Native Village 

Youth and Education News

June 23, 2004,  Issue 136 Volume 1

"Don't ever make fun of each other. Don't ever put down another Indian person. In this world, we have enough people outside to put us down. We can change that, and the change will come with you young people that are here today." Dave Anderson, Ojibwa

Petroglyphs among the most threatened sacred sites
SELLS, Ariz. - A Tohono O’odham petroglyph near sacred Baboquivari Mountain has been chiseled out and stolen. "I knew something like this would happen," said Ernest Moristo, a tribal neokidam [protector and sacred caretaker] of Baboquivari Peak, home of the Creator I’itoi. "I’ve tried to keep the tourists from knowing about it, but they already have a sign out there saying 'picture rock,' " Moristo said. "There are other places that still need to be protected. We’re still trying to keep the people away, but the Border Patrol is still coming in there." Last year, caretakers Moristo and Dennis Manuel went to New York to ask the United Nations for help in protecting the sacred area.  When they returned, Border Patrol agents had set up a military camp in the area of I’itoi’s sacred cave. Moristo is now asking the Tohono O’odham Nation to send tribal rangers or tribal police to protect the area and to keep the U.S. Border Patrol out

Archaeologists seek ancient civilizations on Army post
FORT JACKSON, S.C:  Researchers are investigating 660 archaeological sites which may be important enough to list on the National Register of Historic Places. “The research potential here is great because it is such a large tract of land,” said archaeologist Deborah Keene, who oversees digs at sites across Fort Jackson's 52,300 acres. “We can look at populations over time — from the earliest humans in the area right up to the historical period,” she said.  Mark Dutton, an Army’s natural resource specialist, said researchers have found artifacts that could date back 10,000 years. Dutton said he confers regularly with representatives of 10 different American Indian nations whose ancestors may have hunted or traveled around present-day Fort Jackson.

Digging in Folklore, Unearthing Science
Adrienne Mayor's new book--a combination of history, archaeology, folklore and detective work--is the first scholarly attempt to focus on Native American contributions to paleontology.  Mayor documented the oral traditions of many Indians about their historical knowledge of fossils. "In Pine Ridge, SD, I knocked on the door of Johnson Holy Rock," she recalled, referring to an 87-year-old Lakota historian. "...He recalled an old story about warriors watching thunder in the valley and finding the carcass of a creature they'd never seen before, a gigantic rhinoceros-like beast." The Comanche people in Oklahoma, she said, told stories about grandmothers' sending them out to find the bones of monsters. They would then grind the bone into a powder for medicine and, when mixed with water, to help set bones.  Ms. Mayor said she was mostly surprised and delighted by the interest in her work. In August the History Channel plans to broadcast a show about the first fossil hunters, based on her first book.  "I think she is very courageous to take on the archaeological and anthropological establishment," said Vine Deloria Jr., a leading Native American scholar. "From our correspondence, I feel it will be a well-researched book asking piercing questions."  Ms. Mayor's new book, "Fossil Legends of the First Americans," will be published by Princeton next spring.

Susan Rankin, a Jaara descendent, has reoccupied Jaara land in Victoria, Australia. The land was originally set aside for the "protection of Aboriginal people" under Joseph Parker in the mid-1800s.  On May 26, National Sorry Day, Rankin set up camp and is asking the Governments to fully recognise Jaara sovereignty or put in writing that she may occupy Jaara Lands. "The 'going home' camp hopes to highlight the 'unfinished business' between Indigenous Peoples and the Australian Governments," Rankin wrote. "The 'going home' camp aims to be inclusive not divisive, and calls on local community, Government representatives and all conscientious Australians to come sit together by a sacred fire to sort through this 'unfinished business'."

Plimoth Plantation's Wampanoag Indigenous Program to Celebrate Patuxet Strawberry Thanksgiving
PLIMOUTH, Mass.  The Wampanoag Indigenous Program (WIP) of Plimoth Plantation will host its eighth annual Patuxet Strawberry Thanksgiving on June 26, 2004.   Plimoth Plantation staff and Wampanoag members who appeared on PBS's Colonial House will be participating.  Special events include 17th-century football games, canoe races, feasting and singing.    "Patuxet Strawberry Thanksgiving follows a tradition among the Wampanoag people to celebrate a bountiful harvest throughout different seasons to thank the Earth and the Creator," said Linda Coombs of the  Wampanoag Indigenous Program, Plimoth Plantation.  "As the first fruit of the new growing season, strawberries, or Wuttahimneash, were honored with singing, dancing, feasting and games.

Runners trace Trail of Tears as part of spiritual, cultural journey
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO. During the 1830s, thousands of Cherokees were ordered off their lands in the Southeast and forced on a deadly march to present-day Oklahoma. Today, runners representing the Cherokee Nation are tracing part of their ancestors' route on the Trail of Tears. About 40 people aim to run the entire route in relays. The Trail of Tears runners are a branch group of the Peace and Dignity Journey, which includes indigenous people from North, South, and Central America. Every four years, the journey begins with runners leaving from Chickaloon, Alaska, and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. This year, the runners will meet midway in Panama City, Panama. The journey is meant to be a way of uniting indigenous groups across the American continents.  The reunion partly fulfills a prophecy from several American Indian groups, which says the eagle of the north and  the condor of the south will someday unite.

Tribal members build on tradition of cedar working
Oregon: Cedar is more than a tree to the Indian people, says Don Day, member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.It is a general store, a place of worship and an integral part of sacred ceremonies, Day said. Each piece of cedar tree is used: the  bark for clothing, its root structure for baskets and the bows are burnt as incense. Day led a team of six Grand Ronde tribal members recently in traditional plank-splitting techniques at Oregon's Natural History Museum. The planks  created during the demonstration will be used to construct a coastal plank  house for the museum's "Oregon - Where Past is Present" exhibit, which opens  in October. "The exhibit is a restoration of our culture that was taken away from Indians.  For 100 years we were not allowed to participate in tribal practices. This is a return of our cultural values," said David Lewis, a UO anthropology graduate student and a Grand Ronde tribal member.

Once-dying Chinook language finds future in voices of children
The youngest members of the Confederated Grand Ronde Tribes of Oregon are learning Chinook, the language of their ancestors.  Also known as Chinuk-wawa, the language was used by different tribes and among European traders.  When Chinook ancestors were forced to the Grand Ronde Reservation, Chinuk-wawa became the common language used among the different tribes living there. The language fell out of use but is now being revived at the tribal day care center.

Being bilingual may keep your mind young
Tests have found that older adults who grew up bilingual have quicker minds than people who spoke only one language. Scientists believe that having to juggle two languages keeps the brain elastic and may help prevent some of the mental slowing caused by age.  Ellen Bialystok of York University in Canada and colleagues tested 104 singe and bilingual adults aged 30-59 and 50 older adults ages 60-88. They used the Simon Task which measures reaction time for cognitive tasks, such as recognizing where a colored square appears on a computer screen.  “In the older bilingual they slowed down significantly less, dramatically less.”  Bialystok reported.

Non-traditional career path
TULALIP, Wash. - Four years ago, Jaime Taylor took a detour from the University of Washington to pursue an interest in flying. On May 22, she became an aviation pioneer.Taylor, 26, will represent theTulalip Tribes in a three-state flight to spotlight aviation as a career path for young American Indians. The flight will be filmed from a chase plane and made into a documentary, according to organizer Lee Carson.  Taylor, who is Cherokee, will fly a single-engine, four-seat general aviation airplane from Northwest Indian College, Washington, to D-Q Tribal College, California. Taylor’s flight will set numerous firsts:
  First female American Indian pilot;
  First unofficial speed record between two tribal colleges;
  First flight recognizing tribal youth programs and respective American Indian nations;
  First documentary film encouraging young American Indians to pursue challenging non-traditional professions, such as aviation.

Reagan was given Indian name "Chief Buffalo Boy"
After a 1979 visit to Cut Bank, Montana, former president Ronald Reagan was given the Indian name "Chief Buffalo Boy" by leaders of the Blackfeet Nation. Blackfeet Chief Earl Old Person recalled an encounter he had with Reagan during the 1954 filming of the movie "Cattle Queen of Montana."  Indian extras failed to fall when fired on by Calvary troop until their salaries were raised.  Reagan responded by pointing out that the real villains in the movie were white men disguised as Indians and not the Indians themselves. He promised to avoid doing anything that would anger the Indians or impede their fight to improve their way of life.

canoe photo

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