Native Village 

Youth and Education News

September 15, 2004,  Issue 138 Volume 1

“Today’s children are the backbone of tomorrow’s economy... Instead of passing more tax breaks, which is not stimulating the economy nor creating jobs, the Bush administration should do more to lift families out of poverty by investing in programs that help children. ” Deborah Cutler-Ortiz

Statement by David Swallow, Jr., Wowitan Yuha Mani
David Swallow, Jr., Teton Lakota Spiritual Leader, is addressing his concerns about a proposed Congressional bill, HR 1851C, and an online petition supporting it.  Published by Scott Barla, HR 1851C--The Pipestone Protection Bill--proposes the Federal Government prevent any and all commercialized use of the sacred red catlinite “Ih e Duta” Pipestone, which makes up the stone "bowl" portion of the Sacred C'anunpas (sacred pipes) of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations. HR 1851C would also regulate the harvesting and possession of catlinite and any Sacred C'anunpas (sacred pipes).  However, David Swallow, Jr.,  believes any protection decisions for Ih e Duta should have been addressed by spiritual leaders of all the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota and, in particular, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the last stronghold of the Traditional Rights.  "They should have brought this here.," said Swallow, who is a Sundance Chief, Spiritual Leader, and a Headman of the Lakota Nation Band. "So that petition they are circulating on this C'anunpa, to me, it's illegal, in the Lakota eyes...  I'm not depending on [any] government to change our Ways.  I'm trying to think for the People and the future generations, today. There is a Way that our ancestors left, and we must, I must, and we all have to respect this."  While Swallow agrees that the C'anunpa stone should not be sold or used in ways other than c'anunpas, he strongly disagrees with Congress  "...{making]  a decision for me or anybody else to run this C'anunpa...   See, Congress [and Senators] don't have [any] idea what this C'anunpa is about... This C'anunpa is for healing.  Body, Mind, and Spirit.  It's a spiritual thing, this C'anunpa.  And it already comes with laws to the individual person that accepts to carry the C'anunpa for the People.  And if that individual person doesn't do right, then the C'anunpa will take care of itself.   So they run into bad luck, see?"  Mr. Swallow plans to hold meetings for all Spiritual Leaders, Sundancers, C'anunpa Carriers, and the General Public on September 16-17 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
For meeting information, visit:

Paddlers Cross Channel in Their Ancestors' Wake ~crsmith/tomol.html

California: For only the second time in 150 years, a Chumash plank canoe cut through the waters of Santa Barbara Channel.  The rowers, exhausted after a 21-mile journey, saluted crowd with raised paddles.  Their seagoing canoe, known as a tomol, is a cultural rebirth of its 2,000-year-old origins when the sleek Chumash craft first traveled between the Channel Islands and the mainland. Chumash villages thrived on the islands and along several hundred miles of coastline. It was the tomol that held the tribe together, both commercially and culturally.
Los Angeles Times  

Archaeologists find evidence of pueblo revolt from Santa Fe plaza dig
New Mexico: Archaeologists say a dig at Santa Fe’s plaza has revealed evidence of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Archaeologists found an old acequia, artifacts from a military conflict and the remains of other activities which are consistent with historical documents and oral accounts of the uprising. The archaeologists believe the ditch supplied water to colonists who took refuge in the Palace of the Governors during the Pueblo Revolt.
Associated Press

Tiny Pieces of History Discovered in Yorktown
Virginia: Pieces of copper discovered at the U. S. Navy's Weapons Station in Yorktown, Va. are providing new insights about the English colony at Jamestown and the long-lost Powhatan Indian village of Kiskiak. The copper artifacts were unearthed by archaeologists from the College of William and Mary and dated back to the early 1600s.  Chief Powhatan treasured copper, which had only been obtainable in trade with the Monacans, their enemies.  Captain John Smith quickly learned the economic power of copper with the Indians. In his True Account, Smith cynically observed that "for a coper [sic] kettle and a few toyes … they will sell you a whole Country." Archaeologist Carter C. Hudgins explained that some scholars, "argue that the Powhatans' reverence for copper was so strong that the English supply of it is what staved off the colonists' early annihilation by the indigenous people, and it enabled the settlers to buy corn at a stable price established by John Smith - one bushel of the grain for a one-inch square piece of copper. During the early years of the Jamestown settlement, the exchange rate was stable and enabled the colony to survive severe droughts that plagued early agricultural efforts."

200 Years On, Cree Indians Go Home To Orkneys

Scotland: Twenty-five Cree people of Canada have returned to their roots on the Scottish Islands of Orkney. Some Cree are descended from Cree mothers and Orcadian men from the Hudson's Bay Company who opened Canada for European exploration. For the first time, the descendants of men called Isbister, Twatt, Drever, Harcus, Linklater, Rendall, Tait, Macdonald and Calder, among others, have returned to see where their forefathers were born. "These people are our cousins -- direct descendants of the same forefathers," said Kim Foden of the Saskatchewan First Nations.  "The First Nations people look upon this visit as a sort of pilgrimage. They are coming to see the home of their grandfathers.”
The Independent (London)

Mapuche Indians in Chile Struggle to Take Back Forests
Chile: Before European invasion, and even for centuries afterward, Chile's rich southern forests belonged to the Mapuche people. Today, though, tree farms stretch in all directions, property of timber companies that supply lumber to the United States, Japan and Europe.  But now the Mapuches, complaining of false land titles and environmental damage, and protecting their traditional way of life, are struggling to take back the land they say is still theirs.  "Many Mapuche communities have risen up and said, 'We don't want any more tree farms here,' '' said Alfredo Seguel, one of many young Mapuche professionals called Konapewman. "Productive fields have been turned over to a monoculture that hurts other activities, helps destroy the land, employs very few people and pays low wages."  Chilean exports of wood to the United States, almost all of which come from this southern region, are about $600,000,000 a year and rising. "The big companies and the big landowners are usurpers who profit at our expense, and we want them to leave," complained José Huenchunao, a Mapuche leader. "We are a people who have been defrauded, who have exhausted every legal means of attaining redress, and we have the right to recover what was stolen from us, even if that means incorporating violence within our struggle."

Maya Indians Seize Largest Guatemalan Dam
Guatemala: Nearly 500 Mayan Indian farmers have stormed the Chixoy hydroelectric dam and threaten to cut power supplies unless they are compensated for land and lost lives.  Many protesters were survivors of brutal army massacres when the dam was constructed. "No new dams can be built until they right the wrongs done to the people of Chixoy," said protest leaderJuan de Dios. In 1980, the Guatemalan army and paramilitaries killed 300 people from the nearby village of Rio Negro. Mainly women and children died during three massacres. "They killed my mother, my sisters, my nieces and my wife and son, and when I finally agreed to be relocated the army took me to their base for eight days and beat me," said 42-year-old Francisco Chen. Luis Ortiz, head of Guatemala's electricity board, said the protesters' demands were unjustified.

Australian tribe first to populate N. America?
Mexico: A team of archaeologists working on a programme investigating human evolution have found skeletal remains in the desert of the Baja California Peninsula that question theories about American immigration. The team analyzed the DNA of skulls with markedly different morphologies to Native American Indians, commonly regarded as the first settlers of the Americas. The skulls are long and narrow, not in keeping with the Native Indians' broader, rounder features. ''They appear more similar to southern Asians, Australians and populations of the South Pacific Rim than they do to Northern Asians," said Dr Silvia Gonzalez of John Moores University. ''We think there were several migration waves into the Americas at different times by different human groups. The timing, route and point of origin of the first colonisation of the Americas remains a most contentious topic in human evolution.''  Dr Gonzalez's team have evidence of a previously unknown group, the Pericues, who went extinct in the 18th Century. She suggests this tribe may not have taken the traditional route to the continent, which many believe was over the Bering Straights.

Historian tracks down Taino descendants in Cuba
Cuba: Historian Alejandro Hartmann is conducting the first census of Taino descendants in Cuba. The Taino Tribe occupied Cuba, Puerto Rico and neighboring islands at the time of Christopher Columbus's invasion of the New World. The population dwindled dramatically due to war, slavery, disease and inter-marriage with Europeans and Africans. But Taino culture, words and way of life are used every day in the country.  Most are preserved in remote villages, Hartmann says. Taino culture is also preserved in a new museum in Baraco where Taino descendants still live.

  Man Charged With Selling Skull On EBay
Hawaii: Thirty-five years ago, Jerry David Hasson, 55, found a prehistoric skull in the sands of Hawaii.  Today he faces a prison sentence and $250,000 fine for violating the Archaeological Resources Protection Act for selling the skull on EBay. "These are the ancestors of our native Hawaiians," said Assistant U.S. Atty. William Carter.  "All of these remains are part of our historical and cultural heritage, and we have to preserve them for the [native] people and for ourselves." Hasson said he found the skull while living on Maui during the 1969 filming of 'The Hawaiians,' a feature film in which he played a bit part.
Los Angeles Times

Advocate for Apache language
Arizona: "We're losing our language. And when we do that, we become a lost tribe. We become a white man, just like you."  The words belong to Edgar Perry, a White Mountain Apache who is striving to save his people's language -- and way of life. Years ago, Perry began working on an Apache-language dictionary. "We would take a tape recorder out and record the old people. But when we went to translate them, we didn't know how to phonetically write the Apache language," Perry says. "All those beautiful, taped stories -- we decided to write a dictionary." He's not alone. Hopi Emory Sekaquaptewa, a University of Arizona research anthropologist, has helped create a Hopi dictionary. And Ofelia Zepeda, a UA linguistics professor, has written the first grammar book of the Tohono O'odham language, her native tongue.
AZ Daily Star

Italian students study native language programs
Montana: Fifteen high school students from Bologna, Italy, felt right at home during their 12-day stay with native families in Montana. "In a certain way, it feels better than home," said student Marco Amadori. "I am surprised at the level of hospitality. We get up in the morning and our host families are asking, 'What do you want to do today? Do you want to do this, do you want to do this, do you want to do this?' They're always asking what we want, instead of doing what they need to. It is really rare to find people like that in Italy."  The students' trop began when teacher Stefano  Brazzi  told the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas he was interested in bringing a group of teenagers to America to study native languages, Tony Mattina from the University of Montana answered the call. "I was intrigued that they wanted to know more about this, and agreed to help them," said Mattina, who organized trips to reservations in Montana and Washington and lined up host families. The Italian guests visited the Blackfeet and Flathead reservations in Montana, and the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington.  "Everywhere we've gone, the tribes have told me that without our language, we are nothing," Bozzoli said. "Knowing English is the first thing to finding a job in the world today. But other cultures are important. Knowing their language may not be important to finding a job. But it is important."  Student Chiara Comunale was struck by the language preservation methods. "The most interesting thing I've found is Indians preserving their language through programs, books, DVDs and tapes," she said. "It is interesting to see kids 5 and 4 years old speaking their native language in a world that is completely English and Western. They have to live in a modern world, but they all speak very well two languages."


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