Youth and Education News
September 1, 2004, Issue 137 Volume 3
"[Sovereignty is] the nearest and dearest, No. 1 issue in Indian Country. It's not something that was given to us. As tribes, we see sovereignty as something we've always had." Jacqueline Johnson, Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians
BIA recognition decision database now online
The Acknowledgment Decision Compilation (ADC) is a record of BIA documents for dozens of groups who completed the federal recognition process. The ADC is actually a Microsoft Access database that links to over 600 MB of document images scanned by the agency's Office of Federal Acknowledgment. The documents, which go as far back as 1836, include: letters of intent, technical assistance letters, proposed findings, and final determination. Thanks to Indianz.Com, the database has been converted to a web page.
ADC webpage: http://188.8.131.52/adc/adc.html
Bush's comment on tribal sovereignty creates a buzz
Washington D.C.: A five-letter word uttered by George W. Bush has raised eyebrows across Indian Country. The word: given. Speaking at the Unity: Journalists of Color convention in August, President Bush was asked what tribal sovereignty meant in the 21st century. He said: "Tribal sovereignty means just that; it's sovereign. You're a -- you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity." To many Native Americans, the president's answer spoke volumes about what they see as his ignorance of Indian issues. As the continent's first societies, American Indian tribes hold their sovereign status with sacred reverence. They have stood as self-governing, independent bodies dating back thousands of years. "[Sovereignty is] the nearest and dearest, No. 1 issue in Indian Country," said Jacqueline Johnson of the National Congress of American Indians. "It's not something that was given to us. As tribes, we see sovereignty as something we've always had." John McCoy, Tulalip, believes Bush's remarks is partly due to the failure of America's education system to recognize Native culture and history. " "If the leader of this nation doesn't understand the most important issue to Native Americans, we have a lot more work to do," he said.
Hualapai Tribe plans skywalk over Grand Canyon
Arizona: The Hualapai people live at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The tribe is now planning to build a skywalk over the canyon to enhance the tourist experience. Part of the skywalk flooring will be made of glass so people can look down. The skywalk should be completed by March 2005.
Kingman Daily Miner
Navajo police dog credited with $1M marijuana bust
Arizona: Tarpez, a Navajo police dog, is responsible for a $1,000,000 marijuana bust in Arizona. Tarpez joined the Arizona Highway Patrol when officers became suspicious of a tractor-trailer. Inside, police found 698 pounds of marijuana. The two truck drivers were charge with transporting marijuana for sale and possessing drug paraphernalia. Another unnamed Navajo police dog was also involved.
MADD Tailors Alcohol Use Prevention Program for Native American Cultures
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has adapted its elementary alcohol use prevention program, Protecting You/Protecting Me (PY/PM), to be culturally appropriate for Native American students. "Underage drinking permeates all races and ethnicities; its tragedies are felt in every community across the country," said Wendy J. Hamilton, MADD national president. "Protecting You/Protecting Me plays a crucial role in protecting the lives of children, and we want to ensure all students can relate to the lessons so they can make smart, healthy decisions about alcohol." The specialized curriculum will be available this fall to Native communities, but trainings to infuse the curriculum-based program into schools are already underway.
For natives, culture of tobacco use prevalent, harmful, says CDC
Tobacco is sacred to most Native Americans. We use it in ceremonies and individual prayer, and we believe it carries our words to the creator. But our ancestors never intended that tobacco be abused as it is today. With its chemical additives and availability, cigarettes have turned tobacco into a deadly substance. It is a dreadful irony, then, that native people have the highest percentage of cigarette smokers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's January 2004 report, 40% of Native Americans smoke. Of those, 53% are men, and 33% are women. Fortunately, native communities are beginning to address the problem with programs such as "Keep Tobacco Sacred," a project created by native people and sponsored by the University of Montana to fight tobacco abuse.
Basic training mixes native and military cultures
Alberta: The Bold Eagle program is a training and employment program run by Canada's First Nations organizations and the Departments of Defense and Indian and Northern Affairs. The program was started by A.J. Felix, former chief of the Prince Albert Tribal Council and Army reserve sergeant, who was disturbed by rising crime rates among aboriginal youth. What he saw as a basic discipline problem might be addressed with some old-fashioned basic training. "If you have terrific discipline and learn teamwork, you're never going to end up in the big house," Felix said, referring to the high proportion of natives in Canada's prisons. For six weeks, seven days a week, 52 recruits from ages 16-21 are kept on the run from 5:30 a.m.--11:00 p.m. What makes the program unique is the on-site presence of native elders and the "culture camp" where recruits participate in sweat lodges, pipe ceremonies and other native rituals. Tutored by elders, they learn about native spirituality and the "circle of life." "It was awesome," said Devon French, 17. "I was really getting bummed out about the inspections and the early hours but I toughed it out and ended up loving it."
High Levels of Black Mold Found in Pine Ridge Reservation Homes
|South Dakota: For 12 years, the High Horse family lived in their home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. But in 2002, the family had to move out. The reason: black mold made living conditions unbearable. "It looked like somebody took black paint and started to paint in the corners of the walls and ran it down to the floor," said Jerome High Horse. "To breathe in there was like trying to breathe with a trash bag over your head." High Horse blames poor construction that caused ventilation problems. A hazardous health report says fungal spores in the home exceeded safe levels. The Pine Ridge Reservation is among the poorest areas in the nation, and their five-year plan to address the problem is running short of money.|
Roubideaux Named "Indian Physician of the Year"
Dr. Yvette D. Roubideaux has been named “Indian Physician of the Year” by the Association of American Indian Physicians. The Rosebud Lakota doctor has done extensive work with diabetes patients. She helped develop the “Controlling Your Diabetes For Life” campaign, as well as the “Move It” program for Native youth. Yvette also worked to secure a grants for AAIP’s Diabetes Program. She is currently working in the INMED program at the University of Arizona and provides guidance and counseling to Native students pursuing degrees in health. “I am honored to receive the Indian Physician of the Year Award from AAIP because this organization was an important source of support and inspiration for me as a student, and is now an important resource and network of support for me in my current career activities. I hope to continue to support the activities for AAIP in the future,” Roubideaux said.
Koko the Gorilla Signs for the Dentist
Koko, a 300-plus-pound gorilla, has mastered more than 1,000 signs using the American Sign Language. Three months ago, Koko began using the ASL gesture for pain and pointing to her mouth. When handlers constructed a pain chart and offered Koko a scale from one to 10, she consistently pointed to 9 and 10. "She's quite articulate,'' volunteer Johnpaul Slater said. "She'll tell us how bad she's feeling, how bad the pain is. It looked like it was time to do something.'' Twelve specialists-- a Stanford cardiologist, three anesthesiologists, three dentists, an ear and throat specialist, two veterinarians, a gastroenterologist and a gynecologist -- volunteered to help and sprang into action. The result? Koko's first full medical examination in about 20 years, an extracted tooth and a clean bill of health. "It's not often that we get to work on a celebrity,'' said Dr. David Liang, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford. "Probably, Koko is less demanding.'' Koko celebrated her 33rd birthday on July 4. Gorillas in captivity are known to live to 50.
WASHINGTON: Several thousand wild horses are thundering across south-central Washington's Yakama Indian Reservation. Their exact numbers are unknown. But in the desert scrubland, tribal wildlife officials know there are too many to share habitat with the native species they aim to restore to the land. "We know just by observation that there are problems -- inbreeding, overgrazing, lack of range management. We know that they have displaced other natural species, such as deer and elk, in some places of the reservation," said E. Arlen Washines, wildlife manager for the Yakama Nation. "But we don't know what's needed to fix that, to create a balance." The Yakama Nation has begun preparing a wildlife management plan they believe will better help them understand how plants and animals best coexist on the reservation. They also hope to reintroduce some native species that haven't been seen in the area for decades, including pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and sage grouse. Tribal wildlife officials hope to have a management plan in place by 2006 to help the herds and retain their status among the Yakama
What Is Happening to Birds?
a Usually it takes homing pigeons only two hours to return to their home lofts.
But in a recent Swedish contest, only 500 of the 2000 pigeons returned to after a 150 kilometer flight between Ljungby and Malmoea. "The weather was perfect -- no rain, no thunder and no strong winds," said Lars-Aake Nilsson. So far, none of the missing homing pigeons have turned up anywhere.
aIn Pennsylvania during two October, 1998 races, the same kind of disappearance happened. In one, about 1,600 homing pigeons vanished out of 1,800 competing in a 200-mile race. The same day, 600 out of 700 birds were missing after a 150-mile race.
aIn a North Dakota Wildlife refuge, 30,000 pelicans abandoned their nests and eggs and
simply disappeared without a trace.
a In Point Roberts, WA, an entire heron colony has simply vanished into thin air. "There were at least a hundred active pairs with young. We don't know what happened to them. The birds just disappeared," said Ann Eissinger, heron expert.
a In Arizona, pelicans are "dive-bombing" head first into asphalt, supposedly mistaking the "shimmering" heat-effected roads for water.
a In California, the endangered brown pelicans are mysteriously starving to death during a bumper year for anchovies, their preferred prey....Hundreds of the ungainly sea birds appear to have flown off course in search of food...with young pelicans turning up in Arizona deserts.
What is happening to cause these disasters? Are these
animals being effected by electromagnetic influences that scientists do not fully understand? A New York Times article
points to the "collapse" of the earth's magnetic field. Some are speculating that we are undergoing a
"reversal" of the magnetic field, which would profoundly effect migratory animals.
black mold photo: http://stephenville.tamu.edu/
Volume 2 Volume 4
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