Youth and Education News
June 1, 2005 Issue 153 Volume 4
"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.
Irrigation Wisdom From the Ancients Indians' Water
New Mexico: American Indians survived in the desert for centuries by harvesting rainwater to grow crops. Today's gardeners can easily tap into the ancient water-saving strategies. Joel Glanzberg has written about water-harvesting traditions in the Southwest where farmers needed to collect moisture and hold on to it for as long as possible. The two main techniques used were:
1. Sink the planting areas. The Zuni used sunken beds called waffle gardens for growing high-value crops like tobacco and chiles. "Waffle gardens work just like a waffle, with the plants placed where the syrup would go," Glanzberg says. The depressions catch and hold water close to the plant's roots.
2. Mulch with rock. Unlike organic mulching materials that absorb a lot of rain water, gravel mulch lets all the water flow through to the soil below. To be effective, gravel must be
2-3 inches deep.
Glanzberg also recommends another way to conserve water: Follow nature's lead by using cluster plantings. When plants with similar needs are placed together, a microclimate is created and less water is used.
The Denver Post
Miccosukees forced to give up land to Glades restoration
Florida: Judge Ted Brousseau has signed an order forcing the Miccosukee tribe to give up ownership of 800 acres in exchange for $2,200,000 from the state. The land buyout is to make way for Southern Golden Gate Estates restoration. The tribe's land was the last of some 19,000 parcels the state has acquired since 1983. "It's the end of an era," said Nancy Payton from Florida Wildlife Federation. Florida's Department of Environmental Protection plans to restore natural water flows across Southern Golden Gate Estates by installing pumps, filling in canals and digging up roads that developers cut through the landscape decades ago
Coastline erosion eating away at southern Louisiana
Louisiana: The land is sinking around Isle de Jean Charles,
pushing the tiny coastal community toward the Gulf of Mexico. Still, the 250 people who live here -- all descendants of
the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians who settled the land in the 1800s -- refuse to leave. "Everything here is
just wasting away," said Michael Dardar, 76, who is raising his house atop 13-foot stilts to keep floodwater out.
"When I was growing up, everyone had a garden. We grew green beans, potatoes and watermelons. Now there is nothing.
I don't even have a back yard anymore." The huge loss of land is a glaring example of the coastal erosion
occurring throughout southern Louisiana, home to 40% of the nation's wetlands. During the past 75 years, 1,900 square
miles of marshland -- roughly the size of Delaware - sank into the gulf. If nothing is done to stop it, scientists
say, Louisiana could lose about 700 more square miles -- a chunk the size of Chicago and Los Angeles combined -- by
2050. "We fret about the Amazon and we worry about the Nile, but within our own borders, we have a national
catastrophe of huge proportion," said King Milling, president of America's WETLAND Foundation. "This is the
seventh-largest delta on Earth, and it is in a state of collapse." The problem is caused, in part, by the
channeling of the Mississippi River which deprives Louisiana of silt, mud and other sediments that naturally rejuvenate
the marshland. Now Louisiana officials are asking the federal government to help pay for a proposed $14,000,000,000
project to save the delta. "We are being ignored by the federal government. And I believe the U.S. has a moral
obligation to help us..." said Berwick Duval, a Houma resident and member of the Governor's Advisory Commission on
Coastal Restoration and Conservation. Duval is tired of the federal bureaucracy that continues to stall the
project. "Why do we have to move? People who live on faults in California don't. People who live on the coast
of Florida don't." Chris Brunet, 39, who has cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair, agrees.
"We're just a small, poor place, and no one is paying attention to us. A lot of life has changed in the area
since I was a boy. But I can't think of anything that would make me want to leave. For us, there is no other
place. The land is who we are. It's our way of life.
Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians: http://www.biloxi-chitimacha.com/isle_de_jean_charles.htm
Leaders From Arctic Appeal To EU, U.S., Others To Fight Global Warming
Belgium: Indigenous leaders from the Arctic Council recently called on the 25-nation European Union to do more to fight global warming and to protect the indigenous way of life. Chief Gary Harrison, who represents the Athabascan people in Alaska and Canada, said urgent action was needed from EU, the United States and Russia. "Maybe we can put pressure on and maybe they can turn the corner and help," he said. The Arctic region is home to about 4,000,000 people, including more than 30 different indigenous groups. The Arctic Council represents the indigenous people from the eight-nation Arctic regions of Canada, Russia, the United States, Finland and Scandinavia.
Global Wind Map May Provide Better Locations For Wind Farms
WASHINGTON - Converting as little as 20% of potential wind energy to electricity could satisfy the entire world's energy demands. Now a new global wind power map has located areas where wind turbines can receive maximum wind power to provide widely available energy at a low cost. Wind speeds at 80 meters, referred to as wind power Class 3, were found in every region of the world, with North America having the greatest wind power potential. The areas are:
Interactive Canadian Wind Energy Map: http://www.windatlas.ca/en/maps.php
Wind Energy Atlas for U.S.: http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps.html
Read the Entire Report: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050516192202.htm
Rare photos of Fallon tribe unveiled
Nevada: A priceless photo collection of Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe history has become a permanent part of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe Senior Center. The collection of about 30 photos portrays a way of life caught between traditional Native American and early-century American periods in the 1920s and 1930s. One print shows Native Americans hiding their children behind a vehicle as federal agents approach. Another captures a Western Indian band posing on a San Francisco street. There are also several portraits of tribal members working on a farm. Tribal elders are ecstatic at the work. Many were small children at the time the photos were taken and recognize some people. One even found a photo of his father. "They love it," said Clayton Sampson. "This (collection) is like 80 years old now. I don't think you can find anything like this at all." Sampson created the photos from a box of negatives given to him by his mother. Clayton's father was Harry Sampson, past chairman and founding father of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and member of the National Congress of American Indians.
World Champion Hoop Dancer 'Honoured" To Perform For Royals
Canada: Hoop dancing has taken Lisa Odjig to Korea, Italy, Holland, Israel, France and Mexico. Now she returns home to dance before Queen Elizabeth II during Her Majesty's visit to Canada. "It's a great opportunity, a great experience and I feel very honoured to be a part of this performance," Odjig said. After winning two hoop-dancing world championships in 2000 and 2003 , Odjig was approached two months ago to perform at this special celebration for 15,000 people. Odjig said hoop dancing isn't only a part of who she is, but where she comes from.
SWAIA honors 5 art ‘pioneers’
New Mexico: Lucy Yepa Lowden of Jemez Pueblo was one of five recipients to receive a lifetime-achievement award from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. Lowden died April 23 at age 89, the same week she received a call from SWAIA executive director David Coultier telling her she was going to be honored. “I had called her to let her know that she was one of the recipients of the award, and she said, ‘I’m on the way to the doctor, but you made my day,’ ” Coultier said.
Also honored were
The late Luseino artist Fritz Scholder;
Zuni Pueblo potter Josephine Nahohai;
Jemez Pueblo writer Joe S. Sando;
Art patron Ruth Schultz.
SWAIA also gave out eight fellowships to practicing artists as well as three youth fellowships to help the recipients continue their art education.
Ira Frank continues journey to the top
Wisconsin: On any given day, in weather ranging from blizzard conditions to warm sunshine, nationally ranked boxer Ira Frank can be spotted running along a Lac du Flambeau Reservation road. Ira, 17, isn't bothered by the weather as he recalled the roads he once walked and -- at times -- struggled down. ''I got caught up in drinking, smoking and the harsh realities of living on a rural reservation. I spent some time in jail," he said. "[After treatment], I straightened out and decided I wanted something else. Boxing was always a part of me and I wanted to get back into it." A member of the Lac du Flambeau Boxing club, Frank traveled with Team USA to Finland in August 2004 to box in an international boxing tournament. He recently won the Wisconsin State Senior Boxing Tournament in Milwaukee. The next Olympic games are on the horizon for him. Frank recently began to mentor younger boxers. ''I've been down a hard road, and I know where it leads if you choose the wrong one,'' he said. ''It's not the best place to end up if you're sitting in jail. If I could help one kid turn their life around, then I did my job. I've come far in three years. If you met me then, you wouldn't believe I am the same person. To hear someone say what I'm doing is good or positive, that makes me feel really good, and proud. That's all the inspiration I need.''
Indian Country Today
Hiking society invites Indians to join National Trails Day
June 4 is the 13th National Trails Day, an annual celebration with more than 1,000 events across the United States. The event is organized by the American Hiking Society. ''American Hiking Society warmly invites members of the American Indian nations to join in the fun and healing of Mother Earth on National Trails Day at our magnificent national and urban parks,'' said Ivan Levin from the AHS. ''This is a key step in furthering our vision of a multicultural partnership to restore our lands for our children.''
Search for events in your area: http://www.nationaltrailsday.org/
Indian Country Today
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