Native Village 

Youth and Education News

January 12,  2005, 2004,  Issue 144 Volume 4

''Whatever the future holds, do not forget who you are. Teach your children, teach your children's children, and then teach their children also. Teach them the pride of a great people ... A time will come again when they will celebrate together with joy. When that happens my spirit will be there with you."
Chief Leschi, Nisqually

Florida: In Walton and Okaloose counties, several youth ages 9-16 have created The Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program to educate the public about Monofilament hazards. Monofilament, also known as fishing line, wreaks havoc on the area's marine life and boaters. The youth and their supporters have built and placed monofilament recycling bins at area fishing piers and bait shops. After volunteers remove debris from the fishing line, it's sent to a manufacturer which recycles it into plastic pellets and other products, including fresh water artificial reefs. Since April 2004, MRRP has collected 69 pounds of monofilament and has raised $1,200.  The kids have also made presentations at schools, educated tourist groups, and made the front page of their local and state newspaper sections.
Youth Service America's National Service Briefing

Male Fish Producing Eggs in the Potomac River
Virginia: Scientists have discovered that some Potomac River male bass are producing eggs—a decidedly female reproductive function. The findings have perplexed the government scientists. They suspect contaminants like natural hormones excreted by humans and livestock, as well as synthetic chemicals, like the birth control pill.  The chemicals seem to confuse the endocrine systems of fish and fool males into producing female cells. 79% of male smallmouth bass are showing these sexual abnormalities. "We're looking at the fish above and below where sewage treatment plant effluents are being added into the rivers," said professor David Norris of the University of Colorado. "Our impression is that they are males that are being feminized [because] of the nature of the chemicals that are in the water...  Some of [the estrogenic chemicals] are natural urinary estrogenic products from humans, and some of them are pharmaceuticals—birth control pills." Fishermen are also reporting fish with lesions. USGS scientists determined that some of the lesions indicated exposure to bacteria and other contaminants.

Scientists Find 178 New Species in Oceans
Marine scientists say they have discovered 178 new species of fish and hundreds more new species of plants and other animals in the past year, raising the number of life-forms found in the world's oceans to about 230,000. Discoveries include a gold-speckled and red-striped goby fish, found in Guam's waters, that somehow lives in partnership with a snapping shrimp at its tail. While the goby stands sentinel, the shrimps digs a burrow that both use for shelter. Another surprise was a colony of rhodoliths, a coral-like marine algae, found in Prince William Sound in Alaska. The hard, red plants, which resemble toy jacks, roll like tumbleweeds in the beds used as nurseries by shrimp and scallops.
Associated Press

Two traditions meet to save caribou
IQALUIT - Hunters and biologists are bringing together Inuit traditional knowledge and western science to help protect a rare species of caribou. Peary caribou live on Nunavut's High Arctic Islands. The small animals are considered endangered by a national group that rates species at risk in Canada.  Nunavut government biologists, with help from hunters, are tracking the caribou to find out just how many there are. They've also put satellite collars on some caribou to follow their movements. Inuit hunters are bringing their traditional knowledge of migration patterns, feeding habits and the land into the mix.
Kola News

Study Finds Rats Have an Ear for Human Language
Spain: A report from Spain says rats can use the rhythm of human language to tell the difference between Dutch and Japanese. The study also suggests that animals, especially mammals, understood some language skills long before language itself ever evolved. In the study, rats were trained to respond to either Dutch or Japanese using food as a reward. Then they were separated into four groups -- one that heard each language spoken by a native, one that heard synthesized speech, one that heard sentences read in either language by different speakers, and a fourth that heard the languages played backwards. Rats rewarded for responding to Japanese did not respond to Dutch, and rats trained to recognize Dutch did not respond the spoken Japanese. The rats could not tell apart Japanese or Dutch played backwards.  "Results showed that rats could discriminate natural sentences when uttered by a single speaker and not when uttered by different ones, nor could they distinguish the languages when spoken by different people," the researchers wrote.

Amateur Finds Dinosaur Footprints in Maryland
Maryland: Ray Stanford, an amateur paleontologist, found what he says are the first footprints ever uncovered of the Zephyrosaur species, a 6-foot-long plant-eating dinosaur that roamed the Earth about 100,000,000 years ago. Zephyrosaur means "lizard of the west wind."  "It was thrilling, in a sense, because it became a world first," he said. Stanford found the first track in 2001 while walking a streambed near the Capital Beltway after heavy rains had exposed new rocks in its banks.  "Even from a distance I could tell we had something important," Stanford said. Stanford's dinosaur, named Hypsiloichnus (pronounced HIP-sillo-IK-nus), walked on its hind legs most of the time but dropped to all fours to rest, eat or drink. Its prints reveal the animal in that position, with a smaller front foot set just in front of its larger hind foot. The discovery appears in the latest issue of Ichnos, a journal for discoveries of tracks and "traces" of ancient plants and animals.

Court Rules Indian Mascot Protesters' Arrest Not Violation Of Free Speech
Ohio: The arrests of five people protesting the Cleveland Indians' mascot, Chief Wahoo, did not violate the their free speech rights, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled.  The court upheld the city of Cleveland's decision to arrest the protesters in April 1998 after they burned a 3-foot effigy of Chief Wahoo outside Jacobs Field in downtown Cleveland. Clyde Bellecourt called the logo "a grinning bucktoothed idiotic effigy" whose red feather belittled the Native American symbol of a heroic warrior. The activists said the protest was protected free speech, and Bellecourt compared the issue to constitutionally protected flag-burning. The city said the fire was hazardous and not protected by the First Amendment.

Sundance Film Festival to feature 11 works by Native filmmakers
The Sundance Film Festival has announced the 11 Native American and indigenous films to be featured in this year's Festival program, including seven world premieres and one North American premiere.  The Festival takes place January 20-30, 2005
Screening in the U.S. Documentary Competition is:
TRUDELL / U.S.A (Director: Heather Rae - Western Cherokee; Screenwriter: B.  Russell Friedenberg)— A chronicle of legendary Native American poet/activist John Trudell's travels, spoken word performances and politics.  World Premiere.
Screening in World Documentary Competition is:
DHAKIYARR VS. THE KING / Australia (Directors: Allan Collins and Tom Murray - Willi Willi Nation)— Seventy years after his controversial murder trial and subsequent disappearance, an Australian Aboriginal's descendants seek to restore what was denied him: his honor.  North American Premiere.
Screening in American Spectrum is:
5TH WORLD / U.S.A(Director: BlackHorse Lowe - Dine; Screenwriter: BlackHorse Lowe)— Two young Navajos hitchhike through their ancestral lands on a journey home.  World Premiere.
Screening in the Shorts Competition are:
FROM CHERRY ENGLISH / Canada (Director: Jeff Barnaby - Mi'gMaq)— A surrealist allegory about the loss of language and identity to the anonymity of an urban wasteland.
GOODNIGHT IRENE / U.S.A. (Director: Sterlin Harjo - Creek/Seminole Nations)— Three Seminole patients share some laughs and poignant truths as they wait for treatment at the local Indian hospital.  World Premiere.
NATCHILIAGNIAQTUGUK AAPAGALU – SEAL HUNTING WITH DAD / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean - Inupiaq)— An Inuit father teaches his son to hunt seals on the frozen Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska.  World Premiere.
PLAINS EMPTY / Australia (Director: Beck Cole - Warramungu Nation)— A woman adjusts to life in a deserted mining camp all alone…or is she?  World Premiere.
PURA LENGUA (ALL TONGUE) / U.S.A.  (Director: Aurora Guerrero - Xicana)— Reina is a young urban Xicana searching for ways to heal from cold deceptions of the heart and stolen dreams.
/ New Zealand (Director: Taika Waititi - Te Whanau a Apanui)— A battalion of WWII Maori soldiers impatiently wait for gunfire to cease while in a bombed out building.
Screening in the Special Screenings are:
A THOUSAND ROADS / U.S.A.  (Director: Chris Eyre - Cheyenne/Arapaho Tribes)— The signature film for the National Museum of the American Indian features portraits of four indigenous people living their lives in the far flung lands of Alaska, Navajo Nation, Manhattan and Peru.  World Premiere.
GREEN BUSH / Australia (Director: Warwick Thornton - Kaytetye Nation)— An Australian Aboriginal DJ realizes that his job at the country radio station is about more than just playing music.  World Premiere.

  Pendleton blanket synonymous with achievement for tribal members
Oregon: For 95 years, the Pendleton Indian trade blanket has been collected and used by Indian people, the company's first customers.  These woolen blankets indroduced by white traders were among the few high quality items created to appeal to Indian tastes. Pendleton started its trade among Eastern Oregon tribes, and the blankets' popularity quickly spread.  Native people buy more than half of the Indian blankets Pendleton sells.  If it matters in Indian Country, it is celebrated with the gift of a blanket.  And a Pendleton is the one everyone wants -- despite its three-figure retail price.  But why blankets?  And why Pendletons? 
"When you cover someone with a blanket, you cover them symbolically with love." Bruce Miller, Skokomish.
"It is part of our cultural tradition. We save up, pawn our jewelry, they are that important. When we have a ceremony, we have to wrap ourselves in a Pendleton, not a jacket.  And it has to be a Pendleton.  It's better quality." Laverne Wyaco, Navajo.
Each year every graduate in the Muckleshoot tribe is given a Pendleton. 
When the Skokomish people honored Indian elders for preserving Native languages, every elder was gifted Pendleton. 
Democratic State Rep. John McCoy from Washington, the first tribal member in decades to serve in the Legislature, was wrapped in a Pendleton during a Tulalip ceremony.
Among Indian people, the importance of blankets dates back to when "a blanket could mean life or death," says Bruce Miller, a cultural and spiritual leader of the Skokomish tribe. Robes from sea-otter pelts and buffalo skin, and blankets woven from mountain goat or dog hair were used before traders began arriving with wool blankets.  Warm even when wet, the Pendelton blankets were prized not only for their beauty but for cutting the damp, Northwest chill that leaked into uninsulated longhouses.

Pottery tradition helps Gila River woman get off welfare
Dorothea Sunn-Avery, 40, is one of the last of the Maricopa potters of the Gila River Indian Community. At age 6, Sunn-Avery began learning how to make pottery by helping her grandmother, Mabel C. Sunn. A decade ago, she worked her way off welfare by making and selling pots.  "I couldn't handle being on welfare," she said. "After four years, I couldn't stand it anymore."  Today Dorothea teaches others so the tribal tradition will survive.  Heard Museum gift shop director Bruce McGee said Sunn-Avery's work has garnered a following from collectors who regularly ask for her work.  "I see the deep red, the ruggedness of the color as representative of the people; the design or the fine lines show off the softer side of the people," McGee said holding one of Sunn-Avery's vases. "It would be a real shame to lose this. To lose the art of a people is to lose the people themselves."

The Seventh Annual Native American Music Awards
The Seventh Annual Native American Music Awards, or NAMMYS, will be held Thursday, February 10th, 2005 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The ceremony features over 30 awards presentations and ten live music performances.
Check out the Nominees: 2004 NAMMY AWARDs NOMINEES
Vote for 2004 choices, and Listen to Audio clips and streaming radio from 2003 winners:

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