Youth and Education News
January 26, 2005, Issue 145 Volume 4
“Why have we as a people been able to continue to exist? Because we know where we come from. By having roots, you can see the direction in which you want to go." Joênia Wapixana
Shrieking Frogs Unnerve Hawaiian Island
|Hawaii: In 1990 the nocturnal coqui frog, a beloved native in Puerto Rico, hitched a ride to Hawaii by hiding in shipments of tropical plants. The tiny frog with a huge shriek has been shattering quiet island nights ever since. Aside from the noise, the frogs have a huge appetite for spiders and insects, competing with native birds and fauna. Spraying citric acid solution on the islands of Oahu and Kauai have curtailed coqui populations there, but the Big Island [Hawaii] has not been so lucky--more than 150 communities are infested with the coin-sized frogs, named after their high-decibel "ko-KEE, ko-KEE" chirp. Now Mayor Harry Kim is asking Governor Linda Lingle for $2,000,000 to control populations and to declare the coqui frog infestation a state emergency.|
to Coqui Frogs: www.hear.org/misc/
Navajo Families Get Power
A Native American-owned solar equipment manufacturer, Sacred Power Inc., is bringing electricity for the first time to 50 remote homes on the Navajo reservation. Working with the Torreon and Ojo Encino Chapter Houses, the homes received generating units that use solar and wind power. Odes Armijo-Caster from Sacred Power estimates that 10,000 homes on the Navajo reservation still have no electricity because of the high cost of supplying power to remote areas. Sacred Power plans to apply for federal funding to provide solar power to more Navajo homes in New Mexico and Arizona.
Tribe to forge on with fish kill suit
California: The Yurok Tribe will likely ask Federal Judge Saundra Armstrong to rethink her decision to dismiss a case blaming the U.S. for tens of thousands of salmon deaths in 2002. Armstrong said the court couldn't enforce the federal government's trust responsibility to the tribe. "We'll be asking the judge to reconsider," said Yurok Executive Director Troy Fletcher, "and if she doesn't, we're going to seriously weigh the option of appeal." The fish died as a result of the Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Irrigation Project.
Changes in Iceland's Water Could Signal Earthquakes
Iceland: People in Husavik have long used the area's piping hot water, pumped up from 4,920 feet below the earth's surface, to treat diseases like psoriasis. Scientists hope that measuring the changes in the water's chemical balance can help predict earthquakes. The theory is that pressure changes and movements along geological faults cause the chemical make-up of water deep in the earth's crust to change. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake near Husavik in September 2002 showed just such changes. "There was a huge peak in the concentration of some chemicals in the water -- some went up 1,000% before the earthquake," said Lillemor Claesson from Stockholm University. "Ten weeks before the earthquake we had a really big peak in chromium, and iron. Then five weeks before manganese increases enormously. Two weeks before there was a peak in zinc and one week before there is a copper peak."
Did Animals Sense Tsunami Was Coming?
The belief that wild and domestic animals can sense earthquakes has been around for centuries. Before the recent tsunami's giant waves slammed into the coastlines:
Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground.
Dogs refused to go outdoors.
Flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas.
Zoo animals rushed into their shelters and could not be enticed to come back out.
Bats frantically flying away
Dogs refused their daily run on the beach.
Following the recent tsunami, over 150,000 people in dozens of countries perished. However, relatively few animals were killed. In Sri Lanka, only a few animals were reported dead. At Patanangala beach inside Yala National Park, park officials did not see any animal carcasses and knew of only two water buffalos that had died. Along India's Cuddalore coast, where thousands of people perished, buffaloes, goats, and dogs were found unharmed. Alan Rabinowitz from the Wildlife Conservation Society says animals can sense impending danger by detecting subtle or abrupt shifts in the environment. "Earthquakes bring vibrational changes on land and in water while storms cause electromagnetic changes in the atmosphere," he said. "Some animals have acute sense of hearing and smell that allow them to determine something coming towards them long before humans might know that something is there."
Tribe prepares for the day the wave comes
Washington: Scientists and emergency officials say it's not a matter if, but when a tsunami hits the Washington coast. In LaPush, if the earthquake which triggers the tsunami is nearby, people may only have 20 minutes to evacuate. Recently, the village prepared for this event with a tsunami drill. Everybody was asked to move to high ground--from school kids to their great grandparents. "Our mission is to get this lower section of our village evacuated within 15 minutes to higher ground," said police chief Bill Lyon. The Quileutes and other coastal tribes have an oral history of a day in 1700 – the last time a tsunami hit the coast. "When the thunderbird comes out, he flaps his wings, the whole earth shakes," said Viola Reibe who is a Hoh storyteller. One of the stories, now part of a DVD for schools, tells of Obie, a young boy who listens to bears and warns his tribe to head to high ground and saves them. "Even in the stories, you leave for high ground," she said.
NPS Kills Solitary Buffalo
Yellowstone: On January 12, a lone female buffalo was killed in Yellowstone National Park by the National Park Service near Gardiner, Montana. The buffalo had migrated onto the Royal Teton Ranch which had provided a conservation easement for buffalo and elk. "The public was lead to believe we had secured critical buffalo habitat," said Mike Mease, of the Buffalo Field Campaign. "The money has been spent; buffalo should be allowed to access these...lands, yet they are still dying by government hands." Officials kill Buffalo leaving Yellowstone to control the spread of brucellosis to domestic cattle. There has never been a documented case of a wild buffalo transmitting the disease to livestock.
Earth's permafrost starts to squelch
Arctic: In parts of Fairbanks, Alaska, houses and buildings lean at odd angles. Some slump as if sliding downhill. Windows and doors inch closer and closer to the ground. In addition to Alaska, the permafrost zone includes most other Arctic land, such as northern Canada and much of Siberia, as well as high mountainous regions like the Alps and Tibet. All areas are reporting permafrost thaw. Scientists attribute the thaw to climate warming. As the air temperature warms, so does the frozen ground beneath it. Boreholes in Svalbard, Norway, for example, indicate that ground temperatures rose 0.4C over the past decade, four times faster than they did in the previous century. "What took a century to be achieved in the 20th Century will be achieved in 25 years in the 21st Century, if this trend continues," said geologist Charles Harris.
A Family Treasure Beyond Measure; Blanket A "Roadshow" Hit
Minnesota: Rita Joerg recently took her great-grandmother's beadwork to the PBS show, "Antiques Roadshow." As soon as she heard the words "national treasure" and "$60,000 -or more," Rita knew its next home would be a safe deposit box. The museum-quality Dakota woman's dance blanket, used in ceremonies in the 1800s, was created by Jane Dickson LaFramboise, who was three-quarters Dakota and Ojibwe and one-quarter white. Made around the 1840s of tiny beads and ribbons, it's possible that the bride made the dance blanket for her 1845 wedding. Recent generations have had no idea of its value or even its use. They called it a table cover.
Archeologists discover ice age dwellers' flute
GERMANY: German archeologists have found what may be the world's oldest musical instrument – a 37,000 year-old (approx) flute carved from mammoth bones by European Ice Age dwellers. The ivory flute, discovered in the Geissenkloesterle cave near Stuttgart, was pieced together out of 31 bone fragments. It has three finger holes and is 18.7 cm long. A player would have been capable of playing relatively complex melodies on the ivory instrument.
View Photos: http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/uni/qvo/pm/pm2004/pm824.html
American Indian Radio Show Nets Fans
California: Since The American Indian Movement radio program first aired in August, its audience across the United States and abroad has steadily increased."We try to right the wrongs that are going around in Indian country," said Joseph Redbear, a Lakota and co-host of the San-Diego based program. "We tell the world what's going on." Broadcasting on WorldTalk Radio, host Rebear and Marty FireRider Hiles are not professional broadcasters, but their information is unifying Indian country and educating friends across the world. "We have listeners in Amsterdam," said Hiles. "Anything about Indian culture is really fascinating with Europeans."
Learn about the programs. http://www.worldtalkradio.com/channel.asp?cid=37
Copley News Service
Report: TV Networks Improve Diversity
The Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition is dedicated to improving diversity on television. Their most recent study says that more Hispanics are represented, but Asian-Americans and American Indians remain underrepresented. (Blacks are monitored separately by the NAACP and not include in this evaluation)
Among areas of improvement for Hispanics:
A- to ABC, given A-plus marks for its inclusion of Hispanic stars, writers and producers;
A+ to CBS for the number of Hispanics in recurring roles
A+ to Fox for Hispanic directors.
Hispanic casting in reality shows
Asian-Americans and American Indians have less to celebrate. "Native Americans are the invisible Americans. We're not acknowledged anywhere," said Mark Reed, coalition co-chairman. "We're still stuck in the era of leather and feathers." For Asian-Americans, Karen Narasaki is disappointed over two new series: NBC's police drama "Hawaii" and Fox's "North Shore." Despite their Hawaiian settings, neither reflected the state's majority Asian-American population, Narasaki said. "In `North Shore,' only one of the eight (lead) characters was Asian-American, and he was the bartender. `Hawaii' had even less diversity than `Hawaii Five-O' did, which was 20 years ago," she said.
Trudell' film featured at Sundance 2005
The voice of the occupation of Alcatraz and the voice of today's Native beat poets, John Trudell, is the subject of a new documentary, ''Trudell," featured at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. "[John]Trudell is the Native people's prophet of these times, our Socrates,'' said actor and activist Gary Farmer. ''Trudell'' follows the life and times of Santee poet John Trudell, who served as spokesman for the occupation of Alcatraz and later as spokesman for the American Indian Movement. Director Heater Rae spent more than a decade chronicling Trudell's travels, spoken word and politics. It begins in the late '60s when Trudell and a community group, Indians of All Tribes, occupied Alcatraz Island for 21 months, giving birth to the contemporary Indian people's movement. He then became spokesman for the American Indian Movement and a major political figure of the 1970s. After leaving politics in 1970, Trudell drove across America in a car given to him by his friend and fellow activist Jackson Browne. It was during this period that Trudell's voice as a poet emerged. ''Trudell'' is among five films from American Indian directors in the United States featured at Sundance 2005.
Designer offers runway exposure to First Nations girls
Ontario: During November's 11th annual Canadian Aboriginal Festival, Toronto's Skydome provided the venue for an evening fashion show. One fashion company was Northern Styles, an Edmonton-based cooperative. Operating director Charmaine Logan, who specializes in glamorous women's wear, promoted modern clothing with traditional patterns. ''To bring some of our cultural concepts into wearable fashions,'' is her creative goal. Incorporating Cree designs such as bear paws, the fashion combines elegance while honoring ancestry. Crushed velvet, chiffon, satin and even leather are complimented with beading, a skill she learned from her Kokum Betty. ''I try to revive what she taught me because there were only two of us taught,'' Logan said. ''That's the only thing left from my traditional culture, and now I'm trying to make it contemporary.''
American Indian Artists Discuss Future Of Their Art
Steve Fadden from the Institute of American Indian Arts tells Native artists not be afraid of crossing the threshold between modern and traditional art. "We need to beware of the danger of being museum-ized ... of being under glass," he says. Others agree that Native art should branch out and explore multimedia. Many believe art, combined with education, can reflect history and knowledge from Indian perspectives, especially in school classrooms. One artist, Steve Wall, says too many viewers often stereotype Indian art and don't realize it's an expression of American Indian life and interactions with other people. "We have to work on breaking down the internal biases placed on us by outside forces," said Jessie Ryker-Crawford. "Art plays an important role in that."
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