Youth and Education News
March 17, 2004, Issue 130 Volume 4
"Please do not touch the forest, because it gives us life. Please stop the bulldozers." Ayoreo Indians, Paraguay
Bush Plan Would Destroy Species in Order to Save Them
Over 350 conservation scientists across the world are protesting a Bush administration policy change that could send many endangered species into extinction. The scientists charge the administration with using questionable science to justify changes to the Endangered Species Act. Mr. Bush's revised policy would allow imports of endangered species or parts of their bodies "to encourage in-situ conservation of foreign-listed species."
Report Says Ecotourism Taking Toll on Wildlife
Researchers say ecotourism is taking its toll on wildlife and may be endangering the survival of the very animals people are flocking to see. "Evidence is growing that many animals do not react well to tourists in their backyard," New Scientist magazine said. Biologists and conservationists say polar bears, dolphins, penguins and other creatures are getting stressed and losing weight and some are dying. Bottleneck dolphins along the New Zealand coast become frenetic when tourist boats arrive. Similar behaviors are seen in polar bears, and yellow-eyed penguins who are producing smaller chicks.
The Equator Prize 2004
Seven community projects throughout the tropics have received the 2004 United Nations Equator Prize. Winners were selected from 26 finalists by an international jury that included Nobel Peace Prize winners Rigoberta Menchu and Oscar Arias. The recognition of outstanding community efforts for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation:
Proyecto Nasa – Colombia
Comunidad Indigena de Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro – Mexico
Genetic Resource, Energy, Ecology and Nutrition (GREEN) Foundation- India
Bunaken National Park Management Advisory Board (BNPMAB) and Bunaken Concerned Citizen's Forum (FMPTNB)- Indonesia
Rufiji Environment Management Project (REMP-MUMARU) – Tanzania
Torra Conservancy – Namibia In recognition of an outstanding community initiative associated with a World Heritage Site:
Sociedade Civil Mamirauá – Brazil
Anuvu Fuel Cell Powers Hydrogen Car at Mohegan Sun
A zero-emission fuel cell/battery hybrid engine is powering an electric vehicle developed for Mohegan Sun, the huge entertainment center owned by the Mohegan tribe in Connecticut. The fuel cell car, the first of its kind in New England, travels at speeds of 12-25 miles per hour with zero emissions. It was designed and developed by students and volunteers at the WPI Fuel Cell Center in coordination with FASTec, a charitable education program.
Woman, children maintain dancing legacy
Growing up on the Fort Balkan Reservation, Cora Chandler began dancing at powwows at age 4 because it made her grandfather proud. Eventually, she danced because it made her happy and was a way of sharing Gross Venture traditions. "It makes you feel so good," she said. Cora stopped dancing when her children were born, so a friend encouraged her to return by gifting her with a beautiful beaded yellow dress. Now a sophomore at Montana State University-Billings, Chandler is sharing the family dance legacy with her two young children .
Youth add energy to Callin' Eagle
For the Calling Eagle Singers, the desire to attend a powwows is more than just "an itch." "It's not 'an itch,' it's a rash," joke Malcolm Murphy, 12 The group, who first appeared five years ago at the Zuni Fair Powwow, is comprised of Wanda Brown, Malcolm Murphy (lead singer), Jared Brown (lead singer), Fred Murphy, Dominic Largo, 12, C.J. Brown, 11, Stevie Ray, 9, and Jucinda Begay, 13. They named their group Calling Eagle because of their passion for singing and dancing. "The eagle is flying through a canyon and it's calling out to the people to come out and dance," Wanda Brown said. "It's an eagle with its mouth open. It's calling or screaming." In addition to singing songs shared by other drum groups, Calling Eagle also compose their own songs, one of which is called "Gravy." "One night we're having Church's Chicken," Wanda Brown said. "They were sitting around and started composing a song. They call it 'Gravy' because we were having gravy."
Calling Eagle appreciates and shares the wisdoms learned from elders and other drum groups;
Never leave the drum alone because it is a spirit and should never be left alone;
Make sure that a blanket separates the drum from the ground;
Before singing, place tobacco on the drum and says a prayer;
The drum is not an object but a living spirit. "It's the heartbeat of the nation," Fred Murphy said.
Defining a new oral tradition: American Indian radio in the Dakotas
Indians have a strong oral tradition, and American Indian radio has become the new "voice of the people." Today, there are more than two dozen Native American stations on the air across the United States. In the Dakotas alone, there are six community radio stations serving Indian reservations:
KINI, KILI, and KLND-FM Lakota Sioux
KSWS-FM Dakota Sioux
KMHA-FM: Mandan, Arikara, and Hidatsa nations
KEYA-FM serves a Chippewa reservation.
Leonard Bruguier, Director of the Institute of American Indian Studies at the University of South Dakota, says the value of Indian radio is that it ties back into the big family. It not only informs people, it helps to maintain and validate Indian language and culture.
The musical group Outkast's portrayal of Native Americans during their 2004 Grammy's performance has receive worldwide attention. A petition located at http://www.petitiononline.com/2outkast/petition.html, drew almost 13,000 signatures from people across the world. The petition will be blessed in traditional ways before it is handed to WCCO-TV [MN]General Manager Ed Piette in March. Among the comments shared by those who signed:
"The closing musical act
of the show which featured the Hip Hop group "OutKast" was deplorable and demeaning to Native Americans. Such
demonstrations and portrayals should never happen; flying teepees from space, mixed with traditional Music, and
non-Indians dressed as they were and women shaking their butts in the camera are disgusting." Derek Mathews,
Founder & Director, for the Gathering of Nations.
"The Grammy Awards. A night of classy entertainment highlighting the year's finest musicians? Or a modern-day minstrel show substituting red face for the black face of an earlier unenlightened era? We vote for B. GRAMMY AWARDS: CBS, OutKast owe American Indians real apology. " Sun, Feb. 15, 2004 twincities.com/Pioneer Press -editorial.
"Unlike the episode with Janet Jackson, CBS couldn't claim they didn't know beforehand. Last month, as the final Grammy act, Andre Benjamin of the hip-hop group, OutKast, performed "Hey Ya." Benjamin and dancers were dressed in stereotypical American Indian garb, including war paint, feathers and fringe. I stared at the television, wondering how this was ever approved." Carmen Cazares Polk March 1, 2004 Indianapolis Star Opinion.
Haida's Carsen Gray as Tiger Lily in "Peter Pan
She's barely five feet tall, but something about Carsen Gray made her stand out from thousands of girls trying out for the new movie, Peter Pan. Carsen, a Haida tribal member, is 12 years old and is playing the Mohican girl, Tiger Lily. " Carsen Gray is better than Michael Jackson," says her coach, Motown veteran Bobby Taylor. "She has God-given talent. I've been teaching her two things -- how to ad lib and breath control. She's got breath control down -- took me a week -- this is how brilliant this child is." Carsen, a 6th grade student at Skaad Gaa Naay elementary school, speaks French, Haida and learned Mohican for her role in Peter Pan. She's been singing on stage since she was nine. "I like R&B, jazz, hip-hop, that kind of stuff," Carson said. "Bobby and my Mom are there to help me (choose material) because some of the songs are a little bit adult. Something you can really belt out...that's how we choose the songs. I did Lady Marmalade because you can really scream that one." Carsen lives in Skidgate on Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands). Tribal members are excited about Carsen's success, but they still haven't been able to see the movie-- Skidegate doesn't have a movie theatre.
Visit the official site: Universal: Peter Pan http://www.peterpanmovie.net/index_lg.html?deeplink=null
Native News Online
Native filmmakers, actor depict tribal life -- past and present
Moviemaker Chris Eyre had been adopted shortly after birth and raised in a non-Native home. At 24, he began a search for his identity. That picture might seem familiar to Eyre fans. The 33-year-old filmmaker admits to similarities between his life and his movie, "Smoke Signals," which follows a Coeur d'Alene teen's journey to find out who his father was -- and why he left the reservation. "`Smoke Signals' is about what's closest to me, and what's most painful to me," Eyre said. "I missed my mother for 20 years." Chris's newest movie is "Edge of America," tells the story of a Native girls basketball team. It will be previewed at the Sundance Film Festival.
NBA: A dream within reach
It may take hard work for an American Indian to play basketball in college, and it certainly takes drive to make it to the NBA, but it's not out of reach for Warlance Foster. As a walk-on at Arizona Junior College, one of America's top junior college teams, he played in two national championships. As a walk-on at Western State College in Division II, he was ranked in the league's top 10 in assists, steals and three-point shooting percentage. Warlance also tried out for the Denver Nuggets who suggest he might have a future career in the NBA. To hone his skills, Foster will play professional basketball this summer in Europe. "It’s an excellent opportunity to see the world and an opportunity to show what Indian basketball players can do," he said Warlance is a Sun Dancer and participates in pow wows as a Northern Traditional Dancer. He also attends the traditional ceremonies of his Diné and Lakota heritage. After his professional basketball tour, Warlance plans to return to the Navajo Reservation to teach and coach.
Date an Indian save your First Nation
A new website in Canada encourages “status” Indians to marry and have children to help pass on their First Nation status. First Nations Dating Network was started by Alderville First Nation member David Baker. Members can post their own personal ads and can chat online with other members.
Visit www.firstnationsdating.com for more information.
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