Youth and Education News
November 3, 2004, Issue 141 Volume 4
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money." - Cree proverb
Groups Call for Global Warming Control
A coalition of aid and environmental groups are urging rich nations to do more to control global warming and to help poorer nations cope with the effects of climate change. Severe weather such as the Caribbean's recent hurricanes or flooding in Bangladesh will increase as a result of global warming. The coalition also warns that climate change can also be more subtle, such as longer droughts that harm subsistence farmers. Such changes could undermine advances in development and prevent countries raising themselves out of poverty. "Decades of progress and development can be wiped out overnight," said a spokeswoman for the New Economics Foundation.
Chemical concentrations rise in polar bears
IQALUIT - Scientists have found the levels of fluorinated chemicals in polar bears in the Canadian Arctic are increasing at an alarming rate. The chemicals are used in Stainmaster carpets, Gore-Tex fabric, Teflon frying pans, medical equipment tubing and the oil-repellent wrappers used by fast food restaurants to serve hamburgers. The chemicals evaporate off these items and make their way through the atmosphere, carried by snow and rain, to the North. Now they're ending up in the liver of animals found at the top of the Arctic food chain. Some researchers suggest fluorinated chemicals have now become the most highly concentrated pollutants in Arctic life.
Defenders of Wildlife Announces 10 Most Endangered Wildlife Refuges
The National Wildlife Refuge System is the largest system of lands in the world dedicated to wildlife and habitat conservation. But today, it stands at a crossroads. Defenders of Wildlife has released a report on the 10 most endangered refuges.
THE 10 MOST ENDANGERED REFUGES
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Caboose Pretia National Wildlife Refuge
Delta National Wildlife Refuge
Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Don Edward's San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge
Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
Read the Report: http://www.defenders.org/habitat/refuges/report.pdf
Scientists Develop Clean Diesel System
Idaho: Scientists at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory have developed the first system to convert dirty diesel fuel into a quiet and efficient energy source. The system converts the fuel into a 30% hydrogen mixture that produces twice the energy output without sulfur or nitrous oxide pollution. The technology could be installed anywhere people want to have quiet, self-contained energy systems instead of diesel generators. Studies have shown that if the system costs can be reduced to about $3,500 and could provide 5 kilowatts of electricity, plus heat, there would be a huge market among homeowners.
The Associated Press
Cassini Evidence Shows Saturn Moon Alive
The Cassini spacecraft is sending back evidence that Saturn's planet-size moon, Titan, is geologically alive and perhaps has liquids moving on its surface. Images reveal surface details of a round basin, narrow miles-long linear "streaks," and a cat-shaped region of what could be the moon's theorized lakes of liquid methane and ethane. "What Cassini has shown us this week ... (is that) Titan is an extremely dynamic and active place, not simply in its atmosphere but on its surface as well," said Jonathan Lunine, an interdisciplinary scientist.
Update from the Buffalo Field Campaign -- The Slaughter Resumes
Yellowstone Park: Department of Livestock agents, Park Service Rangers, and other law enforcement officers captured and slaughtered a buffalo bull on Tuesday, October 19. The bull was grazing peacefully on National Forest lands near the Lower Bear Trap housing development. The buffalo was not tested for brucellosis before being sent to a Montana slaughterhouse. DOL justified the slaughter by citing private property concerns. The DOL also tried to justify the slaughter by saying the current population of buffalo in the Park is over 3000. However, the management plan clearly states that population is not a justification for not testing buffalo until after the late winter/early spring count.
Info regarding the buffalo and how you can help: http://www.wildrockies.org/Buffalo
Huge wind farm planned for South Dakota
SOUTH DAKOTA: Plans for the world's largest wind farm - 10 times bigger than the largest one currently making electricity -- are on track for South Dakota. Clipper Windpower of Carpinteria, Calif., wants to build the huge complex in the center of the state. The $3,000,000,000 wind farm would have 1,000 turbines and a capacity of 3,000 megawatts, far outsourcing today's largest wind farm on the Washington-Oregon border with 454 turbines producing 300 megawatts. Mike Ropp, an engineering professor at South Dakota State University, says South Dakota has nearly unlimited potential for wind farms. "In general, all of our sites are either equal to expectations or better," Ropp says. "South Dakota can generate an awful lot of electricity, probably a double-digit percentage of our national needs." A $300,000,000 wind farm has also been proposed for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Oglala Sioux tribal officials have signed an agreement with a Chicago investment firm to develop the 300 megawatt project and are now searching for a buyer.
Northern games renew skills and camaraderie
Northwest Territories - The Annual Dene Summer Games took place in the Northwest Territory in late August. Combining a mixture of traditional skills with contemporary sports, the weekend of activities drew participants from numerous small villages dotting the Northwest Territories. Among the 13 events:
Tea Boiling: Two people try to boil water and create tea as fast as possible. The woman runs to a lake for water while the man slices wood to start a fire. Only five matches are permitted; failure to ignite a blaze results in a disqualification.
Dene baseball: played similar to cricket where the batter and teammate run between bases along a straight line
Inukshuk (singular), meaning "likeness of a person" in Inuktitut (the Inuit language) is a stone figure made by the Inuit. The plural is inuksuit.
Inukshuk to honour Winnipeg woman
WINNIPEG - Victoria Jason dedicated her life to teaching people how to kayak in the Arctic. Jason fell in love with the history and the people, but was surprised to learn some Inuit had lost their connection to the kayak. To help maintain the knowledge:
*Over several summers, she paddled 7,500 kilometres to become the first woman to kayak the Northwest Passage.
*She wrote about her journey along the Arctic coast in the book Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak.
*She helped reintroduce the kayak to the community of Kugaaruk and taught children and adults about their heritage first-hand.
Early in 1999, Jason was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She died in May 2000 at the age of 55. Now a park in her hometown of Winnipeg has been renamed after her. Plans are to raise enough money to build a huge Inukshuk on a hill pointing north toward the land Victoria loved so much.
Songs guide Navajo teen’s growth
NEW MEXICO: Kansas K. Begaye, 16, promotes her Dine culture and language through singing. “I first started singing when I was 10 years old. When I competed in my first pageant, I discovered I loved to sing.” Kansas, who is a former Miss Northern Navajo Teen and Miss Indian Teen World, has traveled to Japan and all over the U.S. singing at different functions and events. “I sang the National Anthem at the Gathering of Nations powwow in front of 20,000 audience members in Navajo,” she added. Begaye's mom says her daughter realized how her gift of singing could help preserve the Dine Navajo language when an elder once tried to communicate with her. “They (Navajo elders) were frustrated because she (Kansas) didn’t understand them and she didn’t speak Navajo fluently, so the attempt to communicate didn’t happen,” said Dorothy Begaye. Her daughter agrees. “Now, I’m really learning to speak Navajo and trying to learn, since it’s really up to you, the individual to learn the culture and speak the language,” Kansas said. “Those of you that know your language, I commend you for learning your language, and always be proud of who you are.” Despite the difficulties of learning to speak fluent Navajo, Begaye said she is fortunate to know her culture from talking with her family and relatives and taking Navajo language and culture at Navajo Preparatory School.
CPB AWARDS $1.5 MILLION GRANT TO HELP ESTABLISH CENTER FOR NATIVE AMERICAN RADIO
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is giving a $1,500,000 grant to establish the Center for Native American Radio. The Centre will provide technical, fundraising and programmatic support to nearly 30 public radio stations serving Native American listeners. “The Center will play an important role in seeing that un-served Native audiences have access to Native programs,” said Jacqlyn Salee of KNBA/Koahnic Broadcasting Corporation in Anchorage, AK. “Building strong, vibrant Native stations on reservations and in villages in Alaska will assure Native perspectives and voices are heard more widely.”
Native Stations to be served by the Native Center for Public Radio:
KZPA, Fort Yukon
KSDP, Sand Point
KUHB, St. Paul Island
KGHR, Tuba City
KMHA, New Town
KABU, St. Michaels
KTDB, Pine Hill
KWSO, Warm Springs
KWRR, Ft. Washakie
Honoring Pole in Shanksville, PA
Lummi totem poles dedicated at Pentagon
Lummi Nation master carver and tribal council member Jewell ''Praying Wolf'' James (tse-Sealth) can tell you the exact number of children who lost a parent in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks: 3,257. He can tell you about the Irish, Protestant and Catholic children who, together, peeled the bark from tree that formed the Sovereignty Pole. He can tell you about the two-and-a-half-year-old who ''took a paintbrush and painted the spots that weren't supposed to be painted''-- work the elders would quietly remove later. He can tell you about the 12-year-old Navajo girl who sang a prayer when the Freedom, Liberty and Sovereignty Totem Poles stopped in Arizona on its journey to the Pentagon. For James, the creation and dedication of the Healing Pole, the Honoring Pole, and now the Liberty, Freedom and Sovereignty Poles are very much about the children. ''The House of Tears carvers give the poles to the children who lost parents on 9/11 so they will know they are not alone,'' James said. The Healing Pole, carved in July 2002 and dedicated to those killed at the World Trade Center, was placed north of Manhattan on Sept. 7, 2002. The Honoring Pole was placed in September 2003 at the site of the crash of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa. Now the final gift, a portal fashioned of two upright totem poles representing liberty and freedom topped by a 34-foot-long pole representing sovereignty, was dedicated at the site where Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
For more information about the healing poles, visit: http://www.lummihealingpole.org/
A Lost Culture, Drenched in Blood and Beauty
NEW YORK: In the summer of 1520, Albrecht Dürer saw some of the first Aztec art to reach Europe, and flipped out. "In all my life I have never seen anything that gladdened my heart so much as these things," he wrote breathlessly. "Indeed, I cannot express all that I thought."
When a large showing of Aztec art opened in London in 2002, it became one of the hottest ancient-art events since the King Tutankhamen exhibit nearly 30 years earlier. Now an expanded version of the London exhibition is at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. It's called "The Aztec Empire," and, like the man said, there are no words. Aztec art is not, in fact, ancient. The Aztec had arrived in Central Mexico as nomads, hunters, and mercenaries until their patron deity, Huitzilopochtli, directed them to an island in Lake Texcoco. There they built the city of Tenochtitlan--today's Mexico City-- a kind of Mesoamerican Venice of causeways, floating gardens and temples. When the Spanish adventurer Hernán Cortés found his way to Mexico in 1519, Aztec culture was less than two centuries old. But their art was stupendous. Among the best pieces in existence now being shown in New York are:
An amazing stone mask that appears to be wearing a mask of its own made of turquoise-and-shell mosaic;
A chest-covering garment made of linked oyster-shell plates;
A tiny, pinched-into-shape clay image of youngster in a high chair which may have been a child's toy;
A stone figure of an elderly woman, her face filled with wrinkles;
Sculptures of animals and insects, from frogs as small as beetles to grasshoppers the size of Chihuahuas;
A nearly life-size clay figure of a warrior dressed as an eagle. Or is it an eagle turning into a man?
Indians give a cheer for the name 'Redskins'
Pennsylvania: The question was phrased: "The professional football team in Washington calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive or doesn't it bother you?"
According to the results of the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey taken between Oct. 7, 2003, and Sept. 20, 2004:
65,000 Americans of all races and ethnic groups were questioned. 768 of those people identified themselves as Indians or Native Americans;
90% of American Indians say the name Washington Redskins did not offend them;
9% found it "offensive;"
1% did not respond.
"I thought more people would have had" problems with the name, said Adam Clymer, political director of the survey. The Annenberg findings support a 2002 Sports Illustrated poll which found 75% of American Indians were not offended by the Redskins name. Even of those living on reservations, 62% were not offended. Vernon Bellecourt, president of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, said he believes both the Anneberg and Sports Illustrated poll are "flawed." He cited two factors which contribute to the vote: romanticism of Native Americans by those who claim to be part Indian, and "about half" of those claiming Native Americans heritage think they are Native because "they were born in America." Mr. Bellecourt says he feels confident "almost 100 percent of Native Americans totally object to our continued use as mascots for America's fun and games. Redskins is a slur, and there's a scent of racism in the District of Columbia" with that team name, he said.
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