Native Village 

Youth and Education News

June 1, 2005 Issue 153 Volume 1

"Every time we carry an eagle feather, that's sovereignty. Every time we pick berries, that's sovereignty. Every time we dig roots ... that's sovereignty."  Billy Frank, Jr.

Ride For Freedom
Arizona  - Evoking images of warriors of old, a Navajo Nation motorcycle delegation will join the national Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom in Washington D.C. The gathering is to support and advocate for veterans. The Navajo riders will deliver a petition to President Bush and Congress, asking them to recognize and reclassify those designated as ''Missing/Captured'' to ''Prisoners of War.''  They will also present documents encouraging a health center and cemetery for veterans within the Navajo Nation.
Indian Country Today

Indian Country marks Memorial Day
American Indians were recognized, and participated in, Memorial Day events took place across the country. Among them:
At the Nashville National Cemetery in Tennessee, Native American music was performed;
In Needles, California, the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe played a major role in Memorial Day celebrations;
In Georgia’s Gwinnett County, the American Indian Festival was held;
I n South Dakota, the Black Hills Cemetery in Sturgis played host to an American Indian Memorial Day;
In Waco, Texas, the Friends of the Waco Vietnam Veterans Memorial held a memorial service with an American Indian "Honor and Remember" ceremony;
In Auburn, California, officials unveiled a war memorial at the New Auburn Cemetery, partially funded by the United Auburn Indian Community;
In Arizona,  83-year-old Corporal Teddy Draper, an elder and former Navajo Code Talker, received a Purple Heart.
Native American Times.

Legislation introduced to honor Choctaw Codetalkers
Oklahoma: World War II's Navajo soldiers may be the most well-known Codetalkers, but it was soldiers from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma that originated the concept. Eighteen Choctaws stymied the Germans during World War 1 by using the Choctaw language to transmit messages to U.S. soldiers. Now Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has introduced a bill to award congressional medals to the Choctaw Codetalkers, as well as members of the Sioux and Sac & Fox Tribes. "Code talkers from the Choctaw, Comanche and other tribes are true American heroes whose accomplishments have too long been forgotten," Inhofe said. "Their service on the front lines helped propel the allied forces to victory and saved countless lives in the process."  Inhofe is being supported by students at Southeast Webster High School in Iowa. They recently took up the history of Choctaw Codetalkers, creating a display featuring facts about their exploits.  ‘‘You can see the difference they made,’’ said student Alonzo Barkley. “You can just look at the events of the war when we used code talkers versus not having them.’’  In 1989, to recognize their role in winning several key battles in France, the French government presented the Choctaw CodeTalkers with the "Chevalier de L'Ordre National du Merite" (the Knight of the National Order of Merit), the highest honor France can bestow. The fourteen Choctaw CodeTalkers were Albert Billy, Mitchell Bobb, Victor Brown, Ben Caterby, James Edwards, Tobias Frazer, Ben Hampton, Solomon Louis, Pete Maytubby, Jeff Nelson, Joseph Oklahombi, Robert Taylor, Calvin Wilson, and Walter Veach. All are now deceased.

North America's 1st Migrants Were Few, Study Says
New Jersey: Using genetic analysis, Jody Hey from Rutgers University believes the first wave of American immigrants from Siberia "was a trickle": about 70 people from an Asian ancestral population of 9,000 or less people. "The small number is surprising to me," said anthropologist Joanna L.  Mountain of Stanford University.  "We may be looking at the winners here.  It is quite likely that other groups came over and did not survive." The study of the founding human population of North America was published in PLoS Biology. It is the most comprehensive to date.
Read the article, On the Number of New World Founders: A Population Genetic Portrait of the Peopling of the Americas:
H-Amindian Listserv

"Unearthing of Tse-whit-zen" tells an extraordinary story
Washington: The ancient Klallam village called Tse-whit-zen was discovered on the Port Angeles waterfront when the state began building a new dry dock. Construction ended when more than 10,000 artifacts were unearthed and, painfully, more than 335 intact skeletons were discovered. Beyond being an important archaeological find, the discovery was a spiritual renewal for tribal members. It also ended the construction project. Lynda Mapes, the Seattle Times reporter, says, "It's really a story of our life here together in the Northwest. It's an 'all-of-us' story." Thanks to the remarkable access granted by Klallam tribal members and state officials, the Seattle Times ran a special four-day report rich with photos, illustrations, detail and meaning. "They were so generous," said Mapes, who deserves credit for gaining the kind of access and trust that makes a story like this come alive.  Beyond the report there are:
A comprehensive online package, including an interactive exploration of the Tse-whit-zen village;
A Newspapers In Education program with questions and activities to help educators use the series in the classroom;
Two segments on local affiliates of National Public Radio.
Unearthing of Tse-whit-zen:

Deer Island Indian concentration camp victims remembered

King Phillip as imagined by Paul Revere in 1772

Massachusetts: During the brutal winter of 1675-76. hundreds of Indians died of starvation and exposure on Deer Island concentration camp. ''I prayed in [my language] for all of them,'' said John Sam Sapiel, Penobscot, following a recent memorial ceremony.  Five months after the start of King Phillip's war against English settlers, the Massachusetts Council created a law ordering all Christian Indians be rounded up and transferred to Deer Island for the duration of the war. Months later, the ethnic cleansing expanded to include all Indians, Christian and non-Christian. ''The only thing my people were doing [during King Philip's War] was trying to protect our lands," Sapiel said.  "This is what the settler thing was all about -- trying to get the tribes to sign away their economy, their land, and their resources."  King Philip, whose Wampanoag name was Metacom, had lived peacefully with the settlers for several years as had his father, Massasoit. But after decades of fraudulent land sales and growing conflicts with the colonists' takeover, Philip launched a war to drive the settlers from New England. These stories from the past need to be told, Sapiel said, particularly about the Northeastern tribes who were the first to face European colonialism.

Indian Country Today

Little known Indian tribe spotted in Brazil
Brazil: The tiny Jururei tribe, numbering only eight or 10, and is the second "uncontacted" group to be threatened this month by loggers in Brazil.  The tribe was spotted by a photographer during a recent helicopter flyover of Pacaas Novos national park to catch land grabbers. One Jururei shot three arrows at the helicopter as it flew overhead. In the most recent scuffles, Jururei Indians set booby traps with spikes, piercing the foot of one logger who was within 5 km of the Indian camps.  "Unless Brazil acts now to protect uncontacted tribes, they will disappear off the face of the earth forever. The annihilation of a tribe, however small, is genocide," said Fiona Watson of Survival International. Rainforest destruction continues to grow, threatening the few remaining uncontacted tribes.  From 2003-04, 26,130 sq km of the rainforest was destroyed, the most in nearly a decade.  Most blame political leaders, cattle ranchers and soybean farmers for the destruction that threatens Brazil's 700,000 Indians.

Brazil: A Brazilian judge has reinstated orders to stop logging companies from invading lands habitated by isolated indigenous tribes. Loggers have chopped down the Indians' forest in the Rio Pardo where empty Indian villages have been found with footprints by the streams, signs that the Indians have left in a hurry. However, pressure from logging companies has previously helped overturn those orders. Many now fear a violent backlash by unhappy loggers who may once again seek to get the order overturned. "The Brazilian government must take immediate action to enforce the order by removing the logging companies, and it must recognise and demarcate the Rio Pardo Indians' land permanently,"  said Stephen Corry from Survival International.  "If it fails, this small tribe ...  will soon be gone forever.'

Rare white bison born in western Canada
British Columbia: A white bison calf has been born on a ranch near Fort St. John in northwestern Canada.  "This is the first white calf that was born in Canada. I know there were a few in the States, but not a lot," said rancher Karen Blatz. White buffalo calves are known as harbingers of peace and unity. This new male calf has been named. Spirit of Peace. "A white buffalo is sacred to native American people. They see it as a symbol of hope and peace, rebirth and unity. Also, he was born north of the Peace River, so we thought Peace would be a good name,"  Blatz said. Born prematurely nearly a month ago, Spirit of Peace weighed only nine kilograms -- half the usual weight for a newborn calf -- and needed to be bottle-fed.  Blatz kept the birth a secret until she was sure the calf would live.  "He's like a pet. He absolutely won't become a bison burger," Blatz declared. She may sell him to a native American group, a circus or a zoo.  "He is such a rare animal. I would like to see him get out where he'll get more exposure, because we're quite isolated here in the north," she said.

Found in translation

in 1663, John Eliot, "the Apostle to the Indians," printed a translation of the Bible into the Wampanoag language-- the first Bible printed in North America. John Eliot's translation remained in use some 200 years later.

Massachusetts: Jessie "Little Doe," Baird, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, first heard her native language when she spoke it herself.  "We haven't had any speakers of our language for six generations," she said. Today Baird's mission is to return the Wampanoag language to her tribe, a language not spoken in 150 years. "One of the prophesies that talks about our language coming back is that the ones whose families were there when the circle was broken will be the families that would heal the circle if the community wanted language back," Baird says. With strong support from tribal members, she took a leave of absence from her job and immersed herself in her studies.  "I started looking around and--lo and behold --I found that the Wampanoag language is the first American Indian language on this continent to have a writing system," Baird says. "At a certain period in the 17th century there were more Wampanoag people that were literate in Wampanoag than there were English people in written English." She added that even the first Bible set to print on this continent was written in Wampanoag.  Learning to decipher these documents gave Baird and her community invaluable insight into their history. "I got to see what position my family took on different matters hundreds of years ago. I got to see where some of our traditional behaviors come..." she said.  Thanks to Baird, the Wampanoag have a 10,000 word dictionary, and over 100 tribal members are learning the language.  "It's typical now that children are named traditional Wampanoag names. Our language is being used for ceremony again, in poetry," says Baird, who has recently been asked to assist the Mashantucket Pequot of Connecticut in restoring its language.

Publisher who built on oral tradition honoured
British Columbia: Randy Fred, founder of Theytus Press, has received a Distinguished Service Award by the British Columbia publishing industry. Established in 1981, Theytus was the first aboriginal-owned and operated publishing company in Canada. Theytus, a Coast Salish word which means "preserving for the sake of handing down," has helped turn oral history into compelling reading. But it wasn't easy. One of the first books Theytus published was Kwaulasalwut: Stories from the Coast Salish, by Ellen White.  "She has such a presence, and when she speaks, everybody has to listen," Randy said.  "But to take her oral stories and put them on paper, oh man, was that ever a challenge." randyfredVA050317.html

Funding For Research On The Diversity Of French Language
Ontario: $2,500,000 in funding has been granted to explore the diversity and unique history of the Canadian French language. Dr. France Martineau and an international team of researchers will study linguistic differences from Acadia to Montreal and how each group's individual history has influenced their language. The researchers will also examine how contact between French and First Nations during early French settlement changed the way people speak.
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