features artist Lou Nolan’s painted detail of a Navajo silver and turquoise necklace with sand-cast “squash blossoms.

City seeks tribal grant to fund Indian exhibit
The city of Phoenix is applying for a grant from the Gila River Indian Community in hopes of funding a museum exhibit on Indian people. The city wants to use $1,000,000 for a permanent exhibit at the Heard Museum called "Home: Native Peoples of the Southwest." The exhibit will highlight traditional and modern Indian artists in the Southwest.
The Arizona Republic

Dakota comic book hero fights negativity in 2nd release
KODA the Warrior is ready to tackle a new adventure. The American Indian Superhero and role model will fight negativity in his second educational comic book.  In this edition, titled "Fighting Negativity," KODA confronts negativity in both his warrior mode and his secret identity as KODA Two Hearts. "Understanding negative influences is the first step in confronting cycles that keep attacking our lives," says artist/illustrator Mark L. Mindt. "KODA learns that negativity can't be entirely destroyed, but we can be prepared for its next visit."  KODA, which means "friend" in the Dakota language, was created by Mindt, who is from the Spirit Lake Nation.  Mindt is also an educator at United Tribes Technical College.

Haskell boxers hooked on club
With a little luck and a lot of hard work, Marcus Oliveira  just might be the next Muhammad Ali.  "I want to go pro.  I'm ready," said the 24-year-old student at Haskell Indian Nations University.  Marcus, who is trying out for the U.S. Olympic team, is a member of  the Haskell Boxing Club. The group works out together 3 days a week in a makeshift gym in Winnemucca Hall.  Now their interest is spreading "There's a lot of interest here," said Chris Wilkes, Pit River Paiute who started the boxing club. "We probably have 30 members. Some of them come just to work out and watch;  out of those we have eight or so who are solid (boxers)."  About a third of the group are women."  At first, we were no-girls-allowed," Wilkes said. "But so many were interested, we said OK. They've turned out to be a real good addition. They don't come in with all the preconceived notions that the boys do."

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