Native Village 

Youth and Education News

September 15, 2004,  Issue 138 Volume 3

“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

Employment Picture Dim For Minority Youth
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports only 32,000 jobs were created in July, far less than the 215,000-247,000 expected. Hidden in their report is the exceptionally unsettling picture for minority youth. The Children’s Defense Fund says the jobless rate for all 16-to 19-year-olds reached 56.1% in July. The jobless rate for African American youth was 75.1%, and for Latino youth it was 66%. CDF says the Bush administration and Congress “could do much more to create jobs and lift families out of poverty.”
For example:
  Fully funding the Child Care and Development Block Grant (a major source of childcare funding) would generate 1,800,000 teaching positions and enable the parents of 13,450,000 children to work and attend college.
  Fully funding the 21st Century Community Learning Centers would generate 554,272 jobs and offer 6,000,000 children a supervised place to go after school.
  Fully funding Head Start would create almost 1,000,000 new jobs.
"Today's children are the backbone of tomorrow’s economy,” said Deborah Cutler-Ortiz of the Children’s Defense Fund.  “The current dismal jobs report clearly calls for action. 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. ”

American Indian women's contributions often overlooked
Indiana: When Sally Tuttle married a Hoosier in 1972 and moved east from Red Oak, Okla., her grandmother warned her: "Be careful. They don't like Indians out there."  This seemed so odd for a state named Indiana because of Indians. Tuttle, who is Choctaw, also learned Indiana had no federally recognized tribes. Then, when she attempted to take her card identifying her as a member of the Choctaw nation, to the local BIA to apply for educational grants, she learned no BIA offices were in existance. . Obviously, Tuttle had work to do. Her efforts have paid off--last month, Indiana's first Native American Indian Affairs Commission met in Indianapolis. The 17 members appointed by the governor include 10 agency heads, officials and politicians, and seven American Indians

Historic First Coins have been issued by the Sovereign Nation of Poarch Creek Indians
The Sovereign Nation of Poarch Creek Indians, a segment of the original Creek Nation which occupied the Alabama and Georgia, have been together for 150 years.  Today, there are approximately 2,270 tribal members. Tribal Chairman Eddie L. Tullis authorized memorial coins to be issued in 2004 in commemoration of the Poarch Creeks recognition as a Sovereign Nation. Three coin types are now in production.
See the coins:

500 Tragic Years Of Mayan Life
Guatemala is known for the soaring pyramids of the ancient Maya and the colorful weavings of today's descendants. Folkloric images of the Maya Indians have been used to help attract tourism to a nation now ravaged by a three-decade civil war. But within Guatemala, the Maya are often treated with no respect.  Many Mayan leaders are disappointed with the scarce improvements in opportunities for the Maya, who make up almost half of Guatemala's population and suffer the most from the civil war.   But a traveling exhibition titled ''Why Are We the Way We Are?,'' which opened in Guatemala's capital last week, is prompting national dialogue between the Maya and nonindigenous population. Created by the Center for Mesoamerican Research and American museologists, the show has rallied support from business groups, media and government. It has also become a national event. At the exhibition's inauguration, Guatemala's Vice President Eduardo Stein hailed it as a 'watershed in history.  ''Why Are We the Way We Are?'' will be open through June, 2005.
H-Amindian Listserve

  Coalition to monitor voting precincts
On November 2, a national American Indian coalition, Native Vote 2004, will place poll watchers near heavily American Indian precincts in 13 states. To determine which precincts should have poll watchers, Election Protection Project volunteers will ask tribal leaders if they know of problems or confusion in previous elections.  "We're still in the organizational stage," said Dana Jim. "We've circulated some volunteer sheets at a law school, and folks are e-mailing me wanting to volunteer. What we're trying to do is get as many volunteers as we can."  States included in the project are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

U.N. decade of Indian called "Relative failure"
MEXICO CITY: The U.N.'s International Decade of the World's Indigenous People has been "a relative failure," said U.N. expert Marcos Matias Alonso. Thierry Lemaresquier, U.N. Representative, agrees. "Indigenous peoples continue to suffer more than any other ethnic or social group."  Matias said that passing pro-Indian laws does not by itself empower Indians or guarantee "that the big problem of poverty has been addressed." He also criticized the United States for not having contributed any money to a special U.N. development fund for Indians and noted that only 20 countries had made contributions.

World’s Indigenous Peoples Slam UK Government
Switzerland: In a letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Indigenous peoples from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas severely chastised his government for advising the United Nations to adopt "discriminatory double standards" on Indigenous peoples' human rights. The United Kingdom is also being criticized for joint actions with the U.S. government. Both governments are accused of blocking progress on native rights and perpetuating global impoverishment. The letter, accompanied by a 166-page Annex, details specific actions against Indigenous peoples, including women, youth and children.  "Rather than ensuring our security, the UK - like the U.S. government -- is promoting the insecurity of the world's Indigenous peoples by undermining our fundamental status and human rights," the annex states.

Tragedy Of Inuit Suicides Must End
Nunavut: Inuit leaders presented a unified message during World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. While Canada's suicide rate is 12.9 deaths per 100,000 people, the Arctic suicide rates averages 80 per 100,000 population. Suicide rates in Nunavik and Nunavut have almost doubled in the past decade. "A national suicide prevention strategy is needed, containing solutions specifically tailored for Inuit," says Jose Kusugak, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. "Put another way, it is as if we lose a classroom-and-a-half of students each year, just in the Nunavut Territory, from a population of approximately 27,000." Reasons identified by researchers include relationship breakdowns, difficulties in balancing cultures in the modern world, and depression.
H-Amindian Listserv

Dogs can detect seizures and tumors
Two studies have confirmed that dogs can detect upcoming seizures in epileptic children and can sniff melanoma tumors smaller than trained dermatologists can see.  No one is sure how dogs are able to anticipate the seizures, but 50% of families with epileptic children indicated their dog knew a seizure was coming before the patient or the family.  The information appears in a book by Dr. Marty Becker, “The Healing Power of Pets.”
Sylvania Veterinary Hospital:

Get Your Family More Active, Less Heavy

The childhood obesity rate is raging out of control. More kids than ever -- boys and girls as young as 8 years -- are suffering the effects of type 2 diabetes. Concerned researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics say as many as 1-in-3 children are overweight or obese...  That's the bad news. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent or reverse this disturbing trend.

1. Walk briskly whenever and wherever you walk.
2. Create an environment for active play both inside and outside the home.
3. Participate in activities the entire family can enjoy together.
4. Expose yourself to as many different kinds of activity as possible in a fun and rewarding environment.
5. Normal-weight children can safely climb run and jump to help develop muscle strength and bone density. Check with your doctor about which activities are safe if you are overweight.
6. Don't allow young children to do adult exercises. Their metabolic system is too immature.
7. Reserve at least one day each weekend dedicated to fun family fitness activities.
8. Don't focus on sedentary activities. Rather, congratulate and reward yourself when you choose to be active and play.
9. IF you do watch television, do exercises or body movements during commercials. If you are watching a movie or video, turn it off every 30 minutes and dance, jump rope, or do stomach crunches for 5-10 minutes.
10. Allow movement chores such as vacuuming your room, walking the dog, shoveling snow, and raking leave to be considered exercise.

Archeologists Find Ancient Brewery in Peru
Peru: Scientists from Chicago's Field Museum have uncovered a brewery in the Peruvian mountains where members of the Wari Empire made an alcoholic drink called chicha. The brewery, which dates back over 1,000 years, may be the oldest large-scale facility of its kind ever found in the Andes and predates the Inca Empire by at least four centuries.  Patrick Williams, Field Museum Curator, estimated the facility could produce up to a few thousand liters of the beer-like liquid per day.  "This was a very large scale of production that they are undertaking here in order to serve large numbers of people," Williams said.  Scholars believe that elite members of the Wari Empire socialized with others and rewarded subordinates by inviting them to enjoy chicha. These gatherings may have been particularly important because they joined together diverse groups of people with different languages into a single political structure. The Wari Empire stretched from northern Peru to southern Peru, roughly the distance from New York to Jacksonville, Fla.
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