Native Village 

Youth and Education News

October 20, 2004,  Issue 140  Volume 1

"It's really important to go and vote and let your voice be heard.  If I didn't vote, my voice wouldn't be heard." Irene James, 60, Lummi Nation

 Denver police arrest 245 for blocking Columbus Day Parade
Colorado: Calling it a ''Convoy of Conquest,'' American Indian Movement members and their allies blocked Denver's Columbus Day Parade to protest the holiday that represents genocide and the theft of homelands of the Americas' indigenous people.  "America continues to fight the 'Indian wars' and one expression of that is Columbus Day,'' said AIM organizer Glenn Morris.  Denver police arrested 245 people, including 44 juveniles. Morris said Indian children as young as seven and eight chose to be arrested because of the injustice they face in U.S. schools. ''Every year they confront the silence of their ancestors' voices in their history classes," Morris said.  Morris pointed out the facts: Christopher Columbus had traded African slaves prior to his voyage to the Americas in 1492. Columbus was personally responsible for overseeing a colonial administration that directly led to the death of millions of indigenous people. Father Bartolome de Las Casas, an eyewitness and a contemporary of Columbus, estimated that 15 million indigenous people died in the Caribbean.
Indian Country Today

Chavez Supporters Pull Down Statue of Columbus
Venezuela: Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrated Columbus Day by toppling a statue of the explorer whom Chavez blames for beginning a "genocide" of native Indians. Police firing tear gas later recovered parts of the broken bronze image, which protesters had dragged to a Caracas theater where Chavez was due to speak. Two years ago, Chavez rechristened Oct. 12, normally meant to celebrate Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World -- as "Indian Resistance Day."  The new name honors Indians killed by Spanish and other foreign conquerors.

Ohio Archaeological Council
Park Officials Hope Mound Can Be Saved From Erosion
Ohio: Archaeologists know more about how the Hopewells died than about how they lived. Now a chance to learn more about the Hopewells is being washed away by Paint Creek, which winds it's way around a mound in the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park.  Park Superintendent Dean Alexander has requested $360,000 from the government to excavate before the artifacts are swept away.  "This is part of our heritage," Alexander said. Not a lot is known about the Hopewells, "but we know that these people did some pretty amazing things."  The park includes many of the largest earthworks by various ancient cultures scattered between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. Created 2,000 years ago, the Hopewell dirt mounds includes more than 20 mounds in an area large enough to hold more than 100 football fields. The mounds were used as ceremonial burial grounds, and human remains have been found inside.  Other materials traded from across North America have been discovered there, including effigy pipes and copper carved into bird shapes, shark teeth from Florida and volcanic glass from the Yellowstone National Park region.  But while archaeologists know a lot about the burial grounds -- in particular, how the Hopewells cared for them-- "Their daily life away from the earthworks remains a mystery," said archaeologist Kathy Brady-Rawlins.
Columbus Dispatch

Storms uncover remains in Indian burial mound
Florida: While collecting shells along the beach, Alice Kearns found something a little more unusual: bones, teeth and a human skull uncovered by the hurricanes.  The human remains were scattered in a small area and may be part of a second American Indian burial mound uncovered on southern Hutchinson Island. The bones may be from a shipwrecked sailor or an Ais Indian, whose tribe left the area in the 1750s. Archeologists hope the site is stable and hidden enough to be preserved.  "It's an opportunity to make a connection with the past," one said. "Digging up sites is a destructive process. It's hard to find an intact site on the coast.",0,3569245,print.story

Artifacts May Change Nicaraguan History
Nicaragua: Nicaragua's history books,  written by Spanish conquistadors, teach that the Nicarao people migrated from Mexico in the 13th Century and were closely related to the Aztecs.  But evidence uncovered by a University of Calgary archeology team reveals that the Nicarao ancestors were a more indigenous culture with only minor contact with their Aztec neighbours.  "This is an idea that will be met with understandable surprise and resistance among Nicaraguans,’ said Geoff McCafferty who is leading the research project.  "For Canadians, it would be like waking up one day and being told the English never colonized Canada."  400,000 artifacts --including animal bones, pottery shards, stone tools, jewelry and burial urns--shed light on the eating habits and burial customs of the Nicarao, and suggest there were very few similarities between the Nicarao and the Aztecs.
CanWest Interactive

Tippecanoe battlefield could be excavated
INDIANA: Historians are making tentative plans for an archaeological dig at Prophetstown, the site of the Battle of Tippecanoe in northwestern Indiana. The 1811 battle was between U.S. troops and a tribal confederacy led by the great Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, and his brother, The Prophet. The battle is considered an opening part of the War of 1812.

Tribes May Be Close To Settling Decades-Old Land Dispute
The Navajo and Hopi tribes may soon settle a decades-long dispute over 700,000 acres land in northern Arizona. The Navajos contend the land is theirs and they have used it for generations.   But the Hopis say the land is part of their aboriginal homelands used for thousands of years before the Navajos arrived in the mid-1800s.  The Hopis also say the land contains sacred springs, eagle nesting sites and shrines vital to their religion.  Officials hope to reach a settlement within the next few months, but also caution that nothing is final and there are still issues to be resolved.   "We want to resolve all of these matters to the best interests and welfare of the two tribes so we have the ability to focus our time and energy on nation building issues,’’ said Hopi chairman Wayne Taylor.
H-amindian LISTSERV

Proud of their heritage
Oklahoma: When the five civilized tribes — Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole — come to mind, the term black American Indian rarely registers. That is exactly what the staff at Southern Heights Heritage Center and Museum wants to change.  Director Angela Molette and her parents can trace their lineage to the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, as can thousands of black tribal descendants of these and other tribe. To bring their people together, the second annual Black Indian Powwow was recently held at the Southern Heights center in Enid.  People from as far away as Chicago attended.  “We wanted people to recognize black Indians exist.  We weren't included in any of the books," said  Molette.  “We needed to reconnect ourselves with our culture. Most nations have a powwow to call people home, to resolve concerns.” The Southern Heights museum serves as a repository for black American Indian artifacts and houses several exhibits about the culture.

Rum River Name-Change Movement
Minnesota:  In Minnesota, there is a large and beautiful lake named Mille Lacs. Its outlet river is named Rum River. The original Sioux name for the Rum River, however, is Mdo-te-Mi-ni-Wakan, translated mouth (of river) + water + sacred. Thomas Dahlheimer Whites says the name "Rum River" disrespects the sacredness of its existence and desecrates the Sioux name for their Great Spirit. With support from dozens of individuals and national organizations, Dahlheimer has established the Rum River Name Change Organization, a movement to change the Rum River name.
Rum River Name Change Organization:

Yukon chiefs call for control of language cash
WHITEHORSE - Ed Schultz, the Grand Chief of the Yukon Council of First Nations, wants to know why Yukon First Nations aren't in control of the territory's aboriginal language programs. Schultz says many languages are disappearing, and some gone already. He wants those who still speak the languages to have the power to preserve them. "What makes us distinct is our language," Schultz said. "That's the essence of our identity. But the control measures for its ongoing utilization, development, promotion and integration into the contemporary world is controlled by everyone else but us...and we're not going to take it any more." Currently, most money for Yukon language programs flows through non-native government agencies. Schultz says the money and power must be transferred to the Council of Yukon First Nations.

Oneida Spoken Here; Eight Taking Classes In Tribe’s Language To Keep It
New York: When New York's Oneida Indian Nation decided to teach their tribal language, they ran into a problem: no one in the New York tribe spoke it fluently.  So the nation imported two Oneida teachers from Ontario. Since February, the teachers have taught language classes to eight New York Oneida who will graduate Oct. 22 .  "I don't want to see it die, and it's dying," said Sheri Beglen, one of the Oneida students, said about their language.  "It's a dire situation for the language, probably more than anyone realizes."  The course is the nation's biggest effort to preserve its language.  ‘We could teach you 10,000 words, but if you don't know how to put them in a sentence, it doesn't matter,’ said Ray George, one of the Ontario teachers. The New York Oneida teachers will pass on the language to other tribal members to keep alive.
The Post-Standard (Syracuse)


     The Maya wrote their books, or codices, in ideograms. Thousands upon thousands were created, and almost all were burned by European Invaders.  One involved in destroying the codices was Friar Diego de Landa (1524-1579), the Bishop of Yucatán.  "We found a large number of books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which were not to be seen as superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they (the Maya) regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction," he said. To preserve the remaining books, the Maya buried them or hid them in caves. Some have been found, but because of the humidity in the jungles, only fragments remain, and all their pictures have long since decayed. Luckily, three codices did survive, probably because they were already in Europe, although how they got there is a mystery. They lay forgotten for 250 years in three separate cities until, under very risky circumstances, they became known in Dresden, Germany;  Paris, France; and Madrid, Spain.

The Dresden Codex: the most beautiful, complete and best made of the three. Written on kopo, the codex was made between A.D. 1000-1200, and was still possibly in use when the conquistadors arrived. Basically about astronomy, the codex includes almanacs and day counts for worship and prophecies; astronomical and astrological tables; and katún (a 20-year period) prophecies; references and predictions for time and agriculture; favorable days for predictions, and texts about sickness and medicine. It also contains a page about a flood, a prophecy or maybe a reference to the rainy seasons so vital to the Maya.
THE PARIS CODEX: The Peresianus Codex refers to questions of ritual and includes katuns from A.D. 1224-1441, their corresponding gods, ceremonies, rituals and prophecies. Other pages are full of predictive almanacs, New Year ceremonies and a zodiac divided into 364 days.   It is thought to be from 13th-century Palenque, Chiapas, and is older than the Dresden Codex.
THE MADRID CODEX is the longest and best preserved of the three codices. The text has auguries that helped priests make predictions. It's 11 sections includes rituals for the gods Kukulcán and Itzamná,  bad omens concerning crops and offerings that should be made to regularize rain; o a katún of 52 ritual years; and hunting, calendars, death and purification, among other themes.  The origin of the Madrid Codex is unclear. It has been provisionally sited in the west of the Yucatán Peninsula in Champotón, Mexico, and dated to the 13th and 15th centuries.

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